Explore the most popular birding trails near Millinocket with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

12 hours ago

Took this route down after coming up the Abol Trail... Woah, no way would I want to climb up it. They sure wanted to torture the thru hikers on their last miles of their trek on the Appalachian Trail. It's challenging, rough, tiring, with a little fun mixed in.

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.

2 days 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.

3 days 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.

3 days ago

Absolutely amazing trail, with a variety of landscapes. You start off on a fairly flat section through the woods along the stream. At about 1 mile in you will get to the beautiful falls. From there the incline picks up as you will climb hundreds of stone steps. After a reprieve from the steps, it levels off a bit before the boulders.

The boulders start just about at the tree line. After climbing the boulders you’ll get to the gateway, a steep rock scramble. If the weather is good, you’ll get some amazing views starting here. I thought the summit would be just after this point, but don’t be fooled. You still have a ways to go. Luckily after the gateway you get to the tablelands which is a pretty flat for the most part, and a surreal alpine landscape.

Finally there is the last push to the top, with sweeping views.

This hike is very challenging. Be ready for a long day. It is just an incredible experience and I highly recommend it be on any hikers bucket list. Baxter State Park is an absolute must see for anyone visiting Maine.

6 days ago

Read Katt Bernu's post from June 2018 for a good description. This was an awesome hike of a kind I've not seen elsewhere in the Northeast! I brought mechanic's gloves that had a protective, grippy palm, and I was very glad I had them for all the boulder climbing.

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.

7 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.

I hiked up from kidney pond. It’s about 9.4 miles up and back. I gave it 5 stars for the views. The south peak was the better of the two in my opinion. I didn’t meet anyone on the trail all day so if you’re looking for trail with few people in Baxter this is it.

The first 4 miles or so was easy hiking. The last 0.5 mile was more difficult climbing up rock and ledge.

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


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!

On my bucket list

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.

We did this yesterday morning before the thunderstorms rolled in. It was humid and not very windy, which is very rare for Katahdin. Started at Roaring Brook, up to Chimney Pond and then Cathedral to Baxter Peak. Took Knife Edge to Pamola Peak and Helon Taylor all the way down. It was a beautiful, warm hike! I’m not good with heights so Knife Edge was tough for me. Some parts are pretty tricky and I would never be up there except on a clear day. I saw people in tennis shoes but I would not have felt comfortable traversing Cathedral or Knife Edge without my boots. There was also a ton of water along the Chimney Pond trail and Taylor trail in the trees (I believe from all the rain the last few days). It would have been very difficult to do this in shoes and absolutely impossible to have kept them dry. We also came across a couple going down Cathedral but I wouldn’t want to mess with that. Cathedral, like other reviewers have said, is a full-body workout (scramble). It’s a TON of fun and exhausting but really great!

Wonderful trail. The falls were roaring and beautiful!

It's breathtaking! Great hike to do with the kiddos!

Never have I been so scared in my life but it was awesome!

25 days ago

Always a beautiful hike. It is very rocky so be careful with your ankles and knees on the way down.

Beautiful trail, falls are amazing! Met a few AT hikers/finishers. Trail was perfect, not too easy or hard

I did this hike a few times 25 plus years ago. The mountain got bigger, steeper, but no less beautiful when we did it this past weekend. We went up Saddle to Knifes Edge and down Taylor. It was a challenging hike and would not attempt it in bad weather ( at least not the knife edge). I would suggest going in the opposite direction so you can climb up Chimeny vs down.

It is incredible hike.

Challenging hike with diverse terrain and amazing scenery!

We started at the North trail head and hike up to the first peak only. The hike started well enough, fern lined and picturesque. After you pass the stream about 1.5 miles in, the trail becomes incredibly steep with giant rocks and steps to make. We took lots of water breaks and breathing breaks and made it with no real problems. The smell of sun soaked balsam was our reward for toughing it out, as the trees became a bit shorter and the sun poked through more frequently. The thick moss on the boulders surrounding the trail was enchanting, and finally we popped up a rock, around the corner and there we were on the summit.

We sat at the top for lunch and had fantastic views of the western side of Katahdin. We decided that we had no need to go to the second summit point even though it was SO CLOSE. (Playing in the water at The Ledges seemed more enticing.) The way down was much faster, although still very steep!

Lots of bug bites, but this IS Maine!

Trail was moderate to difficult and a test of mental and physical endurance. We had inexperienced hikers in our group so we took the Saddle Trail up and back to Baxter Peak. Unfortunately I was not able to cross the Knifes Edge. We decided to stay as a group and everyone made it up and back thanks to our team leader Doug Hunt an experienced AT guide Took us round trip 12 hours. Highly recommend this hike. A memory for the history books

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. :)


Very beautiful hike. We did it yesterday, a lot of mosquitoes, but it couldn’t spoil amazing time during the hike.

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

Dudley trail is CLOSED and being fully rerouted.

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