What beautiful photos (for the most part)! 🙂 This kind of makes me want to get in to hiking. Nah, nevermind. I enjoyed my nap today.
Congrats on getting started! Hope Day 2 was easier. Excited to read about the rest of your journey!!!
Love it Darren, Just keep reminding yourself that after tomorrow it will get easier…..
Awesome adventure – enjoy every moment…..See you in three weeks…
Great so far Daren. You should have brought Fran to carry your pack, and Brad looks so happy knowing there are only 3 weeks ahead !
Have fun you two….so excited for you both..what a great time and great memories as brothers. Looking forward to seeing and hearing all about the rest of your trip..on face-book.
Love Aunt Debbie
1)La mejor correcciÃ³n para esas novelas horribles que mencionas arriba, margaret, es no editarlas. Hay mucho que releer para que se inunde el mercado con tÃtulos prescindibles, aunque, claro, de eso se trata, de mercado y no de ‘gestionar’ buena literatura 2) Yo sÃ estoy de acuerdo con al distinciÃ³n de Jonas entre editar o hacer editing con best sellers y obras, digamos, autoexigidas. Â·)Finalmente Â¿por quÃ© despierta tantos odios Olmos?
You have the monopoly on useful information-aren’t monopolies illegal? 😉
Reminds me of Turkish commando team are going to Palestine to get revenge of the aid workers who were killed by israeli commandos in the Flotilla bound to Gaza. They go on to hunt for the Israeli-zionist military commander responsible for the Gaza flotilla raid.
That’s not just the best answer. It’s the bestest answer!
Hi Chuck, if the facts are as straightforward as you present them, you should contact a lawyer. Depending on where you live, there may be a legal advice service in your area that will provide you with some free advice and/or access to a copyright lawyer at lower fees.
Hey guys looks like your having fun. Enjoy the rest of your trip. Looking forward to seeing/hearing more about it.
Hey you guys look good! And Oh by the way the beer and lobster I had last night was really great. Wish you were here, he he he ! Talked with Fran and Wyatt last night.
Have a safe trip.
Whew, you guys need a shower.
Hey Guys – really enjoying the pics and interesting commentary. looks like a good time (especially by the look of brad’s face) and be careful! Oh and we like that you’re keeping score on digs… nice. 🙂
So now you know why those crazy people run on the mountains. They are practicing for when there is a thunderstorm so they don’t get stuck at the top with lightning and rain.
By the way, our quote of the day was from Russ when he saw a pic of your brother and said, “So I guess we know what Daren would look like with a beard”.
Sounds like you’re having a great time. Stay safe!
Great description. I wanted to go before reading it, now I REALLY want to go. Need to find a babysitter and free time. D’oh!
Well you guys are doing a good job so far. We toasted you last night at the Puritan Restaurant with a Sam Adams ! Fran bought you a new Stove to cook on once you get home. take care and be safe.
Hey there Scottie – glad to hear you guys are doing well so far and made it through the thunder storms. Sorry you’re losing 7-6 and tripping is out of the question since it counts against you. But if a branch were strategically placed in a trippable manner, does that count against you? I’d think about that one… and i’m surprized you didn’t use the names of Frodo and Gollum. You are bigger fans of that movie and Brad could do the Gollum voice and it’d be a very interesting trip (not that it hasn’t been already). 🙂 Enjoying the posts and pics and have fun guys and be careful!
Since you need to stay at the “top of your game” you and Brad stayed away from the Brewery, Right ? Right !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Love the pics and commentary like always. The picture of brad, hmmm… little interesting with him hugging the sign but hey, if he’s having a good time then great! Joe and i have been to Northern Outdoors where you guys stayed. We actually did a rafting trip with my company years ago and though we camped out instead, we did go to that lodge for a beer later on. and realized we should’ve stayed there instead of our two man tent…especially when Joe ate beans the night before. enough said. 🙂
So have a great time this week and be careful you guys.
-maggie and joe
/ I keep listening to the reports talk about receiving free online grant applications so I have been looking around for the finest site to get one. Could you tell me please, where could i find some?
Love your presentation,ï»¿ I’m gonna try it tomorrow. One question – Am I supposed to release my breath inside water? Because I find the time my head comes out the water insufficient to release and take a breath!!
in addition, the degraded class structure that weakened rome's military, leading to crushing defeats and actual existential threat from the north — was the direct result of senatorial greed and the runaway expansion of latifundia both through appropriation of soldiers'/small farmers' lands and legalized theft of ager publicus
I had been wondering if you ever considered modifying the layout of your website? It is well written; I love what you have got to say. But maybe you can add a a bit more in the way of content so people might connect to it better. Youve got a great deal of wording for only having one or two pictures. Maybe you can space it out better?
That’s a creative answer to a diuicfflt question
We knew all along you were “Half-Crocked” nothing new here. It shows your young age if this is the first time you have heard of a “Privy”.
Great Pictures! Keep up the great hard work. Great weather ahead of you I believe…
Your in our prayers!
Love you guys Aunt Debbie and Uncle Bruce
Your Mom is going to KILL you (if a bear doesn’t first). Glad to see your time on the trail hasn’t effected your sense of humor.
Sorry to hear about the Croc. I know how close you had gotten.
Thank you! Wilderness hiking blogs need more references to AirWolf and any other super secret experimental helicopters.
Stay safe out there.
Chongae is helping your Mom put extra Ex-Lax in your next batch of Brownies !!!
Brad looks more like the Incredible Hulk than Walker Texas Ranger.
This is Uncle Bruce telling me what to type to ya. (He”s not a typer.) I was in monson on wednesday . I went to Blanchard. If I only knew I could of given you both a ride , chat or five hour engery drink. Sounds a great trip thanks for the up date.
Love Uncle Bruce
Love you guys as well Aunt Debbie
Great blog, Daren, I’ve enjoyed reading it between my multiple daily naps. Can’t wait to get out there and finish up the daunting final 100 miles. Good luck on the final leg of the trip. Tell Pierre I said hello!
My buddy and I had been just talking over this article, she is normally endeavouring to prove me completely wrong! I will show her this post and rub it in a little!
Daren dear, the batch of brownies is coming along very well….
Can’t wait to see you guys again!
Wish I was young and in shape enough to do what you guys are doing, I might even join you!
Relax – I’m not in shape.
Hope the weather cooperates for the rest of the week. Stay safe, Love, Mom oxo
PS to Brad – Saw Juliet, she’s getting so big and now has little rolls on her legs. She told me to tell you she loves you. See you soon hon, Love, Mom oxo
Hey Daren! Sounds like you guys are still plugging away and i’m glad to hear that Brad had “walker and Texas ranger” with him when you encountered the bear… my god i just about cried laughing at that. Stay safe and keep the pictures coming! Joe says your goal is to have a grizzly adam’s beard by the time you get back. 🙂
-Mags and Joe
Enjoyed your writeup! Just did this loop in the other direction, and now I think I know why *everyone* seems to prefer to ascend Falling Waters – coming down was an unrelenting exercise in not tripping off one sharp piece of granite and taking a header 10 feet down onto another one. I have run down Old Bridal Path, but it was a lot harder to maintain momentum safely down Falling Waters…
Am in the area for the week and this hike was suggested to me as a good ambitious one to do where I could start and end at my car! I was thinking that it would be better to do ‘not alone’, and was wondering if there is a place to find one or two others to go with on Friday (weather looks promising). Is there such a thing?? lol…thanks for whatever you can share.
