Explore the most popular nature trips trails in Baxter State Park with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

hiking
17 days ago

one of my favorite hikes, 3rd favorite in Maine (first being Bigelows loop, second being travelers loop), difficulty is definitely over exaggerated imo, nonetheless make sure you stop by chimney pond on the way back down or your way up to Katahdin (depending which way you go) breathtaking beauty with amazing views of Katahdin, but please respect the park rules, no swimming in chimney pond allowed

We took a vacation through maine and the last big thing was to hike both peaks of katahdin and check off 2 more peaks of the list of 67, it was a great and challenging hike, and it can definitely kick your butt at some points but well worth it at the top!

Your legs will burn. But it is so worth it!!! This is the first "true" hike I did! I was supposed to do it with my bro, but at the last minute, his job called him, so I went alone! What an adventure it was! Who could have known that it was only the beginning of a bigger adventure! Two years later, I was in Nepal facing the Mt Everest!

on Mount Katahdin Loop

3 months ago

Strenuous, but very fulfilling! I’ve climbed this mountain twice. It’s life-changing. Do it..

hiking
4 months ago

This was one of the more memorable hikes of my life. I did it late in the season (knifes edge had just iced over a bit), and was the only one on the mountain. And no bugs! I would highly recommend doing this early winter, if of course the park ranger says it’s not too dangerous. There aren’t many days in life that are memorable, but I’d imagine for most that hiking this mountain is one.

A hair raiser but excellent hike. Only do this one in good weather.

Unbelievable really. The most exhilarating hike in New England if not the entire Northeast. Don’t even think about doing this hike unless you are in great physical shape and an experienced hiker.

hiking
6 months ago

Best view I’ve ever seen. Make sure to go on a day with good weather or you won’t even be able to see the view and path can get narrow. If you go in late summer you might be lucky enough to see some Thru Hikers! Took us about 3 1/2 hours total up the AT trail and down knives edge. May take longer and we were in top shape.

One of the most rewarding mountains I've ever climbed. In my opinion one of the only climbs in the east that is comparable to mountains out west. Similar to some climbs I've done in the Rockies. Some class III even class IV maneuvers near the chimney section of the knife edge. We climbed on October 23rd, 50+ degrees and sunny with 10-15mph winds ON THE PEAK: very rare for this time of year. One local said it was the warmest October since the 1940s. A lot of websites/forums will mislead you saying Baxter closes the trails on October 15th which is totally false. Just monitor weather very closely, NE weather at altitude is known to be dangerous and unpredictable. Always carry gloves, warm hat, rain gear, layers, dry socks, high calorie foods, flashlight and first aid/moleskin. My girlfriend and I consumed about 5 liters of water combined. Bear spray is not needed because the black bears are very skittish in this area. Keep a safe distance from moose because bull moose can gore you to death. You are above the tree line for at least 60% of this hike. Do not attempt after first snow event or with any rime ice unless very experienced and with proper gear because there is a great deal of exposure in some places and one slip could be fatal. Also do not attempt with a fear of heights. Be prepared for 9-10 miles of very strenuous hiking/boulder hopping/climbing/sliding with about 4000 ft of elevation gain depending on route. We started at roaring brook and took Helon Taylor (pr: Heel-on) up and Saddle down which I thought was the best route. Dudley is closed and taking Cathedral down looked deadly. Do not recommend reversing loop because it is a lot more suspenseful doing knife edge as you approach south peak and baxter peak, also reversing would save a lot of tough climbing for the end. Anyways, be prepared and have fun!

My boyfriend and I went in early July of 2017. We did not get there earlier enough to complete the trail and walk along knifes edge. It was an incredible trail with awesome scenery. Living in MO I was blown away by the beauty of Maine and what this trail offered.
It was very rainy the day we went, hiking poles would have been nice. We were unsure on what to expect on this trail and if we ever get the chance to return will be more prepared.

Great trail to do! My friends and I did it on our way up Katadin, and it was a great spot to stop. When we got there around 8am it was a great misty scene, by the time we returned from the summit the lake was beautiful! It truly opened up. Will have to come back to camp for sure!

