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.

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

It’s a great hike with great views. This trail has quite a bit of rock climbing. Even if you hike slow it’s still worth doing- bring a headlamp and finish in the dark. If you don’t like rock climbing there is a great waterfall about 1.5 miles in that’s easy to get to.

If you go to the top watch the weather report and be prepared for different types of weather. A few days ago we had sleet on the way up, sunny and 65 at the top, and heavy clouds on the way down.

Just finished this hike in late September and it was amazing. challenging but also easy enough for the majority of people to successfully summit the mountain. highly recommend it

One of my top 3 favorite hikes. Knifes edge was awesome. Spent the night before in Millinocket, had a blast. Probably drank too much yet I still completed the hike. Will do again for sure

Love the trail. A lot of good mushroom pictures. Wish there was not high winds the day I was there was not able to go to the peak. Definitely worth the hike

This is not an easy walk down a boardwalk or bog bridges. Most the trail has tree roots and rocks. The views of the falls are accessible and worth the trip.

Incredible hike, be prepared for some good bouldering, highly recommended you take this trail!

Very challenging hike up the mountain. Be prepared for a lot of dangerous rock climbing. Not for people with a fear of heights

Hiked knife edge several times. My lifetime favorite. can't beat this.. Well worth the effort.

This is only for folks who are in great shape. You essentially climb Maine’s most difficult peak twice. There are easier ways to do this; the rangers at Baxter State Park do not recommend this “loop”.

We drove 8hrs from Vt just to climb this mountain and it was all worth the travel!

I am a day hiker in fairly physically fit. On August 25th my friends and i Climbed Katahdin in a perfect day via Helon taylor trail to Pamola peak then Knife Edge descend to Saddle trail, Chimney pond to the parking lot in more than 11hrs(cant even believe it took us forever to do it) without injuries(thank God). It was an awesome hike that needs 100% mental preparations specially when u cross the Knife Edge trail. If youve been in the white mountains, its more like Franconia Ridge loop but more tactical 80% of the trail(atleast the ones we did) with tremendous payoff of 360 degrees amazing views at Baxter peak summit! Every where u looked around those mountains gives u a different view of Baxter wilderness! It was an amazing hike for me! Even if u will hike up to Pamola peak from Helon or Hunt trail and skip the Knife edge or take Saddle, Cathedral, Abol trail on the other side of the mountain to Katahdin summit (skip Knife edge) u will still be mesmerized by the awesome view of Katahdin! So far my favorite hike in New England

Beautiful

I came down Helon after Knifes Edge. It was a tough downhill!

Nice moderate trail with a fair amount of rocks. It gets harder after this to get up to the peak!

Various challenges from rock hopping to rock climbing! I loved it!

This trail was extremely challenging for a multitude of reasons. We hiked up Chimney Pond and Saddle to the summit and then across the Knifes Edge to Helon Taylor. It was mostly clear when we started across the KE but became windy and socked in with clouds by the time we were halfway across. From the summit, about 2/3 of the trail is boulder hopping but wide enough to feel relatively comfortable with the height and slopes. Views are incredible! The last 1/3 of the trail involves actual climbing over the craggy rocks and in cloudy, windy conditions is rather unnerving. Overall great experience and great challenge. This trail is not for the faint of heart!

Enjoyed the hike. Was looking for a moose.

hiking
1 month ago

I did the Chimney on my birthday!

hiking
1 month ago

Started at Roaring Brook, up to Chimney Pond and then Saddle to Baxter Peak. Took Knife Edge to Pamola Peak and Helon Taylor all the way down. Fog/couds and wind on the knife.

Started at Roaring Brook, up to Chimney Pond and then Saddle to Baxter Peak. Took Knife Edge to Pamola Peak and Helon Taylor all the way down. Fog/couds and wind on the knife.

hiking
1 month ago

The park does not “close” the Knife Edge anymore. It is up to hiker discretion whether to go across. It is very exposed, often windy and narrow in sections. Takes almost 2 hours to go one mile.

Helon Taylor is a very rocky and steadily steep trail. Tough to make more that 1mph avg.

The Saddle trail is pretty steady with a steep exposed scree section of about 50 yrds at the top.

The trail between Chimney Pond & Roaring Brook is an easy 3.3 mile walk in the woods with some nice side views across ponds.

hiking
1 month ago

My brother, sister and I started from roaring brook at 7:45 AM yesterday, a late August day with overcast skies and perfect weather slated all day. We are all fit and active, but were going pretty slow because the footing and climbing was already somewhat challenging from the Heylon trail. The exposed portion above tree line offered magnificent views, though there was a kind of foggy mist around the next set of mountains, and on a clear day you can probably see far more in the distance. We arrived to the Knife Edge by 12:45, some five hours later with a few short water and snack breaks in between. The KE was purported to take 2 hours max, but we inched our way forward for 4:15 minutes. Total ass kicker. So many tricky spots that having a buddy or two seems necessary to me, and I often didn’t see a clear trail, so we probably spent more time looking by for which boulder to cross. Granted, this was our first real rock climbing experience, as I’ve only ever done relatively minor scrambling (eg Old Rag in Shenandoah). There’s a dip where you climb vertically down and up and the wind howling the whole way was pretty terrifying; I thought I’d blow away! Most people probably went much faster but all of us are pretty scared of heights. Try not to psyche yourself and look down because it’s dizzying. So at long last we arrived to Baxter peak at 5 PM. Only two lonely souls up there and we hadn’t seen anyone else for at least a couple hours (we’re guessing we were the last ones to start hiking up that way and perhaps the slowest). Unfortunately, we didn’t quite research well enough (or didn’t anticipate how slow going it would be) to time our hike in a way to avoid returning in the dark. Took an hour to get from the peak to the saddle trail down the screw, though it was a lovely landscape in the waning sunlight. We were so lucky to come down saddle and chimney before sundown, because again you were doing a lot of rock holding and had to go slowly to not slip. Another two hours with headlamps from the chimney campground back to roaring brook with a nearly full moon ahead. Super glad for this app to track us because there were a couple sections where we veered off the trail and found the pond and realized the trail probably doesn’t go that way haha. However, I had to stop recording midway through to save my battery. All told, returned at 9:45 PM, for a full 14 hour journey with few breaks. Definitely take plenty of food, protein bars, I took more than 3L of water and glad I did because we sweat a ton (half from the anxiety I’m sure). Not for the faint of heart, but if you’re strong, believe in yourself, are adequately prepared and have likeminded hiking buddies, this will be an unforgettable experience and adventure of a lifetime.