Hoping not to leave NH without trying this 🙂
Looks like you had a good time. China is definitely one of those places I would like to go but I think I’d want a guide. I’m not sure I’d enjoy the travel time too much, but I am pretty adept now at functioning on very little sleep.
Good analogy. Jet leg is very much like living with an infant.
Well I guess the secret is out Daren, the only original thing missing are the original owners Harland and Mildred Hussey. They were real Maine entrepreneur’s !
Daren, nice article, however; you forgot to tell everyone how Fran felt the next few days after the hike ! Her mother say’s “nice guy”
The site looks kinda bad on my phone =(:)
He Deer hunts in the same outfit !
Read your article in DE as well as the 14 tips for hiking MAT. I was wondering at what age u would have kids hike MAT? Mine are 5 now, boy and a girl. Thoughts?? We’re in FL so ww have flat trails:)Thank you. Chris
Just did this loop this past weekend. Looks like you had some awesome weather on your hike! I was not that lucky. haha. Great page!
would you recommend going north bound or south bound i have bad knees so going down is bothersome, going up hill is better for me.please let me know . ill be there in august thankyou
Very nice – thanks for sharing. 5/5 stars
I just love this blogs design. Is it WordPress?
Thanks, Jona. Yes, the site is run on WordPress. The theme is “Canvas” from Woo Themes. The background dirt and logo I did myself. It maxed out my lack of design skills.
Hey Daren – I’ve really enjoyed reading your Hunt Trail and Knife Edge posts. I’m doing a little reconnaissance for an upcoming hike trip with my 14 year old son to Katahdin, and stumbled across your site. We have a parking reservation at Katahdin Stream and so will be hiking the Hunt Trail. Praying for good weather next weekend, fingers crossed for no more hurricanes. I expect we’ll be back at a later date for Knife Edge. Cheers – Steve
Great review! Many thanks for realistic advices! We arrived to the parking lot at 12:50 p.m. (slightly after noon you’d say?) and decided to do only half of the loop (stopping at mount Lincoln). We barely made it – took us 6:25 for easier part of the loop I’d say. Great advice not to start full loop after noon.
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Nice photo’s Daren, and a nice picture of the cool clear water you bye-passed. Enjoy the hikes ans scenery.
Good reading Daren, and the photo’s are fantastic.Can’t imagine being up there in a Thunder or snow storm !
The new shelter looks nice!
Wish I’d taken a photo.
Very thorough and detailed report! Thank you! Heading up there tomorrow..
keep an eye out for Lyme Disease. Some of the symptoms you described are commonly associated with it. The northeast is chock-full of Lyme carrying ticks, especially this “year without a winter.” Iron Mike ended up with it after we hiked with you and Brad in ME.
Oddly, I think it might have been caused by the ready-mix Propel I was adding to my water. I started getting sick again on another hike, and once I switched back to regular water I started feeling better.
Thank you so much for this site. It’s an incredible help as we plan our hike and future plans for BSP. Congrats on the summit!
You’re very welcome. Good luck on your hike. Please share some photos with us after on Twitter or Facebook.
Thanks, Daren. I’ve started reading and I’m sure will learn much as well as enjoy much. On the back cover a quote from Bill McKibben would be exactly appropriate for me to say, too, “What a gift to mountain lovers.”
Thanks for this post! I have been thinking about this winter hike for a while now. Planning on staying at the lean-to and hitting the peaks for sunrise and/or sunset.
You’re very welcome. Love the idea of a sunrise/sunset hike on Baldpate. If you do it, please share photos with us on Twitter or Facebook.
Awesome guide and pictures! The scenery makes me shiver.
Great post. Unfortunately, most retailers don’t stock a very good selection of hiking boots so you often have to go online to buy something. It’s a real problem.
Good point. Store shopping is especially tricky this time of year when retailers are between trying to unload last year’s models and rolling out the new boots for this summer. A recent trip into EMS had me on my third request before I even found something in my size, and I’m in the average size range.
I like bright colors because I just do, but I’ve always realized that bright colors for climbing gear had a visibility function. That being said, check the price tags on brightly-colored gear vs. gear in earth colors. The bright stuff is always more $$$.
Good advice, thanks Tom!
Great write up, thanks for sharing. Are you carrying an SLR on these adventures?
No, just a simple point and shoot. Too nervous I’d bust an SLR. Thanks for perusing the site!
What a glorious day! I can’t get over how blue the sky was. I’d love to go on a snowy hike in the Presidentials some day.
It’s awesome, Mike. Put it on the bucket list!
If you choose the right outdoor clothes, then definitely outdoor clothes will keep you safe. If you make the right choices in the way you dress, it will dramatically impact your level of safety and comfort. Outdoor clothing aims to protect you both against the weather and to keep you dry and comfortable.
Well put, thanks David.
You’ve done it now, Daren! I want to reach the summit of Katahdin even more now than ever before. Great post – loved the history and folklore about the mountain.
Im going on this hike the first weekend in August and was trying to make it a weekend one and do some camping can I camp anywhere up there I mean as long as im a 1/4 mile off the trail?
Corey, the Forest Service monitors the ridge trail and strongly encourages people to stay on trail to protect the alpine vegetation. Given the high volume of hikers/backpackers that this area gets, this is most definitely for the best. There are designated camp sites on Mt. Garfield and Mt. Liberty that you probably want to plan/shoot for. Lafayette is almost all open above the Greenleaf Hut, rocky and exposed to the elements, so this mountain isn’t really conducive to stealth camping.
Thank you very much that was helpful
I live in Saint John New Brunswick and will be heading down in 2 weeks to hike the mountain and see the sites in New Hampshire. This description was the best that I have read in detail , thanks
Thanks Lorne, glad you found it helpful!
I did it on July 2. It is an exhausting climb to the top. Took almost exactly 4 hrs as predicted. Yes, I am older & slower, but do not underestimate this climb. Hard work. I was delighted to take the hiker shuttle bus back down. Great experience.
There’s no way to get down from Helon Taylor Trail without doing the Knife Edge or Dudley? There’s no easy on the knees way down? Can one go up Helon Taylor and return down the same trail or would that be too difficult?
It’s Katahdin, with tons of rocks and steep elevation gains, so any route will be felt in the knees if you are prone to knee issues. The Saddle Trail is considered the “easiest” trail, but from Helon Taylor you have to cross the Knife Edge to get there. If you go up Helon Taylor, returning via that trail or the Dudley Trail are the only options without braving the Knife Edge. Helon Taylor is a trail you could use trekking poles on to take pressure off your knees. Just pack the poles away if you try going though the Knife Edge chimney. Good luck!
