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Hunt and Helon Taylor Trail is a 17 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Millinocket, Maine that features a waterfall and is rated as difficult. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from March until October.

Length 17.0 mi Elevation gain 8,021 ft Route type Loop
Camping Hiking Nature trips Bird watching Running Forest Views Waterfall Wild flowers Wildlife Rocky Scramble No dogs
Description
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This steep and difficult trail loop summits Mount Katahdin in Baxter State Park. This is the highest mountain in the state of Maine and a popular alpine hiking destination in northern New England. It's also the ending place for Appalachian Trail thru-hikers finishing their trek from the starting point in Georgia. The trail loop follows Hunt Trail to Knife Edge Trail where hikers ascend Baxter Peak, Mount Katahdin,South Peak, Chimney Peak and Pamola Peak. Continuing on Helon Taylor Trail, hikers will make their way along Keep Ridge to the Roaring Brook Campground. The return trip follows Chimney Pond Trail to Basin Ponds, Great Basin and South Basin via Cathedral Trail and Saddle Trail, and back to Hunt Trail. The trailhead is located at the Katahdin Stream Campground.

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Reviews (108)
Photos (859)
Recordings (40)
Completed (373)
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April Endicott
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarOctober 13, 2019
Hiking

Parked at Katahdin Steam > up Hunt Trail > over Knife Edge > down Helon Taylor > Hired a driver out of Millinocket to drive us from Roaring Brook parking back to Katahdin Stream Four of us did this trail last month, and all of us concurred that it was the hardest hike any of us had ever done. A year ago I did the W-Trek in Patagonia, and this was definitely harder if distance is taken out of the equation. Boulders going up and boulders going down. I highly advise a little planning for this trip. Leave time to plan around bad weather. If you don't live in Maine, parking spots open up 2 weeks ahead of time. Reserving a parking space is a must! We arrived at Baxter State Park 45 minutes before the gate opened and were probably 20th in line to get in. The trail took us exactly 13 hours including lots of breaks and lunch before starting across Knife Edge. I openly admit I am a ridiculously slow hiker. We had no intentions of it taking that long, but the last hour was in total darkness. Bring a headlamp just in case. Also, must packs are 4-6 liters of water and gloves. There are no words nor are there pictures that can portray how incredible the top of Katahdin and Knife Edge is. I don't consider myself a hiker, back packer, athletic, or a risk taker, but now that the pain from this hike has subsided, I think I might do it again.

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ROBERT DAUWER
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Hiking

Great trail. Not boring.

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Steven Harris
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 29, 2019
HikingBridge out

Did this last weekend and I had a blast, myself and 4 friends completed this trail all for the first time. Some needed more breaks then others so it took us 5 hours up and about 3.5 hours down. Bring enough water and do not over estimate this trail. Be safe and have fun.

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Jessica Kurtts
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMarch 20, 2019
Hiking

One of our favorite hikes so far. We do wish we would have brought more food and water and an extra set of layers for the summit, but it was so worth it! We actually want to come back and do it again!

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Jason Taylor
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarNovember 6, 2018

I have done this trail twice and it is amazing! looking forward to doing it again. You can't beat the views. bringots of water and snacks. It takes a while to do and you will need the energy!

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Chris Boyle
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Hiking

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.

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Phil Sidebotham
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 23, 2018

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

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Eben Sypitkowski
Yellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarSeptember 4, 2018

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”.

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Amy Thompson
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarSeptember 1, 2018

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

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Brian Leadbetter
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 13, 2018

Had a blast on the hunt trail. waterfall was awesome. Getting through the boulders was a blast. Tough trail and it's pretty relentless after the first couple miles. I thought the hellbrook on mt Mansfield was tougher but it was shorter. This reminded me of Franconia a bit with the peaks. Hung out in the stream for awhile on the way back down. All in took 9 hours with about an hour of hanging out at the top and awhile in the stream.

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Kiki Hughes Clarke
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Hiking

I only plan to do the Hunt trails to ascend and then do knife edge trail and return.

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John Bremmer
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Hiking

Ascended on Hunt- think it is a great way to go up- I chose to take Abot down for variety- and think it is more enjoyable than taking Hunt down. A bonus on Hunt is you may end up walking with people finishing the AT as Baxter Peak is the northern terminus. They will have great stories! I don't think you need to be in excellent physical condition- I know I'm not and was able to ascend in a little over 2 1/2 hours.. I do agree with those that you should hike some smaller mountains first- mostly so you can enjoy what is an incredible hike when you do it -and not pay for it a couple of days later.. If it rains, this is a very different hike- the weather for me was perfect. One short shower gave me a taste of what it might be like if the rock is wet. Still doable, but I would be much more cautious with my steps. I hope to do it again and plan to Start and finish on the other side. Knifes Edge looks awesome!

