Trying to find an “easy” way to hike Mt. Katahdin is like panning for gold in a swimming pool. The Abol Trail, by virtue of providing the most direct route to Katahdin’s Baxter Peak from a roadside trailhead, is often presumed the “best bet” by novice hikers. That’s a losing bet.
At 281.4 miles, Maine accounts for only 13 percent of the 2,178.3-mile Appalachian Trail. Statistics, however, are for maps. Ask anyone who has completed the entire trail and they’ll likely tell you Maine is the toughest state of the 14 trail states.
1.7 miles (one way; also doesn’t count the 3.3-mile hike in on the Chimney Pond Trail)
1-3 hours (ditto)
Difficulty: Pack the Aleve. Then double-down
I’ve never considered myself afraid of heights. Cautiously reserved, perhaps. One could even say I have a strong sense of self-preservation. But downright chicken—who, me? I don’t know what you’re talking about. Katahdin, the crown jewel of Maine’s Baxter State Park, has a not-so funny way of testing this resolve.