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Thanks for taking the time to post. It’s lifted the level of debate
… 2/26/2007 2:45 odp.4. StydÃm se za ÄlovÄ›ka, kterÃ½ nemÃ¡ vyÅ™eÅ¡enÃ½ svÅ¯j vlastnÃ Å¾ivot. DÃ¡vÃ¡ tÃm najevo opovrÅ¾enÃ lidmi, pro kterÃ© sluÅ¡nost, morÃ¡lka, vÄ›rnost, pravdomluvnost nejsou prÃ¡zdnÃ© pojmy.PromiÅˆte ale nikde tu nemohu takovÃ½ pÅ™ÃspÄ›vek najÃt. Na koho reagujete?
Jacqlyn Smith,I believe you are correct.If they had to cough up the Kenyan birth certificate, Obama would go to prison.That would definitely be an embarrassment to Mr.Obama, his family, and the fourth of the Nation that voted him into office.
Ah, si eu ma plangeam ca ma bat aproape toate incaltarile. Se pare ca se poate mai rau 🙁 Incerc sa-mi iau tenisi/sandale din panza, parca se adapteaza mai usor formei piciorului meu. Adela, ai incercat sa-ti faci pantofi pe comanda? Ca sa fie exact marimea ta. Eu am unii pentru dans, nu m-au batut deloc deloc. Singura problema e atunci cand stau mai mult cu ei si mi se umfla picioarele, atunci ma cam strang. Dar cred ca o sa se "muleze" intr-un final.
I am sooo disappointed with the changes of letting Eric Wilson and Jacqueline London go. I have been hoping and praying that they would come back. I loved my morning news and looked forward to waking up to both Erik and Eric. There is no way that I would ever believe that this is what the viewers wanted is to get rid of two great people . I am with the viewers that will be looking at other news channels now. And if channel 6 really wants to get rid of someone, please get rid of Ping! This guy is very annoying and should not be on TV, much less the daily news!
Thanks for the detailed write-up, it got me really excited for my own winter adventures this summer. I plan on doing Mt. Lafayette and a few other small New England Peaks this winter. Will be my first “mountaineering”/”snow climbing”, so I was wondering if I could run a few questions by you? Stuff like what gear and clothing you recommend? Do I need an alpine back or will a 20L BD Hollowpoint be fine? Do I NEED snowshoes, or will crampons suffice? And then clothing is the big one for me.. Any advice would be really appreciated…
Thank you, this was super helpful. This was all very helpful info that would have taken me a dozen forums to compile. Only follow up question I have is if you could recommend any entry-level hikes before trying to tackle Lafayette? I’m looking to hike up some summits in the Northeast, but like you said I might want some hikes a little easier than Lafayette…
I agree with Larry, even though I had trained for the climb, I found it difficult. Two years later, I can’t wait to try it again. Please note, however, if you don’t want to climb down, you can take the van shuttle. It cost $30.00 and takes about a half hour. By the way, this report was as accurate as it gets.
Where was that last picture taken? Amazing view!
You’re testing my memory, Mazz. It’s in the 100-Mile Wilderness, but I don’t remember exactly where. Possibly a ledge near the beginning of the Barren Chairback Range.
that was taken on barren ledge, you are looking at lake onawa and borestone mountain.
borestone is 11 miles outside monson and is an awesome day hike, barren ledge is also doable as a day hike.
Great essay. I guess I’m an intermediate hiker (two sections of the AT under my belt, one section in the Cascades). I’m doing the Whites in a few weeks for the first time. Just a few questions: how much weight does each of your dogs carry? Is it all food, or do they also carry their own water? (how much water total do you take?). Do they need training to do, say, a 15-mile daily hike?
Hey, Sheba and I thank you!
Hey GreenPete58 and Sheba! Kudos on the section hiking – definitely something we may get into in the future! For health reasons, a dog should carry a maximum of 25% of her body weight and should be introduced to her pack and the weight gradually. Some dogs may be most comfortable at much less than 25% so I recommend knowing your pup’s body language well and watch for signs of discomfort, soreness, or just a sense of “blah.” 🙂 One thing I find helpful is to stuff Tango’s pack with bulky items so that I can carry a smaller pack but I am not asking a lot of him in terms of load weight (he gets tired quicker than me and Ty.)
For two dogs (50 and 63 pounds) who drink from natural sources (watch out for giardia!), I carry about 1-1.5L for a 9 mile hike this time of year but increase that in the summer and/or choose hikes that pass multiple water sources. Ty carries water but never food. I get a little paranoid about her carrying items with scent to them.
A 15 miler should be built up to but the amount of training depends on the dog, what level and type of exercise she is accustomed to doing regularly, and the terrain of the planned hike. A big reminder I always give, and sorry if it is old news, is not to forget about her pads. For example, a dog who does most of her exercise on dirt or grass may have a tough time trekking over rocks for hours!
Happy Trails to you and Sheba!
Thanks Krista… yep, pads are a concern. Sheba and I do 2-mile runs on the sidewalk. She’s had a couple sores break out, but normally she’s ok. On rocky trails, though, it might be a problem. Anyway, I’ll store away your advice for a possible future hike with her. Thanks again!
I just picked up a jar of Mushers Secret…essentially wax and oils for your dog’s paws. Just applied it last night after a couple of recent hikes. We will see…
My pleasure! Sounds like she’ll have the interest and stamina for a shorter hike to start but will love the double digits once she builds up to them. Have fun!
Woodstock Inn? Really? The beer is average at best and the kitchen is a pig sty. And yes I’ve been in it
Using the criteria outlined, what would be your list?
Tu es excusÃ©e de ce manquement Ã ton devoir !!!mais qu'on ne t'y reprenne plus ;)Quant Ã noÃ«l j'en parle pas…les fÃªtes moi tu sais… :p :pallez…plions nous Ã ses rÃ¨gles sociales qui veulent que l'on souhaite de bonnes fÃªtes au gerNN..alons….BO.sES FÃŠTES !!!!!! 😀
nice description of what appears to have been a great great hike. Thanks!! Do you have a map of the route you took?? Happy trails!!
Thanks, Mark. I don’t have an online map plotting my route. For the hike, I used the AMC’s White Mountain Trail Map #5 for Carter Range – Evans Notch. With a good map, there’s a ton of variations on this hike that could be done.
Enjoyed your article and pictures.
I must admit, I enjoy the challenge of “ledges” and/or bouldering or climbing where aids are not needed.
Regardless, nicely done!
Thanks, Ken. I’m with you, I enjoy the ledges too. On the site I try to be mindful that people of all different hiking experience and comfort levels may be reading the post, so I try to give fair warning when there are significant challenges. That said, I also try to have fun with it…
Any ideas of a 3 day hike in Maine that is easier (I know, it’s Maine, not very easy), because my mom REALLY wants to go on a hike with me, but she’s a heart patient. She can get along alright as long as it’s not a lot of major elevation gain.
Hi Christine. I’d suggest the stretch from East Flagstaff Road/Bog Brook Road (after Bigelow) to Caratunk. 20 miles, 2 shelters, 2 ponds, nothing over 2,000 feet. Caratunk to Monson also not too bad, though there are two mountains with short but steep sections (this would be 38 miles). Another possibility would be to hook onto the 100-mile wilderness anywhere after White Cap Mountain. Just don’t overlook Nesuntabunt Mtn., it’s really short, but also steep.
