Hike Mt. Katahdin via Chimney Pond and Saddle Trails

11 miles 2353 ft gain  - Out-and-Back Trail

Added by Timothy Behuniak

This is an amazing hike with views to die for. It's the tallest mountain in Maine and the end/beginning of the 2,000+ mile long Appalachian Trail.

Hiking Katahdin is extremely rewarding and worthwhile. Not only are you welcomed with an incredible view at the summit, but if you hike it later in the year you can have the chance to talk with those finishing their 2,000 mile journey on the Appalachian Trail.

There are many routes up this mountain, but one of the easier ones is following the Chimney Pond and Saddle Trails.

Park at the Roaring Brook Campground parking lot and start out on the well-maintained Chimney Pond Trail. Once you arrive at Chimney Pond, you'll be greeted with an incredible view of Knife's Edge (one of the other routes up Katahdin) and other mountains. This is the last water source on the way up, so if you're running low, definitely take advantage of the pond and fill up your bottles here.

From here, follow the Saddle Trail until you hit the tablelands. The Saddle Trail gets steep toward the end and will eventually spit you out onto a rocky slide. The path up the slide is pretty obvious, so stick to the blue markers and you'll have nothing to fear! Once arriving at the tablelands (known as this due to its large, flat open space and rocky trail), you'll follow the trail from here to the summit.

This hike is so great because you get to hike through a variety of different kinds of scenery before reaching the summit. Plus, the entire hike is very scenic, beautiful and well-maintained. Take note of a few things:

  • The summit and above-tree-line portion of the trail is 100% open to the elements, so only go up if the weather is promising and you have extra layers
  • Bring lots of water and food as after Chimney Pond, there is no water source
  • Baxter State Park requires that you pay a toll to enter the park ($14/car), however, there is no vehicle fee for Maine residents!
  • If you arrive too late, Rangers will not let you hike the mountain and you probably won't get a parking spot, so get an EARLY start!! Plus, most cut-off times for hiking Katahdin, no matter which trail you choose, is noon
  • No children under 6 are allowed above treeline
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Plan for a moody Mountain

I have done this specific hike twice and I have to say Kathadin and Pamola are moody peaks. They offer such nice views even on a foggy day, and is so rewarding once you get to the top of it, but here are some things to consider that actually made my hike more pleasant: - Definitely better if you consider camping at Baxter State Park the night before your hike. - Prepare to bring a couple extra layers and be prepared for some unexpected rain or wind. - Bring some gloves, if it gets rainy, it can get cold at the top. - Bring enough water and a light lunch. - Don’t forget to bring head-lamps - Don’t forget you AID kit. Although this is the easiest way to the top, we had a friend who accidentally slipped and got quite a cut in her leg. Fortunately, we had everything we needed and it was not a major injury. - If crossing the knife’s edge, keep in mind weather conditions can change anytime. Be mindful of your surroundings and skip it if it seems like the wind is picking up. Bring your camera, and get ready for some amazing shots cause these views are killer!

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