Hiking Mount Katahdin Part of the International Appalachian Trail


Waking up to the smell of sweet pine as the sun’s rays stream through the trees making puzzle pieces of light to dance around the ground of my tent is glorious to see, even when my first thought is, “Where is the outhouse?” In Maine, you don’t want to sleepily go down the wrong trail looking for the outhouse and finding a black bear instead.

After that is all taken care of – the facilities weren’t too bad – I built a fire in the pit and start some coffee. For me, getting ready for the trek ahead aids in the inspiring day ahead. It allows me to cement the memory that will forever be with me.

Katahdin_SummitAnd who could forget this part of the Application Trail. Mount Katahdin, a place where it is believed that the sun hits first in the United States, every morning. It is part of the International Appalachian Trail that goes from the southern US all the way into Canada. The mountain is the highest in the state of Maine at 5,270 feet. It has several trails at various levels of difficulty. I prefer the easier treks, maybe it is just my wandering nature, but I like to take my time when I am in such a beautiful place.

Katahdin, named by the Penobscot Native Peoples, is the northern boundary of the Appalachian Trail in the US. The International Appalachian Trail picks up again in Canada. The name means “Greatest Mountain”, a name it well deserves. I will be hiking along the backside of the mountain along Hunt’s trail. As I start, I am reminded to stay on the trail and about other rules of the road by a wooden sign at the base. I know the importance of this rule as I have had ancestors who were lost on this mountain for several days. It is not something I want to experience, so I will be staying on the trail.maine

About a mile up, we are blessed with a beautiful sight: a waterfall! It flows down rapidly and under a log bridge that we cross. This is a wonderful spot to take a break and fill our canteens. The water is so clear, you can see the fish.

Continuing to follow the trail marked with white paint on trees and rocks throughout the day hike brought so many amazing sights: a moose trying to knock down a tree, looking down on all of the other mountains at the rock line, and standing in the clouds as a light rain storm came in. But nothing compared to the sense of accomplishment of actually getting to the top. While the last mile may have been a little dull as I was always wondering ‘When will we be at the top?’, it was well worth the climb to get there.

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