Thank you so much for taking the time to get back to me.
On the way to Mt. Garfield you take rt 93 (not 95). Just wanted to let you know so your followers don’t end up in Maine!
Great catch. That would explain all the angry e-mails. Thanks for pointing it out!
A great read! I’ve been looking into this hike for a bit now. I think I’ll do it in 2 or 3 days.
This was a great hike. Not too difficult but the views were fantastic.
Thank you so much for having this overview! I found it to be extremely helpful in planning my trip this coming Labor Day! Any comments on the weather at the top of the mountain during this time of year?
Your welcome, Christi. Thanks for checking out the site. Good luck on the mountain. Weather advice? Be prepared for anything!
gOSTEI DA NOVIDADE, E DA FORMA DE ESCLARECIMENTO AO CONSUMIDOR,QUE VÃŠ COMO UMA OPORTUNIDADE DE VIAJAR MAIS VEZES EM VÃRIOS MOMENTOS DE SUA VIDA QUE NÃƒO SÃ“ EM FÃ‰RIAS PROGRAMADAS.
Merci pour la mention.Je vous invite Ã©galement Ã suivre la prÃ©sentation de Cliff Dennett, lors de cette mÃªme confÃ©rence, qui a crÃ©Ã© la sociÃ©tÃ© Soshi Games et qui est un expert reconnu dans la gamification en entreprise (il Ã©tait auparavant en charge du laboratoire d’innovation pour les entreprises de Lego)
not living in some fool’s paradise, I was LATE…simple as that. I take full responsibility. I can’t blame it on anything. I guess that was my way of coping/healing…to create something to give myself a 2nd chance…even to save my mother’s life.Have a lovely day.—Verde
Wonderful exatnpalion of facts available here.
Awesome job here. I love the humor and the detail really helped build confidence for this hike. I’m headed out this weekend and will repost upon my return. Thanks!
Thanks Tyler. Good luck this weekend! Please share your photos with us on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.
Thank you for sharing! I’m not ready to try it myself, but maybe someday!
Re: Hike Bigelow Via the Fire Warden’s Trail
Great article and pictures!
After camping at Avery Peak, did you and your son take the Fire Wardens Trail back down from Bigelow Col, or did you take the AT Horns Pond Trail Loup down?
Did you come down the same way you went up?
I was wondering, if you did in fact descend directly down from Bigelow Col on Fire Warden’s Trail, was the 0.7 mile steep rock staircase hard to descend?
My question is: Is it possible to just go straight up Fire Wardens Trail to Avery Peak, and then at Bigelow Col, return straight down Fire Warden’s trail?
Do day hikers do that? Is the trail marked clearly for the trip down that way?
I’d like to just go up and down the Fire Warden’s Trail, and not take the Loup, but was concerned about going back down the 0.7 mile of steep spiral rock staircase.
Is that what you and your son did?
Thanks for your help!
Yes, you can go up and down on the Firewarden’s Trail. It’s steep on the upper part, but mostly all rock steps and no ledges or anything like that. No worse than any of the other descents.
Thank you so much Daren!
FYI It’s actually Exit 31 (32 is Main St. in Lincoln)
Good catch, thanks for pointing it out!
simple elegance from head to toe.Thank you for creating AS. When things get a bit to much around here I link up with your blog to wonder what are the Advanced ladies in New York (Paris) up to. It always brings a smile. This understated style suits me in particular. Never unrteestimade the power of the perfect coat.
Completely agree. Holden is much better than Torres, Edu, Beckerman, etc. Hopefully he can get, and stay, healthy. My “all healthy” A team would be:————————- Altidore ————————————– Donovan —– Dempsey ————–————– Bradley ——— Holden —————————————– Jones ————————–F.Johnson —– Boca — Gooch —– Chandler————————- Howard ————————Of course, this is hoping Chandler picks us. He is much better than any other RB’s not named Dolo.
My boyfriend’s irish, my friends are irish, my boyfriends irish cousins are over here in UK too.Plan for Paddys day today is to drink all day and watch the Six Nations Rugby. I’m English so if England lose against Ireland I’ll never hear the end of it! X
Definitely not too shabby. You guys rock! Fran may kill you for the ring pic though. Well at least you called it the precious. You make me want to put on my hiking boots and hike a mountain. Well, maybe my sneakers and go for a walk. They say soaking in a tub with epsom salts helps the soreness but you orobably already know that.
What could go wrong with taking your ring off on a rocky mountaintop?
A lecture from the wife !
Great journal. Did the hike the opposite way about 13 years ago, and I will be doing it this way, in a few weeks. Not sure how kind it will be on my aging body, but as my Uncle red would say, “Let it Rip.”
Hiked up the Bridle path on Sept 11th…. initial plan was to do the whole deal.. Franconia Ridge. It started raining. It started pouring. Hooked up with a great guy fromOhio and we made it to Greenleaf, full of hikers trying to dry off. The lightning when we were fully exposed to the ledges was nerve racking. I stayed at the hut for an hour and the weather finally settled. Wasn’t crazy enough to attempt the ridge with 60 mile and hour winds. Came back down Bridle path and the sun came out. Excellent views. One quarter of the way down an emergency helicopter went over my head. I hope it wasn’t my buddy! Will come back to attempt the whole Franconia Ridge, but will make sure the weather is my friend.
Nice hike,Great view.
Where do we find the overall results of the AT in a day? I did GA portion.
Great write up and spot on comments about the Falling Waters Trail. I have read too many accident reports about FW trail claiming victims slipping on those rocks. I did this trail a year ago and was amazed at how the mist reached so far onto the trail making those ledges very slippery.
I want to hike up Bridal as far as Walkers Ravine. I heard it’s 1.9 miles. How will I know when I am there? Is it the first view point? I will then turn around and go back down. I don’t want to get ALMOST THERE then turn around too soon. Any ideas from you experienced hikers?
Thanks…….and happy trails!!
I want to point out departure should be plenty early, so you don’t run out of daylight coming down. I left a little late and almost ended up in the waterfall. Leave yourself a little extra time to get down those slick blocks of wood!!
Hiked this with my now husband back in 2003 and what a debacle! I wish we had this great article back then…we hiked up Falling Waters and we were supposed to take Old Bridle down but…
This hike was the biggest learning lesson of my hiking life so far. Preparation. We intended for it to be a day hike but started out way too late in the day. We had no idea what the trail looked like and I left all the planning up to him so I didn’t study the length, elevation climb, etc.
Long story short, we ended up at the top of Little Haystack as the sun was going down. I hadn’t eaten or drank enough and my body started letting me know how upset it was. We missed our turn off for Old Bridle and it was so dark, we had no lights, so we just started cruising down the side of the mountain until it was too dark to go further. Pulled up a rock and waited for the sun to rise.
AWFUL night but BUT, knowing what I know now…I would like to return and do it right. Great information here, thank you! 🙂
Wow. Amazing article. I was planning to hike this mountain in Mid January. Is it safe for beginners ?
