Laura and I traveled to Baxter State Park to hike KATAHDIN again. Katahdin is the highest mountain in Maine and the northern boundary of the Appalachian Trail. Laura and I really enjoy this mountain as it is only a 6 hour drive from our Halifax, Nova Scotia home. It is just as convenient as some of the Northerly Cape Breton adventures we have hiked. Here are some photos from our hike. Check out my previous Blog posts for more detailed information on the hiking Katahdin. We spent the week staying at Camp Cozy which is a bunkhouse located in Nesowadnehunk Campground. Nesowadnehunk is the most remote of the Park’s roadside campgrounds and provides easy access to Ledge Falls, a popular swimming spot during hot summer weather.
On this trip we hiked the Knife’s Edge trail on two separate occasions. We first hiked the Hunt Trail from Katadhin Stream travelling 10.4 miles return trip. The next day we did Hamlin Ridge Trail to Knife Edge and down Helon Taylor covering 11.1 miles. Great challenging hikes, both mentally and physically!
a stare down with a moose on Mount Katahdin
Camp Cozy, Nesowadnehunk Campground
taking it all in at our campsite between hiking days
resting on Mount Katahdin
snacking on Mount Katahdin
a beautiful day on top of Mount Katahdin
Mount Katahdin has claimed 19 lives since 1963, mostly from exposure in bad weather and falls from the Knife Edge.
This year we took part in the rescue of a hiker that became exhausted on top of Katahdin. The hiker had to spend the night at tree line. Unfortunately it rained about 3″ over night leading to a very tough night of exposure in Nature. The hiker was exhausted and could not make the decent the following day. A rescue was called to carry the hiker off the mountain. Laura and I helped with the rescue along with a few other hikers and rangers. It took the majority of the day to carry the hiker down by using a metal stretcher.
Although everything worked out for the best. I do want to share an interesting part to the story. During the early morning, Laura and I were checking the weather to decide on our hike for the day. A Ranger asked us if we would help with a “Litter Carry” on Katahdin. Laura and I always want to give back and explained that we would like to help but give us more details. The Ranger then explained that we would need to carry about 100lbs of litter down the mountain. We both took a deep breath thinking this is a lot of garbage and Laura suggested that we could do this on our way down from the summit and it would probably work out. The Ranger looked at us really strange … we then heard a broadcast over the radio discussing vital signs and wondering how far away the “litter carriers” are. Laura and I both looked at each other and said to the Ranger “Do you need help getting someone down the mountain”? The Ranger said “yes, what do you think I am talking about”? Well, to us Litter is Garbage and not a person … had you of told us you needed help with a rescue and a hiker is in trouble, we would have left an hour ago and not have wasted the time discussing our plan to pick up the garbage on our decent after bagging the peak. Lesson learned … apparently in Maine, Litter is a person and not Garbage.
On Labour day weekend, Laura and I traveled to Baxter State Park to hike KATAHDIN. We were always opposed to doing this hike as pets are not allowed and little Kasper hikes everywhere with us. Baxter is a really unique park as it was a gift to the people of Maine and has more than 200,000 acres, encompassing its own mountain range. Baxter State Park is tightly controlled and the amount of people allowed to enter each day is regulated. Come early if you desire to climb the mountain (even 6AM is at some times too late!) or camp in one of the campgrounds at Katahdin’s base. Katahdin is the highest mountain in Maine and the northern boundary of the Appalachian Trail. There are 5 main peaks on the horseshoe, counterclockwise from the north they go: Howe Peak, Hamlin Peak, Baxter Peak (summit), South Peak and Pamola Peak. The most dominant and intimidating feature on Katahdin is the Knife Edge.
We arrived on Thursday night and stayed at the bunkhouse at the Roaring Brook Campground. We basically touched down at dark and pretty much went straight to bed in our shared bunkhouse with 4 others. We got an early start and ventured on the Helon Taylor trail to Pamola Peak. From there we trekked across “The Knife’s Edge” towards the summit of Katahdin know as Baxter Peak. “The Knife’s Edge” is the most famous hike to the summit, which traverses the ridge between Pamola Peak and Baxter Peak. For almost 1/2 a mile … the trail is 3 feet wide, with a drop off on either side. Our decent consisted of the Saddle Trail to the Chimney Pond Trail and back to our start point.