Explore the most popular camping 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.

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

Very challenging hike up the mountain. Be prepared for a lot of dangerous rock climbing. Not for people with a fear of heights

same like semi rock climbing

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 :) .

Can't wait to do it again!

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.

Awesome hike. Prepare well for it. My buddy and I are both moderately experienced hikers and in good shape, been on 4+ day backpacking trips etc. This loop absolutely kicked our ass. 85 degree July day with no clouds had plenty to do with it. The vertical going up the first peak was basically nonstop rock climbing between boulders and ledges. The theme after that between peaks is you go through some covered areas and then get thrown out on exposed ridge lines for large amounts of time, rock hopping, then finally descend the third peak pretty well covered. They say do it counter clockwise which we did. Views are incredible the whole way. There is no water on the loop besides the lake when you start, so plan accordingly, we took a touch less than would probably be ideal and it made it a bit more difficult. We did it in around 8 hours, they’ll say takes 10. Legend had it that the day before we got there some Maine wild man had done it in 5.5, which to me is crazy. It’s a very doable loop and worth the workout to get from peak to peak, but definitely a difficult one.

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.

Amazing! I mean simply Amazing! The views are unbelievable, the lake is very pretty and a great place to swim after the hike, doesnt get nearly as busy as Katahdin does, only passed one other hiker myself hiking this trail, great camping area (need to register/pay to camp) make sure you check in with the ranger before hiking, this hike is extremely difficult, 90% of it is above the tree line so youre constantly in the sun, elevation gain is no joke and tons of rock scrambling, the weather can also be a little unpredictable on the ridges (got caught in a 10 min thunder storm myself) so bring a rain jacket and min of 2 liters of water per hiker!

hiking
Wednesday, October 11, 2017

I’d call this “hiking” as a very loose term. This is straight up rock climbing without the need for ropes and carabiners. Chose a gorgeous day with regard to temperature - winds were 20-25 mph with gusts at times to approx 35-40 mph. Made an already incredibly challenging climb even more challenging. This is not for the faint of heart or for those with a borderline crippling fear of heights. I had a lot of support along with a healthy fear of heights and thankfully a strong body and a no quit mind set. Please note, you are fully exposed along this “trail” and if it is raining or snowing don’t even attempt this. I agree with the other reviews that it should NOT be a trail that is taken to descend. The difficulty level is strenuous and challenging going up - down is in a game all it’s own. If you’re looking for a challenge, this is it. We completed the Chimney Pond Trail to Cathedral Trail to Baxter Peak, then across Knife Edge and descended Helon Taylor. Plan for a full day of hiking with a lot of changes of clothing to accommodate for the temperature changes as you ascend Mt Katahdin. Completed this hike on 10/1/17. **Additionally** we did encounter a black bear about a mile into our trek on Chimney Pond Trail. Just make sure you use caution and educate yourself about what to do if you run into wildlife. We had (obv) no issues, but worth tossing into the description!

hiking
Friday, September 29, 2017

Body took a straight pounding from this one and was sore the way back and the next day. All of the guys who did it were in really good shape and we pushed ourselves to the limit. Don't attempt this anywhere close to the winter. It made the bouldering suppppper difficult, the summit was windy and cold.

hiking
Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Went up cathedral while everything was wet, very challenging trail and slippery, the smaller lose rocks at the top coming back down to saddle get lose and can twist ankles easily, be careful on that part! 25-40mph winds at the top with about 40 yards of visibility... but it was amazing!!!

hiking
Sunday, September 17, 2017

My very first summit in the Appalachians, this trail took us about 11 hours with lots of stops for photos and snacks. It has one rough scrambling area but in general it's one of the most gradual and forgiving of the Katahdin trails, good for beginners looking for a challenge!

hiking
Tuesday, August 15, 2017

This is the most popular route up Katahdin. Great hike. Took us 10 hours on the dot. Hit the trail at 7:20 am, checked out at 5:20 pm. Amazing views from the top. The weather changes quickly - be ready for anything!

Great hike, most scenic hike in Baxter, rocky but fun. Day we went, person was re-doing the marking on the trail. It is well-marked trail now.

backpacking
Thursday, July 27, 2017

A great place to spend a day is at Wassataquoik Lake prior to arriving at Little Wassatiquoik Lake. Make sure you go to Green Falls next to Wassatiquoik Lake. Rent a canoe ($1 per hr or $8 a day. Rentals are the honor system pay at Russell Pond) there is also a one person kayak, from Wassatiquoik Lake southern shore to the post with blue paint supported by rocks on the east lake shore. From here it is a short trip .1 miles to Green Falls. Fishing is fun if you know where to fish.

hiking
Saturday, July 22, 2017

Summited Baxter Peak via chimney pond and saddle trails. High winds once we got up to the table lands. Did not make it across knifes edge. Will have to attempt another time. Beautiful views !

Tuesday, July 04, 2017

The most challenging section was between the base and the first cathedral.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

"Had" to go up Cathedral because of the slide on Dudley. It was rainy so the rocks were slick and there were definitely some sketchier passages, especially for the 5'1 member of our party. Skipped the knifes edge because of poor visibility, but you can still do an out and back on it if you want. Overall, making a loop up Pamola via Dudley is the superior hike, but while they sort out the slide Cathedral is a fine substitute.

Monday, September 05, 2016

LOVED this trail! This was one of my first experiences with bouldering/scrambling and I really enjoyed the hike.

Saturday, August 27, 2016

First timer, won't be my last. Excellent, had everything thrown at you, you want it, this trail has it.

hiking
Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Came down Saddle after going up Cathedral. The smaller, loose granite at the top was difficult to navigate at times but the views were amazing and the climb down was steady.

hiking
Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Unbelievably exhilarating and terrifying in spots. I'll do it again in a heartbeat!

hiking
Saturday, June 25, 2016

Amazing hike. Was caught in freezing rain on my way up and still had the time of my life. I have to do this trail again!.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Amazing views of the Katahdin basin as you as ascend this steep and exposed ridge trail.

Friday, September 18, 2015

Amazing trail, if you're into being completely exposed while bouldering and being on all fours for most of the trail. This is one I'll never forget and dream of doing again!

hiking
Thursday, June 20, 2013

Steep, rocky trail that will intimidate beginners. Other than one or two spots this trail isn't nearly as bad as it looks from Chimney Pond. And that's from a guy who has a fear of heights. Don't plan on going down this trail. It's really a bad idea. Beautiful views - nearly unmatched unless you do Knife's Edge.

hiking
Thursday, October 11, 2012

WOW!! Awesome, Hiked this trail with snow and ice on it. Very,Very cool. Highly recommended.

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