Tell Princess Abby that Travis is working on a special video just for her. ;0) So, be watching for it! LOVE YOU GUYS and love your Shakin booty video- our kids were cracking up! Love, Amy
Yeah that’s what I’m talking about baby–nice work!
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Hahahaha so true for the “worst weather” sign! That’s good logic… 4 years later, never too late to laugh!!
Please don’t judge me for this question… at any point in this hike did you find yourself dangerously skirting the edge of a very long drop? (I would love to hike up with some friends this summer but taking the auto road last summer was sheer terror & now I’m gun-shy).
Laura, it’s steep but safe if you stay on the trail. Freelancing off trail can put you in serious danger of being near a cliff.
I too wondered if the hike up Mt. Washington involves being on or even near any sheer drop offs? ( I have driven up a few times and find it terrifying.) Also, follow up question – if the trail avoids any dangerous edges/ledges, how easy is it to find, stay on, and follow the trail? Are inexperienced hikers likely to lose the trail and get lost? I’m worried about this if it isn’t clearly marked.
If your articles are always this helpful, “I’ll be back.”
Andy,That is awesome. Your newest shots are some of your best!That is cool how things got started for you way back in Houston. Here is to many more years to come for you gallery!!
Hola Cecilia, despuÃ©s de todas las cosas bonitas que te han escrito tan sÃ³lo me queda unirme a todos los piropos y darte las gracias yo a ti porque cada vez que visitas mi blog o dejas un comentario lo enriqueces con tu cariÃ±o. Gracias por transmitir siempre cosas tan bellas. Felicidades por tu primer aÃ±o y por tu Ã©xito, espero celebrar contigo un montÃ³n mÃ¡s. Un beso con todo mi cariÃ±o, Ana
Hej soliga sÃ¶ndag!Efter haft sjukstuga nÃ¥gra dagar, otroligt trÃ¥kigt, kan jag rekommendera c- vitamin intag! TÃ¤nkte sjÃ¤lv gÃ¶ra frÃ¤ch fruktsallad i veckan med vindruvor, melon av olika sorter, apelsin, passionsfrukt, pÃ¤ron, Ã¤pple… med vaniljvisp och strÃ¶ssla solroskÃ¤rnor Ã¶ver (efterson vi Ã¤r nÃ¶tallergiger). Ha en bra dag. Elinor i VÃ¥rgÃ¥rda
Hiya.â€¦.Nice read, I just passed this onto a friend who was doing some research on that. And he actuÂally bought me lunch because I found it for him smile So let me rephrase that: Thanks for lunch! â€œWe strain to renew our capacÂity for wonÂder, to shock ourselveâ€¦
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Hey dude, awsome review. I’m thinking about going up to this mountain this weekend. bringing someone along with me that might not be as comfortable as me on the moutnains. any chance you can give me a bit more detail on the alternative rount you took up the Chimney?
Kevin, what all did you do to finish up the workout? There’s sooo many exercises that will help with a bigger bench. Would be neat to see you perform these ALL OUT. This will help drag it out a bit too – just for entertainment value
Did the Helon Taylor Trail last year and the trail up was rugged but this is my 61 year old body talking. We also descended by the same route which I didn’t find terribly difficult and the rock formations (which I didn’t notice on the way up) were spectacular. The toughest part was the texture of the rocks. My legs looked pretty beat up at the end. All said the hike was totally worth it. I’ve seen Knife’s Edge from Baxter Peak so this was a way different perspective and it was worth the trip.
Good information, planning a hike of the Whites and Washington later this year..
Sonia, estamos de mermeladas, esta semana yo he hecho una de limÃ³n que estÃ¡ muy buena y realmente es diferente a todas las demÃ¡s. Esta tuya la voy a probar pronto, tengo calabaza y naranjas cultivadas por mi padre.Besos
Neat picture of the fairly rare (endangered in VT, special conservation in NH) spruce grouse. Lucky sighting
did this on saturday, it was labeled as an “intermediate” hike by the hike organizer. I have been hiking for over ten years, novice, intermediate and advanced summits. This was no intermediate hike. The descent was treacherous. I wouldnt recommend this to anyone who doesnt have crampons and axe or experience.
Hello! I have a NH AT question. Many years ago my friend and I went out to backpack the Mahoosuc Range from Gorham starting on the Centennial Trail at the end of May. Were we in for a weather treat we weren’t prepared for! Pouring rain, low clouds and visibility. I thought it was the first real peak we hit that had a rock slide to the top – am I remembering wrong? Or was that Success? I think it was before we reached Carlo Col. There were no views at all or I’d have a better memory of it.
Hi Jim. I don’t recall any rock slides. Success is open granite on the S to N approach, and there are some steep ledges coming down the opposite side, as well as a steep rock scramble into the col before Carlo. Does that help?
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Sur le forum, j’ai quand mÃªme lu des mecs qui avec 2 grand chelem de plus, cad 8, considÃ©reraient Nadal comme le GOAT, je sais pas trop comment mais bon, c’est te dire. Globalement y a plus de pro Federer, des mecs qu’on rÃ©flÃ©chit un peu plus que savoir si Nadal en a une plus grosse, qui s’exprime.Hier Ã§a faisait mal, voir plus de soutien pour Ferrer -Simon Ã cÃ´tÃ© c’est McEnroe- que pour Federer.
Love the photography work that came with your hike review. Finding a good winter hike can definitely be a little bit of a task. Out of curiosity I’m seeing the comment about this being above an intermediate hike, are there any particular winter hikes you would recommend for beginners who are relatively new to the area but are still worth doing? Curious where you would point to someone just starting out. Thanks!
Thanks, Shane. If you’re looking to do one of the 4,000 foot mountains, Pierce via the Crawford Path is a good place to start: https://www.northeasthikes.com/winter-hike-mt-pierce-via-the-historic-crawford-path/
Awesome! Thanks for the quick response I’ll definitely be checking this one out for my next area winter hike!
Last did the complete loop in 1983 (yes–I’m old) and have done the Falling Waters–Bridle Path loop many times since.
I remember the Garfield Ridge between the Garfield shelter and Lafayette is pretty rough. In your opinion is it one direction easier than the other.
Pretty much a coin flip, but going from Lafayette to Garfield would be my vote for slightly less tough because I’d rather go up Lafayette than down it.
If you’re reading this, you’re all set, pardner!
Best blog about a hike I’ve seen. Thank you – it was extremely informational.
Looking for help I want to do the pemi loop next week I’m new to over nite hikes do I need a permit? Can i set my tent wherever or has to be at site?I’d greatly appreciate any help
There are rules governing where you can camp in the WMNF. You should look them up. You don’t need any sort of permit to hike or camp so long as you follow those rules (obviously you’d need reservations to stay at any of the huts).
Great write up, thanks! We have done 12 of the ADK 46 with more coming and plan to tackle Mt Washington this summer. We’ll let you know how we do.