Such a beautiful hike dudes

Scariest thing I’ve ever done. This made Cathedral Trail seem easy!!!!! We had 20-25 mph winds on a clear day, with gusts up to 35 mph, possibly more. Don’t even attempt this if it is raining, icy or snowing. I have a healthy fear of heights and this was the most challenging trek mentally. Physically it is not all that demanding but excess caution should be used. This is mostly climbing and scrambling. Make sure you get to the Togue Pond Gate EARLY if you don’t have a parking pass. They save approximately 5 parking spots for those without passes. We parked at Roaring Brook Campground and trekked Chimney Pond, up Cathedral to Baxter Peak and across Knife Edge and descended via Helon Taylor. This is a full day hike - and for me, mentally challenging. It was a full body physical effort for much of Cathedral and Knife Edge, make sure you’re fully prepared for this. Also make sure you have plenty of attire to accommodate your needs as the temperature can change vastly as you summit. Completed on 10/1/17. **Additionally** we did encounter a black bear about a mile into our trek on Chimney Pond Trail. Just make sure you use caution and educate yourself about what to do if you run into wildlife. We had (obv) no issues, but worth tossing into the description!

hiking
7 months ago

October 2, 2017, Totally spectacular views during an extremely difficult hike. Took 13 hours on a beautiful sunny day, tshirt weather. Did the loop

Went up cathedral while everything was wet, very challenging trail and slippery, the smaller lose rocks at the top coming back down to saddle get lose and can twist ankles easily, be careful on that part! 25-40mph winds at the top with about 40 yards of visibility... but it was amazing!!!

That was amazing! first time for me and a friend, we started at Roaring Brook parking lot, did it by Chimney Pond, Cathedral, knife edge then Helon. We did it in 8h25min with 25min for lunch at Baxter Peak. We loved so much this hike that we must return next year; same trail, same loop. I drank 4liters of water but it was really hot and humid. Don't forget to buy your permit (parking/hiking) before going - you can't do it if they are all reserved since there is a certain amount of people that can go per day. Lots of scrambling, some places are more technical but nothing too hard, just take your time and enjoy the view, Katahdin is unique!

So we hiked this section after coming up from the saddle trail. i will break up the knife's edge into 3 sections . easy, hard, very hard. the first section was remarkably easy and mostly hiking on rocks. then after a small descent comes the hard part. the path becomes pretty narrow and some care is required. slowly it becomes a crawl across rocks and it alternates a bit between a crawl and climb. we were probably a bit more on the safer side since we were pretty much amateurs at this type of a climb. There is a portion of 15-20 feet where u are on the edge literally holding on to the rocks sideways . this was probably the hardest part of the hike. I kept thinking this would have to be the hardest part and there cant be anything worse.. but i guess there still is something left. the chimneys( no idea why the **** its named so ) . WE had originally planned to climb this part up but since we took the wrong trail.( i.e miss the helon taylor trail) . It is very narrow section where u cannot see where to go next, cause u cannot see where to place ur feet next or where to hold on to. It's kind of a leap of faith moment for whoever is ahead since the rest can follow. I had to steady my nerves and literally find a way to descend... once u do it you will fell it was easy but finding where to place ur legs and where to hold on to is the hard part. . after this i took an alternate easy path to reach the summit of pamola peak(50m). the trail also was easy itself apparently but i was pretty much done taking any more risks by the end of it. Somehow i feel it is better to do the knife's edge from baxter to pamola atleast the first time since you would be crawling/climbing up and not down which is probably more natural. it took us 2 hours to do this section. sure we could have done it faster, but for amateurs i think this we did it in reasonable time. the hike down pamola to roaring brook campground feels like a never ending journey. I was more tired mentally than physically to tell the truth. It was a full moon night and yet it was pitch black. do get headlamps. I mean headlamps and not flashlights. because the path down is very rocky and at most times you need to use ur hands. It is hard to find the trail indicators in the night and any form of gps would be very useful. We had to cling onto another group since we were pretty much the last peple coming back and we did not want to get lost in any way.
Upon reaching the campgrounds safely my happiness knew no bounds. This is not a hike i would advise anyone to take up unless you done some hiking at high elevations . if the weather is even slighty foggy or if rain is around the corner do not attemp this. It is ridicoulously easy to slip here since the rocks are loose in some places. carry sufficient water. atleast 2-3 litres.