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Annelaure Artaud
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 29, 2018
Hiking

I made it from Katahdin Stream campground to Baxter peak and then took the Abol for the return. I didn’t ask for anything before starting this hike, and ho my god, this was full of surprises and challenging. The view above the tree line is amazing while you climb the mountain.

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Brice Beasley
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 18, 2018

Took the Abol Trail on the west side of the mountain to the Knife's Edge Trail on the east side down to the campsite at the bottom of the east trails. Abol Trail was surprisingly steep in the middle and I almost slipped a few times where I would have probably fallen to my death. It was badass. The Knife's Edge is like something you'd see crazy people walking across in movies or YouTube videos. I highly recommend climbing this mountain. It was beautiful from all angles. I also met Miranda and Karissa, two really nice (and cute) girls who work at the park, at the bottom of the east sided trail head where they offered to give me a ride to the information center. A big thank you to them. :) 10/10

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Stealth Bomber
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 18, 2018
Hiking

Only did Hunt trail up to Baxter peak and back down. Beautiful trail, I can't wait to get back

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Kim Winburn
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The waterfall is outstanding! Gorgeous hike.

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Caitlin Messina
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Hiking

I think this is a great hike; however, I think the map and the trail description provided are grossly inaccurate. We started from Katahdin Stream Campground in the morning with the goal of reaching Roaring Brook Campground in the afternoon. With this being a lollipop trail listed as 17 miles, one could expect that it would be roughly 8 to 9 miles to the campground. Being that we were camping overnight at Roaring Brook we took full packs. We didn't see a single other person on the trail with full packs and once we started to get to the rock scrambling we realized why. Also, the gatehouse attendant, park ranger, and every other hiker we came across strongly recommended that we avoid Knife's Edge with a full pack. Way too dangerous. So we took the Hunt Trail all the way up to the summit of Katahdin, went down Saddle Trail, and took the Chimney Pond Trail to the Roaring Brook Campground. Total mileage per our Garmin's was 12.5 miles. We hitchhiked back to our car at Katahdin Stream Campground and got a hotel for the night because we were so spent and weren't going to attempt to hike back the next day. Don't get me wrong the views were amazing and the trail is pretty cool, but the description provided above and the mileage listed are seriously inaccurate.

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Meghana Madhusudhan
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 9, 2018
Hiking

Took chimney pond to saddle trail to reach Baxter peak summit. The saddle trail is fun with rock scrambling and amazing views. Once I reached the ridge, it was very windy and it’s a gradual ascent to the peak across the ridge. Great views from the top and highly recommend the hike!

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Damien Scott
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Great views from the top. Apart the last bit of bouldering needing to be done prior to reaching the ridge line this is a moderate climb.

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Janice Schlegel
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJanuary 20, 2018

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

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Chaz Wilcoxen
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJanuary 16, 2018
Hiking

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.

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Laurel King
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarNovember 5, 2017
Hiking

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.

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Chasidi Utter
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarOctober 22, 2017

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.

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Chris Badger
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Such a beautiful hike dudes

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Gale Allen
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Hiking

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

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Damien Scott
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 24, 2017
Hiking

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.

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Zachary Fisher
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 3, 2017

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.

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Olivia Tipton
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 7, 2017

I'm glad to see this is no longer listed as "moderate" , as it is anything but, if for no other reason than the trail is incredibly remote and storms crop up easily. But there's a lot that makes it difficult. I've done multiple summits in Utah and Nevada but none of them compare to the strenuous joy of bagging this peak. My dad and I summited Katahdin two years ago and it was one of the best experiences of my life. From the Helon Taylor trail, it immediately gains elevation--there's a lot of scrambling and light bouldering for most of the trail, and very uneven footing. Take a break once you get above treeline--the views are spectacular. Negotiating the Knife Edge involves a class 3 scramble, sheer drop offs on either side. Be mindful of your descent. Your two best options (for a day hike. Otherwise, continue to Hamlin ridge and descend via the Chimney Pond trail) are either the Cathedral Trail or the Saddle Trail. Both are knee-crushing steep, but the Saddle Trail is the lesser of the two evils. Even so, be prepared for major quad burnout on the way down over slick rocks and boulders. As opposed to scrambling back down a ridge and getting on a trail, the trails in BSP are so primitive, these descent routes don't even out for a while. Get ready for butt-sliding and taking time to lower yourself safely. When you get off the trail, go eat a meal in the Appalachian Trail cafe, have a beer, and book a massage.

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Douglas Farquhar
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Maybe my favorite mountain.

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Liz Cronkite
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Hiking

Amazing hike!

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