Ya learn something new everyday. It’s true I guess!
very informative post. hoping it helps me tomorrow when I head up there for the first time. 😊
Not an experienced hiker? Do you “think” you are…Please take the time to read my review. Our family is active and loves adventure especially a great hike. We wanted to really challenge ourselves so tried hiking the whole loop starting with waterfalls. After reading everything we could find online we were aware the hike took most around 8 hrs. We left at 8:15am planning on a 10 hr hike recognizing we would be slower than most. The climb up the waterfalls although amazing meant crossing water several times. Not wanting to fall I took off shoes and socks. (We did bring dry socks but not shoes). The way up was difficult for me at 42 with 40 lbs of extra weight. Knowing what I can handle in the gym (Crossfit) I knew I had the strength and could get through the cardio. What I didn’t anticipate was the constant drops from peak to peak and down the mountain. Having severed several ligaments in right knee and functioning bone on bone at this point with metal holding everything together it was a killer for me. Every drop I held my daughters shoulder (16) to ease the impact. Walking sticks were recommended repeatedly. No doubt my family (husband 12,16,and 18 year old) could have done the hike better without me. Great news is I finished and mentally that feels incredible. Bad news is it took 13.5 hours without a stop longer than 20 min. If you did the math we finished the hike in pitch dark. Thanks to the couple that was aware of our pace and gave us a flashlight. Our son (18) was back at the locked car hours before us. They stayed with him,gave him food,and called us several times to check on our progress. The trail is every bit as amazing as others have said but due to a knee injury I had no business up there. Our success had a lot to do with tons of hydration several days leading up to our hike. I drank 120 ounces while hiking. Hope my honest review helps someone make a safe decision preventing a hard day. Go hike…just pick the right trail for your body and enjoy God revealing himself through creation.
Thanks, Tamara, for sharing! I’m sure there are a lot of people who can learn from your experience.
Very helpful. Just the info we needed!
My older brother took me for my first ever White Mt. backpacking trip in 1975. We came up the Old Bridle Path, overnighting the first night at the Garfield Tentsite and down in the Pemi Wilderness on night two. I remember the blackflies (early June), the blisters (boots not broken in), the merciless 0.8 mile ascent to South Twin Mt., and how remote the Bondcliffs felt. Within 2 years I had moved to New England and I have never left. I’ve done all the NH 4000 footers, but these peaks we’re my first and will always remain special to me.
My son and I have been thinking of doing this hike.(age 15 & 57) We do day hikes, Mount Moosilauke,Black Mountain,Blueberry,Mount Cube and Camels Hump in Vermont.This would be the most challenging,and if we do it I plan on being at the trail head at daybreak.Also leaving the 9 1/2 year old large breed dog at home, Mount Cube at 6 miles was a push to her limits. Thanks for all the info!
great info,thank you. Do you know what the mileage/time frame would be, to hike up Beaver Brook and come down the Gorge brook trail?
Reminded how much I respect this wonderful area, because over Labor Day weekend, my G’son and a friend were in Greenville, and decided to climb Katahdin. Long ago memories of my years at GS trip Camp Natarswi in Millinocket came flooding back. As a relatively unathletic kid, I loved/hated some trails there–specifically Knife Edge, Cathedral , etc., but forever grateful to patient skilled counselors who got us safely through those unforgettable adventures. “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times”. . .and I’m grateful to have had it all. Didn’t expect to be experiencing it again while worrying about the G’son’s safety!
Loved your funny and real comments. Thank you for such bringing back the memories, and the laughs.
P. S. I know about Donn Fendler’s book.
I hiked Arethusa all the way to the falls and back it took a lot out of me but it was fun can’t wait to hike again
We are planning on heading to the northeast of the USA for some good hikes next year. Mount Washington is definitely one that makes the list. I drove through the White Mountains while on a road trip through New England in 2008 but now it’s time to see these beautiful states from up above! Thanks for the great post; it is very informative and certainly makes us want to get over there that much sooner now.
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Enjoyed this article. It was very good and descriptive. Thinking of taking the kids on a weekend trip through the range.
Thanks for the post, son and grandson are on the mountain this weekend.Great to see were they are from my chair by the fire!
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Did this trail once with my then gf, once with my dog and she gave up at about 3200′, once with a couple of friends who couldn’t do all of the cascades, but it still wasn’t as demanding as Tripyramid…
yeah, this one really tuckered me out! the last leg of the hike to the summit is seriously intimidating while tiredly approaching it!
Got up to the 2 “Lakes” ‘n then headed back down…. Gotta say “twas a bit rigorous”
Great write up! This was really fun to read 🙂
Just attempted this loop June 2018 starting from Rattle River trailhead going clockwise. We lost the Highwater trail several times from Shelburne to the junction with Moriah Brook Trail, after which we lost it permanently. (Spent the day bushwacking, returned to camp across the river from the Wild River Campground, ended up taking the Moriah Brook Trail over the top). Rained that afternoon and all night. In the morning, even more of the Highwater Trail had been claimed by the river in new slides and lots more large trees (12 dia+) had fallen in the river. Heads up to anyone setting out for that trail – it lives up to it’s “wild”ness!
Thanks for the update on the trail conditions!
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Awesome website with very detailed reviews of hikes and camping experiences. I am just starting out at the tender age of 54. I have done some hiking with my son’s Boy Scout troop but nothing compared to the Pemi loop which is the article on Reddit that brought me here.
I am trying to get my wife to join me in this activity as one child is college bound and the other is soon behind. I was particulary interested in the hikes flagged as family hikes as I think they would be a good starting point and not get ourselves overwhelmed with the physical aspects of hiking which I think would take away from the wonders of being outdoors and enjoying the spectacular views.
Do you have any recommendations for some newbies in terms of resources? I have of course already liked Northeast Hikes on Facebook.
Thanks for this blog post! Very informative.
I did it last year at the end of June, we doing it this coming Saturday with my granddaughter, and your description of the trail is as perfect as it can be. Will try to venture of to the Lion’s Head trail, but will take the decision when i’m on the trail. Hope the weather is friendly, because a wet trail will make it a little bit dangerous. If somebody is doing it alone, just keep following the arrows painted on the rock after the rest at the bottom of the Ravine, specially the section where the waterfall is.
Thanks for all the pictures, now I know what to expect this weekend when we go hiking:)
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I’m looking at this hike for a 2-3 day backpacking trip with a few friends during the 1st week of October – aiming to do it in reverse (as you recommended): Moriah Brook Tr-Imp site-Carters/Hight-Perkins Notch-down Wild River Trail. Couple ?s:
Are campfires allowed at the back country sites?
Are the ledges doable with a 40lb pack strapped to you?
What was other hiker traffic like? or what might we expect in early Oct?
many thanks! Tom
Hi Tom, I don’t remember about the fires. We went in the spring and it was so buggy that we just jumped in our tents/hammocks after eating. The ledges mentioned are on the Appalachian Trail, so they are routinely traversed by people with overnight packs. Wear proper footwear and be careful and you should be fine. Hiker traffic in the Wild River Wilderness will likely be light in October, but weather permitting, you’ll probably see a bunch of people going over the Carters and Hight. Good luck!
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It was great. Thinking of doing it again this fall.