hiking
7 months ago

This was a very difficult climb with some amazing views. Very much worth how difficult it is. Almost gave up just before the summit ridge coming through the boulder field. Glad I pressed on and made it to the top.

hiking
7 months ago

Our route was Helon Taylor over Knife Edge, down Saddle and Chimney Pond to Roaring Brook. Helon Taylor is a nice direct route to Pamola. The trail starts off easy to moderate and gets tough nearing Pamola. The views on the way make up for it. The Chimney was dramatic and almost technical. Once on Knife Edge it's an unrelenting rocky spine that you want to take slowly. Wasn't sure about the Sky Walk leading up to the hike but actually found it to be a really cool part and not all that scary. Felt safe the whole way through and the unparalleled views keep your mind in another place. Saddle Trail was a steep slide and tested your leg strength after the earlier climbs. Once at Chimney Pond you have over 3 miles to go back to Roaring Brook so no cake walk after an already long day. 11 hour total hike for us. It was warm that day. Extra fluids and protein were absolutely necessary. Must definitely be in hiking shape. Best and toughest day hike for me to date. DO IT!

My very first summit in the Appalachians, this trail took us about 11 hours with lots of stops for photos and snacks. It has one rough scrambling area but in general it's one of the most gradual and forgiving of the Katahdin trails, good for beginners looking for a challenge!

9/10 Started at Roaring Brook, to Helon, Pemola,knifes edge, to summit then down saddleback. The weather couldn't have been better! Total of 9 hours. It was my first time hiking Katahdin. Definitely challenging for someone who has a fear of heights. Ultimately a rewarding hike.

We took Katahdin stream up to Baxter Peak . The weather wasn't too bad once we summit Katahdin stream. It started snowing on our way to the junction and turned into an ice white out after that. We made it to the peak and at the junction took Abol down. It's hard to make out the white marks on a clear day and being what it was, not likely we would see our way down Katahdin stream. Abol is better marked with blue paint and easier to distinguish. It gets rough quick at the peak and knowing what I know now I don't know that I would have continued past the junction with weather that bad. There is no view, it's difficult to see, and you are almost guaranteed to slip on the rocks (they ice up rather quickly). If you're experienced with rough weather climbing and are well prepared go for it. If not, the mountain isn't going anywhere best to enjoy it on a day when you can actually see the view. It's all dependent on the weather. Date of hike: 9/1/2017

took this trail down after going up Cathedral and across Knife Edge. Made for a long but beautiful day!

We started at roaring brook campground went up to chimney pond, saddle to the summit of Baxter peak, knife's edge to Pamola, then down Helon. Probably the best hike of my life, we had ideal weather and the views were spectacular.

Completed Kilimanjaro earlier this year but this Katahdin climb felt more physically demanding than any of my 6 days on Kili, save perhaps summit day. This is a tough but very fun climb! Took Helon Taylor up to Knife's Edge to Baxter Peak then down Saddle to Chimney Pond. If you have knee issues or weak back straps the granite may begin to kill your feet on descent. Recommend high quality insoles in your boots. Had to stop to pray for some of the dingdongs climbing in tennis shoes. Take 3.5+ litres of hydration, you'll use it all.

Absolutely breathtaking! Nevertheless, it is HARD.

Long grueling hike, but thoroughly enjoyed it. Took Cathedral trail from Chimney Pond to Baxter peak, which is a boulder scramble. Knife Edge was a fun challenge with a steep down and up called the chimney. We finished down Helon Taylor trail.

Very challenging but thoroughly enjoyed it. We took Cathedral trail to Knife Edge. Nice day.... I certainly wouldn't do this hike on a windy or less than ideal day.

hiking
8 months ago

June 2017. Excellent hike. Views are breathtaking from Chimney Pond.

9 months ago

Always my favorite. Backpacking up to chimney is amazing.

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