"The name alone has such a wild, inspiring, and inviting feel," says Scott Adams, a member of Backpacker's regional panel. "And the fact that we East Coasters have a substantial chunk of rugged, uncrossed trail is amazing. We should all see that as an invitation." The extra-burly route stretches from ME 15 in Monson to Abol Bridge in Baxter State Park.
Go from south to north and tack on a 14-mile climb of 5,268-foot Katahdin, Maine's highest point. On the route, you'll pass through tunnels of tight pines hiding moose, mirror-calm ponds, berry bogs, rushing streams, and craggy ridges with stay-awhile views. Go in late summer to avoid bugs and enjoy tales from thru-hikers. Allow nine to 12 days.
MAP AND GUIDE: Appalachian Trail Guide to Maine ($25, atctrailstore .org, includes maps)
TO TRAILHEAD: Southern end: From Monson, take Shirley-Blanchard Rd. to the AT.
Northern end: Baxter SP's Abol Bridge Campground (closed after Sept. 30), 20 miles north of Millinocket.
Distance: 91.95 mi
Total Time: none
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Pace: 0:00 / mi
Active Time: none
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Points of Interest
Location: 45.331215, -69.535934
AT continues straight across ME 15. To access Monson, ME (the last major town on the AT that LOVES hikers), turn R for 4-mile jaunt into town. This small and friendly town is often packed with hikers, as it serves as the last major town for Northbound thru-hikers before Katahdin and 100-Mile Wilderness. Monson has a sign in the center of town indicating distances to Springer/Katahdin.
Location: 45.340782, -69.523819
Location: 45.341499, -69.508430
Location: 45.351361, -69.498868
AT drops down a small gorge to Leeman Brook before scrambling back up to the trail to Leeman Brook Lean-to
Location: 45.685833, -69.012718
Trail to Sand Beach
Location: 45.706001, -69.007416
Trail to Potaywadjo Spring Lean-to
Location: 45.706768, -69.007347
Potaywadjo Spring Lean-to
Location: 45.706734, -69.008385
Potaywadjo Spring; 15-foot diameter bubbling sand spring
Location: 45.709015, -69.011597
Location: 45.713085, -69.011864
Location: 45.713768, -69.011528
Views across Pemadumcook Lake in Maine
Location: 45.729633, -69.027634
Location: 45.731133, -69.028069
Maher Trail/Maher Tote Road to White House Landing: Take this road and the blue-blazed trail to White House Landing, a popular resupply spot for hikers through the 100-mile wilderness. Blow the horn only during daylight hours to be picked up.
Location: 45.735451, -69.054680
Trail to Nahmakanta Stream Campsite (100 feet)
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