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Done the Tucks trail twice, once after staying overnight in a Hermit Lake shelter. Took I forget how many hours up and down, but the trips was grand.
On one trip, came down from the summit via the Lion’s Head trail for a change in perspective from the headwall; the other was via Boott Spur, for ditto.
Going up or down, I go at two speeds: slow, and slower.
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Tried to climb this mountain 2 years ago. Hiked 9 hours in all and still had 2 miles to go to the summit. My girlfriend told me she was exhausted and terrified. Plan to do it myself in 2019. Baxter State Park has limits each day on how many people can enter the park. There is a campground at the base of the mountain reserve very early in high season. The park also closes in the fall. There is no treated water source in the campground and food must be bought outside the park.
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The Maine Warden Service provides invaluable guidance to Mainers and “Flatlanders” alike.
Did this trail last weekend. Full on winter conditions. Sub zero temperatures at the summit with a good breeze. Crampons make the ascent and decent a bit less scary than a wet summer day. A great winter hike without the usual weekend crowds for the experienced winter hiker/climber. Highly recommended.
I too am eyeing a winter ascent of the Beaver Brook. Still working on dates, but it’s good to get a report from someone who has done it recently. Thanks!
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I’ve only just started the 4ks and have completed 10 of them. I am super new to the winter hiking thing. I did Pierce a second time with a group. I did Willard, Arethusa Falls and Lonesome Lake on my own before completing Mt Waumbeck for #10 last week.
My Carrigain is on my list but I think I best leave it for the summer! Kudos to you for completing it!!!!! Congratulations! That is quite the accomplishment;)
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Great Information thanks so much. I am thinking of doing this with my 7 year old who is very athletic. She wants to do it. I am afraid she might get too tired or do something foolish like run ahead and get lost. Has any kids done this around that age? I don’t want to put her in any danger of course. Perhaps I should wait till she is older?
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I’m planning a Pemi excursion this coming summer. So far we have the third weekend in June on the books. In your experience do you think the pemi loop tail corridor is typically snow free and out of mud season by then?
What are your favorite hikes for families around Acadia and Schoodic Point?
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Thanks so much for this. We are going today with a 7 and 4 yr old. Great to know what to expect with little kids.
Which trail is more treacherous in your opinion? This North Slide trail or the Flume Slide trail used to ascend Mt. Flume.
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I would say brave, adventurous and prepared rather than stupid! what an accomplishment!! read the summer/fall 2019 Appalachia book for an account of a 15 year old girl who does the pemi loop solo!
THANKS! I really enjoy reading your posts!!
i’m headed out for a 50 road walk (country roads) today…head up to the whites in September when the bugs have left for the season…
Thank you for the informative and inspirational post. I spent the first 13 years of my life in Millinocket and am planning my first climb to the summit on 8/15/2019. Nervous and excited all at the same time, this will be 10 days after my 52nd birthday and I am hiking solo. I’ll be sure to share may experience with you. Keep up the great work.
If you are hiking from Katahdin Stream Campground, be aware the bridge at Katahdin Stream Falls is temporarily out of service (it’s not there right now). You can locate an alternate trail from the campground. This will save you from needing to cross Katahdin Stream, which is raging from all the rains, at a temporary ford. Best wishes on your hike.
I would like to plan a trip with my son down the Appalachian trail from Maine to New Hampshire any advice would be helpful, with provisions and how long it would take. Thank you.
It took us three weeks with a couple of rest days baked in to complete Maine. Depending on the age of your son, you may want to plan for close to a month. Provisions can be mailed ahead to post offices near the trail, but you can also purchase food in trail towns such as Monson, Stratton, and Rangeley. It’s pretty much a guarantee that you’ll get sick of eating whatever you pre-pack and mail and want to hit a store/restaurant for food when you can.
This was a great article. I felt more prepared after reading it. It took us 8.5hours to complete but are 2 days into recovery!
I didn’t hear much about midgies before going but that took some of the enjoyment out of the trail. However they kept me moving!
We drove almost 2000 miles to hike Abol and almost missed our chance – I tried multiple times to get a parking pass online- I called and was finally able to get one – a day later than planned but so worth it bc the day was amazing!
That’s awesome! Glad the parking worked out for you 🙂
I can’t tell the date this was written…is the North Branch still closed? We hiked it years ago and LOVED it.
Hi Cathy, to my knowledge the north branch is still closed.
Made it to the top on 18 July ’19. Left PNVC with overcast skies which cleared once we entered the ravine. Clouds/fog moved in during the summit push limiting the views we had hoped for. We passed snow to the left of the trail at the end of Tuckerman Ravine – surprising to see in mid-July … of course, this only adds to the story:).
We were a group of six 50+ year old hikers with moderate to good levels of fitness and one 25 year old AT expert. Total time was just under 6 hours with many water breaks/photo-ops and two longer stops at Hermit Lake and Tuckerman Junction. The hike was a fantastic experience – we WILL return! Thanks to the great group from PA who included my wife and me on the climb.
This description of the trail is accurate. It would also be helpful to carry a trail map – available at PNVC. My wife and I did not have hiking poles – I would suggest this as necessary if not mandatory gear.
Took the $31 shuttle down as it was getting late. Looking forward to another attempt which we hope to make a hiking ’round trip.’
Darin, did you travel Knifes Edge at all from Hunt to Baxter Peak? I’ve done Helon Taylor to Pamola and another trip up Dudley from Chimney Pond to Pamola then Knifes edge. Never left out of Katahdin Stream to Baxter Peak.
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Much harder than we expected
Thank you for this excellent description. We hiked the Hunt Trail to Baxter Peak on Saturday, August 10, 2019. Note: the bridge across Katahdin Stream at the falls, 1.1 miles into the hike, is OUT. There is an alternate trail from the campground which avoids making the perilous ford across Katahdin Stream at the point where the bridge had been. (A tree trunk, about 4 or 5 inches in diameter, is laid across the stream, which was raging when we crossed).
We were fortunate that rain and wind remained above the freezing point, and we heard no thunder on our ascent, allowing us to proceed safely to the summit. We were even rewarded with clearing fog and spectacular views on our descent.
Thanks for the update!
Thanks for the write up here. Lived in NH all my life and finally got this done with my wife and three kids. It was great but tough. Took us 6.5 hours including a nice visit to the hut. My 11 year old was really impressed with the ridge. Can’t beat it!
Awesome, well done!
Nice article /feedback !
Looking forward to go with toddler n a 4 yr old. Any suggestion?
Can you pls share the address ( starting point ) for this trail suggested for kids.
Bring two adults with carriers. The trail is short, but it is steep and rocky. The 4 year old will probably want to be carried at some point.
Stumbled on this trail when my daughter and I got confused and decided to give it a go anyway. It was November and no micro-spikes. I cracked up at the comment, “This is one of those hikes that you tell your mother about after the fact” as I was the mother in this case. What was harder than the hike was watching my daughter taking pictures precariously close to the cascades. (well, in her defense, the trail was precariously close to the cascades!) Great hike, just beautiful, and exhilarating. And a little scary.
