Mile 5 (ME): July 11, Mt. Katahdin

We daparted the AT Lodge and Ole Man drive us to Baxter State Park to summit Mt Katahdin.

Ole Man’s shuttle to Baxter State Park

Because Katahdin is typically the end point for most AT thru hikers, it did seem a bit strange to be doing it first. But it is the start point for us heading southbound (SOBOs).

We stopped at the small ranger station, got checked in and registered to stay in Katahdin Stream Campbround (KSC) that night. Baxter is the one place on the AT you’re not allowed to stay without a camp site. I had reserved a tent site some time back that would accommodate 6 people. There were four other guys on the same day who weren’t able to get reservations. So we all planned stayed at my site.

The ranger station had loaner day packs so hikers don’t have to carry full packs. I chose the most colorful day pack in the bin and loaded up snacks, water, warm jacket, headlamp, and small first aid kit.

At 8am we started off on the Hunt Trail which is the official Appalachian Trail: in addition to myself, our trail group was Troop Leader, Pigweed, and That Guy. Another hiker called Goldie was also sharing my site but his father had dropped him off and he was spending some time with him before heading up.

It was a steady ascent below tree line for about two hours. Once the trees started to thin out the boulder scrambling started.

Hunt Trail looking back

About another two hours of climbing we reached the plateau and could see the summit about a half mile further and another small climb.

There was a small group already at the top. We rested, ate lunch, and took a few pictures. By the time we finished nearly everyone had already started down.

Lunch break at summit

We decided to take the Abol trail down. It was quite a long descent and took us nearly five hours.

Abol Trail down
Abol Trail

I was quite tired when we reached the camp site. I set up camp, had a quick dinner, and went straight to sleep. It was a perfect weather day and seemed like a fantastic first day on the trail.

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