Mt. Katahdin via Abol Slide Trail

Millinocket, Maine

Details

Distance

7.65 miles

Elevation Gain

3914 ft

Route Type

Out-and-Back

Description

Added by Noah Twining

Mt. Katahdin is a must-do hike for any East Coast adventure seeker and the Abol Slide Trail is the most direct way up!

The trailhead starts from the Abol Campground inside of Baxter State Park. I would highly recommend staying the night before so that you can get an early start on the hike as it can be an all-day affair.  

For the first 1.4 miles, you meander along a stream bed through a densely wooded forest, the trail is very well marked with blazes. You will encounter a labeled scenic viewpoint area that's great for photos and a break before you ditch the hiking poles and have to start scrambling through the boulder fields. After the viewpoint the trail veers sharply to the left and the trees thin out a lot, this is a very good place to determine how windy it is going to be at the top. 

Around mile marker 2.1 you will get into the boulder fields and will need to use your hands a lot, this is where gloves come in very useful. For the next 1/4 of a mile you are scrambling up along the new part of the trail and working your way over to the old Abol Slide, follow the blazes and it is really easy to stay on the trail. At about mile 2.4 you will reach the old Abol Slide Trail and the boulders start to get a lot bigger and slightly harder to follow the blazes. It's a slow grind but only lasts about a 1/4 mile and then you reach the tablelands where it drastically flattens out. Now you walk past Thoreau springs (named after the legendary Naturalist) and join the Hunt Trail to make your way to the summit. The Hunt Trail is the official AT route and marks the end of the road for all those through hikers. Now you have about a mile to go on a very obvious trail straight up to the infamous Baxter Peak.  

You can either return the way you came or take a myriad of other options that end in other parts of Baxter State Park. We gave numerous hikers a ride who were hitchhiking and I imagine it wasn't uncommon if you did want to end up in a different area than you started.

All in all, expect this hike to take about 4-8 hours depending on weather and skill level. The first time we tried to summit we had to turn around on the tablelands due to 50mph wind gusts but we had no problems the next day. 

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Features

Photography
Hiking
Forest
Scenic
Wildflowers
Wildlife

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