We chose to go up HT, across knife's edge, down saddle. This was a very wise choice, bc we got all the hard scary stuff out of the way first. I confess, going across knife's edge from pamola peak was absolutely terrifying at first. I wasn't even remotely comfortable until we were at least halfway across knife's edge. But, it was exhilarating. Going down saddle is a rocky mess, but it's not too hard, so a decent way to end a 10 hour hike.

same like semi rock climbing

We started at the Abol Bridge and made this hike an all day 17.9 mile loop going up the Appalachian Trail to Tote Road then back down the Blueberry Ledges Trail back to our starting point. This was an easy route compared to others in the park. Creek crossing were doable stepping over rocks and not getting wet. There was plenty of great views and smaller waterfalls along the way.

Made this part of a loop that included the Appalachian Trail which we went up from the Abol Bridge then down this trail (Blueberry Ledges) and got a total of 17.9 miles round trip. Trail Sign mileage is never correct, remember that! Don't cheat yourself, take a GPS or Fitbit and track your true mileage. Anywho... this is an all day hike with plenty of waterfalls, rapids, creek crossings, and other great scenery. Trail is fairly easy with no real steep grades or altitude changes.

Had a beautiful day in mid August to complete this loop.

I'd like to first note that the Chimney Pond Trail is the only true upward "hiking" part of this loop before you reach the peak. Chimney Pond Trail is an inclined rocky trail that warms your body up for a couple miles before reaching the ranger station located at the pond. It was awesome to hike several miles up the mountain and surprisingly find lean-tos, yurts, and staff housing/buildings. After a brief stop at Chimney Pond to check out the views, you being to ascend Cathedral Trail.

Cathedral Trail is basically bouldering/rock climbing. Although it appears intimidating (it's a pile of boulders stacked on top of each other at a significant slope as far as the eye can see) it can be accomplished by someone with decent strength, flexibility, and a will to get to the top. The views are amazing and the sense of accomplishment once you reach the top is well worth the effort. For me, this section was the adrenaline rush I was looking for and am still kind of wishing I had more bouldering trails like this near me.

We reached the peak and had lunch/hung out for about 15 minutes and descended down Saddle Trail. The hike from Baxter Peak to the start of the steep descent down Saddle Trail was one of my favorite sections as you feel like you are on top of the world with amazing views all around you with little difficulty. Once we reach the beginning of the very steep section of Saddle Trail, the difficulty increased significantly as almost the whole trail down to Chimney Pond consisted of loose rock material and unstable footing. (I probably wouldn't have noted the loose rock material if I hadn't just climbed up a stable, boulder infested Cathedral). I began to feel weakened legs/knees about a quarter way down the trail as this section was very much different than any other section on this loop. We ran into Mara (Ranger from Chimney Pond) halfway down the trail, had a great conversation, and finally made it to Chimney Pond. Our hike out was the trail we hiked up.

In all total, hike took around 8 hours with multiple stops for breaks, views, and friendly conversations.

*Note: Our original intent was to hike down Knife Edge > Helon Taylor but changed once at the Peak due to wind and an uneasy girlfriend :) .

Climbed in July and am going back before the month’s end. Went up Chimney and Cathedral (quite challenging) and then down Saddle and Chimney. About 12 miles in 6+ hours. Loved soaking our tired feet in the stream before we were finished.

hiking
2 months ago

Tough trail particularly along the Knifes Edge. Coming down off Pamola peak onto the Knifes Edge is the most difficult part. It’s essentially a technical rock climb but after that it becomes a little easier. The views were fantastic and worth every drop of sweat.

hiking
2 months ago

Amazing hike starting from and ending in Roaring Brook Campground up the Helon Taylor, across the Knifes Edge and down the Saddle to the Chimney Pond. Very challenging hike, from the steep ascent to the perils of the Knifes Edge (my wife and 13 year old son agree was “the most emotionally and physically challenging mile” ever) and down the scree of Baxter peak to the loose and steep descent of the Saddle, then to the mind numbing and feet pounding 3.3 miles of slow descent over the rocks back to the Roaring Brook campground. Other than the last two miles probably the most amazing hike east of the Mississippi. Something amazing about the way that Katahdin rises from the forests of northern Maine. There’s just not much like it anywhere. Did a 13 mike round trip of four peaks that included Mount Washington last year and it didn’t compare to this one. Epic.

Be prepared for wind and rough rocks on the Knifes Edge. We had thin but rubber palmed work gloves and i was glad we did. It was 50 degrees and very windy up there on an 80 degree August day and there’s some white knuckle spots for sure.

One note- recorded this with another App as well, and using maps - this is actually a 10.5 mile hike, not the 9.6 or so that this app recorded. Took us 8.5 hours or so with minimal stops really. Two adults and 12 and 13 year old boys.

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