Explore the most popular birding trails near New City 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

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

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.

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

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!

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.

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

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
3 months ago

This trail is in Baxter State Park and dogs are NOT allowed in the park. We hiked this from "The Birches" on the Tote Road to the Ledges with kids 7, 10, 12. The trail is well marked. The first part is a beautiful moss environment and we expected gnomes or fairies to appear. There are a few crossings of mud/water where you need to balance, but it was navigable. The ledges had many blueberries and a natural and cold waterslide the kids (and adults) enjoyed. Watch out for the more stagnant parts of the water as there were tiny leaches. The kids enjoyed it and said it was the best part of the weekend.

I hiked this trail yesterday and wrote a review on the Katahdin Mountain Loop Trail. This was an exhausting yet unbelievably beautiful and rewarding hike. Talk to the rangers when you come in about weather to make sure it’s clear for Knife Edge.

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!

Can't wait to do it again!

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

update: 7/21/18

Spent four days backpacking in Baxter State Park. Stayed one night at Russel Pond at lean-to 5 which is the most secluded, one night a Wassataquoik Lake lean-to then one night a Wassataquoik Stream lean-to. Hike out to Roaring Brook Campground where I parked.

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.

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

the stunning views from this climb are hands down far beyond anything else New England has to offer. Not even a close second and I've been hiking New England for many years and have seen lots.

This peak is more like something you’d expect to find in the rock mountains than in Maine. If you’ve visited Katahdin and Hamlin Peak, you need no explanation of how amazing this place is. If not, let the pictures do the talking. I have hiked many places in my life, from Grand Teton National Park to the Andes Mountains. But Katahdin is still my favorite, truly beautiful terrain and absolutely worth the effort. We took Hamlin Ridge up, which was a much more fun option than Saddle since it stays above treeline longer.

5 out of 5 on awesomeness, and 5 out of 5 on difficulty.

Insane views. This hike will test you physically and mentally.

This was an incredible hike. One of the best we’ve done! Unfortunately steely Dudley trail was closed (indefinitely). This meant that we could only go out to Baxster Peak and hike the same way back. Still well worth it! We hiked up Helon Taylor trailfrom Roaring Creek Campground. The whole trip was roughly 8 miles and took us about 5hrs 40min. Our pace was 42min/mile. On the way back we went around Pamola Peak instead of ascending and descending it again cutting off 20min.
Our biggest concern when finally making the trek all the way to Baxster State Park was the insects. We were here the first warm weekend of the season (Memorial Day weekend) which meant the mosquitos and black flies were all hatched and hungry! We would highly suggest strong bug repellent (with deet). And if you’re camping bring citronella candies. Although this was the case at the base of the mountain the wind kept the bugs at bay while we hiked. It was a beautiful day to hike but always expect wind once you’re above the tree line. The hike is rigorous and there are parts a the hike that you are required to do some climbing. The trail is very well marked so no worries about losing your way.
Our only regret was not having climbing gloves for the last stretch just because the rocks were a little tough on the hands. This hike is great for intermediate to advanced hikers (beginner hikers could make it to Pamola Peak (3.2 mi)). Go for it!

Very difficult for an active hiker approaching sixty years of age and requires a good weather day, but has to be one of the most spectacular hikes you can do. The loop took over ten hours to complete, as there are very few stretches where one can just walk. Most every step (or scramble) must be planned. Still spectacular.

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