Katahdin Peak Knife Edge Trail

HARD 24 reviews
#2 of 23 trails in

Katahdin Peak Knife Edge Trail is a 9.1 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.

9.1 miles
5971 feet



nature trips

rock climbing




wild flowers




no dogs

Extremely challenging trail along steep, loose rock pile atop 2000 ft cliffs; fantastic views. 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 gap between Pamola and Chimney peaks can be very challenging because it is very steep and many of the rocks you have to climb up lean in towards the gap. These can be very dangerous in wet weather. Proper equipment and experience are a requirement. This hike should not be taken lightly and you should listen to the rangers prior to making the climb. There is not much help around if you run into trouble. This route is completely exposed and several people have died or have been seriously injured while attempting a traverse in inclement weather and/or high winds. Do not attempt to leave the ridge once you have started. Hiking Knife Edge across and back is not recommended due to its difficulty and the amount of time it adds to the hike it takes approximately 1 to 2 hrs. one way. Access to Knife Edge is from the Roaring Brook Campground. Hiking it from the Hunt or Abol Trails means ending at Roaring Brook Campground, an hour by road from your vehicle on the other side of the mountain. Shuttle service is not provided. Rangers will allow you to pick up if after about 3PM. There is no water on this trail. Trailhead Parking Lots: Roaring Brook Campground, Abol Campground, or Katahdin Stream Campground Note rangers require you to carry a flashlight.

16 days ago

Absolutely breathtaking! Nevertheless, it is HARD.

22 days ago

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.

1 month ago

The hardest day hike I have ever done and I have done every high hill on the east coast (to include Mt Washington 3x) and many out west. A couple of reasons for this. First this Mt is in a very isolated area. Literally in the middle of nowhere. Baxter state park is huge and very spread out. Despite that the campgrounds get reserved and filled up many months in advance. This is an issue as if you don't stay the park you have to get a parking permit (very limited numbers), take a shuttle from an outside campground (expensive and logistically a pain in the ass) , or hike in from the Appalachian trail (20 + miles).
We had to stay off park at the Adol Bridge campground, which is about 10-15 miles on a dirt road from the trailhead. The campground itself is pretty good. They have a free breakfast for people staying there, a small store and a place to eat. The people are very helpful and friendly. However, There is zero phone service and you are a long, long way from the nearest town. In any case we had to take a shuttle to get to the trailhead and they couldn't take us there until 9 am. This is very late to start on this hike. Our route was to be up Cathedral trail to the summit and down the Knifes edge. Cathedral is a easy hike for about 3 miles then goes straight rock scrambling to just short of the summit. Very tough, but fun. Do not attempt to come down this trail!! Up only. The weather was good until we got to the summit, it then turned sour with fog and rain. We very foolishly decided to still descend the Knifes edge trail. This turned out to be a big mistake. The rain made the trail almost impossible and to make a long story short we were lucky to make it down without someone getting seriously injured. I won't go into the details, I'll just say do not attempt Knifes edge unless the weather is clear and dry and you are in top condition. Myself and my two boys are experienced hikers and in the best of shape and I found it very tough and dangerous, see my pics. There was another much easier trail to get down, but we let our pride get in the way of good judgement. Don't make that mistake, IMO we were very lucky. In the end it took us 9 hours to hike 10 miles. I would love to do this again, but in sunny dry weather only.

1 month ago

1 month ago

Hardest thing I ever did in my life
Cathedral trail around the Knifes edge
Amazing , incredible , worth every soar muscle fiber I got from it
Do this trek !!! You won't regret it

2 months ago

2 months ago


2 months ago

3 spots were extremely scary on the Knife Edge:

1) Chimney Peak. There is a place where hikers have to descent a 7 feet drop to precisely land on a bread-looking rock footing. Reverse climbing needed, though you may hover a bit your body to stretch over if that makes it easier.

2) Skywalk. If you follow the blue markers, you will have to walk a 3 feet ledge where you have 30 seconds of back-to-back narrow footings on the cliff of a 500 feet cliff. You may go around the rock formation to avoid the cliff, however.

3) Chest Rock. There's a place where you have to swing over a chest-height rock that's sticking out to the cliff you're walking on. You will have to take a leap of faith because you do not have visibility of the other side until you swing over land on foot on it. Thankfully, it's flat

3 months ago

3 months ago

awesome hike!!!

3 months ago

4 months ago

Intense and with gusts of wind shooting up the slopes, unnerving. Definitely memorable.

4 months ago

most thrilling hike ever! bring at least 4 liters of water, and enjoy the views :)

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Friday, July 29, 2016

A wonderful experience. Challenging and satisfying

Thursday, December 10, 2015

AMAZING. So hard. Life-changing.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Aptly named. Knife edge was wonderful!!

Sunday, August 23, 2015


Thursday, May 21, 2015