Katahdin Loop Trail

HARD 52 reviews
#3 of 25 trails in

Katahdin Loop Trail is a 9.5 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Millinocket, Maine that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as difficult. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from March until October.

9.5 miles
3,900 feet





nature trips




wild flowers




no dogs

Stellar Views, Cliffs, and Wilderness. A long grueling hike. The Knife edge is very rugged in places - the chimney is almost a technical climb. The Baxter peak side of the knife edge is a boulder scramble. The saddle trail has a 1/2 mile section of scree and is also very steep. A tough hike that you should be in shape for. The most difficult and time consuming portions of the hike are exposed and above treeline.

7 minutes 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.

1 day 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.

5 days ago

Grueling, difficult, brutal, and absolutely exquisite. Quite possibly the finest hike I've ever been on. Starting up Helon Taylor from the Roaring Brook trailhead gives a gradual but sturdy ascent to about 3500 feet before the scramble begins on the Skywalk moving up to Pamola Peak. For those not wishing to do Knife Edge, an out-and-back from Helon Taylor to Pamola would be a fine hike by itself. After departing Pamola to Knife Edge you'll run into an essentially technical climb down and then back up the Chimney Peak, which is by far the hardest part of the hike. If you struggle with that part, don't worry it's not like that the rest of the way. From there you wind and scramble 0.8 miles up down and around the boulders and sharp rocks of the Knife Edge to South Peak, and then along another 0.3 miles to Baxter Peak where you can touch the most recognizable sign in the hiking world. The Knife Edge is amazing, and completely worth it. It's not as scary in the moment as the pictures and videos make it seem, I can assure you. It is not without its moments of terror however, so as always you must maintain a healthy respect for the mountain. Down from Baxter Peak taking the Saddle trail is rocky with tough footing, but a pleasant stride. Turning down the mountain the trail turns into a slide of sorts with loose rocks and dry dirt. Slippery but safe, trekking poles are an absolute must. Gradually the trail descends with decreasing severity until reaching Chimney Pond. There is an excellent stream/water source about 3/4 of a mile up from Chimney Pond where we filtered some of the most crisp water I've ever tasted. The rest of the way down to Roaring Brook Campground was pleasant, though you'll certainly be a little bushed from the preceding 10 hours or so of hiking. We emerged at Roaring Brook Campground, with many scrapes and bruises, but with an excellent hike in the books. In all sincerity, you'd be hard-pressed to find a better day hike in the Northeast, if not the whole country.

18 days ago

On my bucket list

26 days ago

Challenging hike with diverse terrain and amazing scenery!

1 month ago

Probably the prettiest and most unique hike I’ve done out east. One of he most memorable days of my life. Knife’s Edge is amazing, sweeping views in every direction throughout. Went in July, tons of bugs on the way down- bug spray and bug screens highly recommended.

3 months 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

4 months ago

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!

10 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!

11 months ago

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.

11 months ago

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

11 months ago

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.

11 months ago

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.

Wednesday, August 09, 2017

Had an amazing day taking the abol trail to the hunt. Was feeling really accomplished and excited about all my bouldering up abol until I ran into four thru-hikers finishing their AT journeys and was very quickly humbled! Decided to take the hunt (AT) on the way down in homage to my new friends and more than once scratched my head at just where the white blazes were positioned on the boulders going down (you're suggesting I go where?!).

In total the hike ends up being 10 miles with a two mile trek back to the abol campground. Honestly, toughest hike of my life, incredibly challenging but worth every single minute. Ran into loads of kids (probably 12 and up) and senior citizens, so it's tough but totally manageable and safe.

Friday, October 21, 2016

Mount Katahdin was absolutely breathe taking . A very tough hike that'll take you most of if not the entire day given you want to enjoy a nice lunch on top of the mountain. We got here at about 9 o'clock in the morning on Saturday in late August and they told us the entire parking lot was full. We ended up parking closer to the trail head to one of the neighboring mountains and found our way to the hunt trail. Amazing hike

Wednesday, September 07, 2016

Amazing experience. My wife is less experienced so it took us longer than average time to complete, but it is well worth it. It's not only the trail, the mountain, but the people who make BSP and Milinocket a great place to visit. Will come back for sure and try other ways up, but will do the knife edge over and over again.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

AWESOME! This is a challenging hike, started up the Helen Taylor trail which is mostly Boulder climbing. Once we got to the peak we went across knifes edge, which is grueling and a bit sketchy but it's a thrill. Made it to Baxters peak than headed down saddle trail which is rocky the entire way, which can be rough on your feet. But the view at the top is incredible!

Monday, June 27, 2016

Incredibly humbling hike without a cloud in the sky. Definitely check your weather because the Edge could be a little sketchy in the rain/ wind gusts.

Thursday, June 09, 2016

This is an ankle breaker. There is no dirt trail, it is rock hopping the entire way. Mountain is imposing, since it is a standalone. It looks like something transplanted from the Rockies. Every hiker should experience Baxter Park. Doing this hike made my entire year!

Friday, May 27, 2016

Baxter Park opens in May, trails are available usually after May 15, depending on conditions. Head to baxterstateparkauthority.com for more info and day use parking reservations.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

The trails at Baxter State park are awesome. I did the hike and rock climbing to Katahdin via cathedral trail on my way up and saddle trail on my way down and this was by far the most challenging experience ever. The thrill of rock climbing was scary at first but rewarding once we got to the summit.

Thursday, April 09, 2015

Breathtaking waterfalls!!!!

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Not a heights guy but honestly this was a lot less scary than the reviews would make you believe. The chimney was a challenge and you could tell a slip would be bad but if you are pretty sure footed with good balance the heights won't be an issue. Be prepared you will be boulder walking all day. Wear good footwear. Views were outstanding

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Spectacular hike with unbelievable views. Not recommended for the ones afraid of heights.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Katahdin is just fantastic. Very challenging, but that's what makes it fun. Lead eight people (three dropped) up Helon Taylor to Baxter Peak via Knife Edge. Let them go down the Saddle trail. Friend and I grabbed Hamlin and I soloed out to the Howe Peaks through a desolate wilderness that looked like no one had passed through in years. Did I say it was fantastic? We dropped down Hamlin Ridge the Chimney, back to Roaring Brook.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

it is very strenuous hike. A breathtaking view along the Pamola Peak to Baxter Peak wil be a life time memory for sure.

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