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Re: [at-l] hiking off of Katahdin
Yes, there are numerous ways off of Baxter Peak, as at least three trails meet
at the summit, and these cross several others at lower elevations. Perhaps the
biggest consideration once you get there is where you want to end up at the end
of your hike. The AT will will lead you back to Katahdin Stream Campground or
Daicey Pond, where you can probably camp for another night (at Daicey). The
traffic pattern in Baxter Park is highly regulated, especially in areas of
limited parking, and you may find this frustrating in terms of getting out of
the park. We were going to meet my Dad, so our situation was reliable and easy.
It can easily take 1 1/2 hours to drive between campsites.
Somewhere in NH, we talked to a guy who said the Knife's edge was "the biggest
rush east of the Rockies." So, we were determined to go across it. This is one
of the three trails from the summit, and leads down to Chimney Pond Campground,
then 3 miles further to the road and parking lot. The Knife's Edge is a sheer
stretch of trail where hiking is inadvisable in high winds. Had we been able
to see anything from it, I think it would have been a highlight of the trip.
It was still pretty challenging without the "distracting" views. The 3rd summit
trail also can lead to Chimney pond, but has numerous side trails.
You will have some advance planning opportunities at Shaw's in Monson, where
there is a detailed map of the mountain. Also at Daicey Pond, you can get all
the maps and trail information from the Ranger.
While these opportunities are nice to contemplate, they won't mean a thing
unless you get there in the first place.
Sir Goober Peas '96
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