I hiked Piper trail with my friend Rosco. We did fine until one unleashed dog came up and attacked mine. I had to grab this dog by the neck and the owner pulled him from my grip. Things could have ended up differently as I had my 45 on my hip. Please people leash your dog. Other than that it was a great day. Is there a mandatory leash in effect?
we are experienced hikers and in good shape, but it little long in the tooth (I am 75). However after Hermit Lake shelter we followed some trails skiers take that eventually fizzled out. It took as at least an extra hour climbing over large boulders to get out of the ravine and find our way back to the trail on top of the ravine. Fortunately the weather was great that day. However it was a foolish mistake. If it does not look like your are on the trail, you probably are not. We were not proud making such a beginners mistake.
Hello, great article on the Fire Warden trail hike. I’m just wondering if there are any steep dropoffs on this trail in the last .7 miles to the Col. I’m great with endurance and difficulty but lousy with heights and steep, dangerous drop offs aren’t my cup of tea, plus I will be taking my little dog who is an excellent hiker but only 6#.
Did the Falling Waters Trail today with my husband and then read this information tonight while laying around nursing sore knees. We are visiting Vermont’s NEK and it was recommended we take a moderate trail nearby. Had no clue about Falling Waters trail. It was a Beautiful day. We had no food or water with us. We had on hiking boots and were dressed warmly. I had a hiking stick (thank God). At about a half mile from the top we met up with someone that told us we had to come back down the same way we came up. That’s when I started to cry and my husband realized I was dehydrated. The kind girl we met gave me some of her water to sip and some nuts. My husband didn’t drink anything. So almost to the top we headed back down. I was scared as heck but my husband stayed close. The wet rocks covered with leaves because it is autumn made it really dangerous. Here’s why we were nuts. I am 64 and my husband is 69. We are av id bikers but like to hike on occassion. I broke my kneecap in June and then fell on the same knee last week. Xray showed I didn’t rebreak it. Whew. Falling Water trail kicked my butt today but I did it. Take water and food and hiking poles or sticks. My husband has a hip replacement,a knee replacement, a rod where his thigh bone should be and 13 screws. Oh and a bad back. He isn’t complaining at all. Crazy right? So be wise and be prepared. Be safe but by all means hike this trail if you are in good shape. …….can’t get rid of these last few leftover words. Delete not working…. 47 Godz) bebeautiful day
In the summer of 1975 my friend David and I drove from South Carolina up through Maine and on a lark decided to climb Katahdin, having zero clue what we were letting ourselves in for. With no reservation we got a lean-to easily (1975, as I mentioned). The next morning, wearing light running shoes and carrying a couple of canteens of water and maybe a baggie of trail mix, we headed raucously up Abol toward the summit.
About eleven hours later my buddy and I stumbled back to the campsite as exhausted as we had been in our lives. Our hair was wet and filthy, our hands and knees were raw as hamburger, and our heads were pounding from dehydration and glucose depletion. The soles of my shoes were literally shredded, both our feet were bloody with too many burst blisters to count, and we had stopped speaking to each about a quarter of the way down from the summit. After lying around the lean-to near-comatose for an hour, we finally crawled over to Roaring Brook and rinsed the dust and sweat away sitting as long as we could stand it in the icy cataract. Then we dragged ourselves back to base, where we cooked and consumed an eight-pack of Nathan’s vile hot dogs and sucked down a pint of Jack Daniels neat, no ice.
A year later we went back, prepared, fit, made the round trip in eight hours or so, and swore to each other that we would do it every again ten years until we hit seventy.
Never did, though. Talked about it many times, before and after we both retired, Shied away from the gut check, though. I still liked the JD, myself, while David developed a preference for vodka tonic, which finally got him three years ago when he was about seven months shy of seventy. I thought about suggesting that his ashes be spread atop Katahdin, but his wife and kids would have vetoed it for sure. Besides, who the hell would have carried them up there?
Loved your remarks about Katahdin. You don’t know ’til you find out!
I have mentioned here my own experiences there on this site before, so won’t repeat except to say “it was the best of times, it was the worst of times”, and crawling over Knife Edge on hands and knees–crying–is unforgettable.
That was an incredible hike. Hope your life insurance is paid up.
A good film about active rest for passive relaxation in the evening. This film is kind, calm with a certain sense of humor, which you need to understand, with a beautiful picture and wonderful actors. This film should be interesting to travelers, hikers, tourists (at least for educational purposes). The idea of such long walking trails with all the surrounding infrastructure is fascinating! I recommend to watch this movie and then go on a trip. Thanks for your review!
I have summited Katahdin 15 times, all trails in different variations, but Abol the most times. This is by far the best write up with the appropriately placed pictures. Great recommendations on the training on other mountains as this is not like others and there are NO easy routes. Having experienced every type of weather on this greatest of mountains, even blizzard conditions the day before the summer soltice on the tableland, the payoff is nothing short of spectacular! Nice job! Baxter Peak see you July 2020!
One thing, could they consider adding hand holds on the section of the Knife edge by the big drop with the very narrow path where you have to lean up against the rock face? That is a very dangerous section , some hand holds would be good here. – either that or cut a trail up and over?
I facetiously suggested that the Knife Edge was too rough, maybe they would fill in some cracks with concrete! I don’t believe any man-made accomodations will ever be put on the trail. On what I call the “Skywalk”, you can lean into the rock at about 30 degrees, and there are plenty of good holds if you’re patient. You also can pass on the other side of the knoll, avoiding the cliff entirely. Feel free to watch my 3 KE videos on Youtube vtboomer channel. The one thing I would definitely recommend is not walking the cliff in any slippery conditions or high wind.
Great article! Thank you! I was 58 last year and hiked Jewell trail in early June. Was planning on Tuckerman Ravine but it was closed for snow. A friend cancelled so I hiked alone, did not see another person on trail till I got near the top. I had all recommended equipment and had checked weather. Still didn’t completely prepare me (a Georgia resident) for the ice, 50 mile per hour winds and 15 degree windchill temp at the top. Took me 3.5 hours one way. Enjoyed it a lot. Coming back this summer to hike TR trail (late July) for my 60th birthday. Trip down only took 20 minutes, I talked myself into taking the railway. Had thoughts of twisting an ankle and waiting a long time time for help.
Thank you, enjoyed reading it all the way till the end!
Surprised at the description. The first part is moderate difficulty and relentless. This is not family friendly. Plenty of rocks to turn an ankle on. This is the first 2.4 miles. Hikers appreciating this description must not be novice hikers in terms of fitness or ability.
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All this info has been very helpful. Going for a second attempt 2 weeks from today. Been practicing as much as schedule allows.Hoping my body is ready…
Excellent trail detail. Much appreciated.
I am taking my 2 boys on this hike next week and this was the perfect description and I appreciate the parking directions. Will definitely check out your book!
Plan on going up the Ammonoosuc and down the Jewell this weekend!! Thanks for the info. Good stuff!!!
This article would be nicely enhanced by a sketch/map. Personally find it hard to follow the journey as at the start you are mentioning many places which I cannot visualize how they relate to one another. For example, where is the Liberty Spring Water Source in relation to the Osseo Trail Junction? Or even in relation to the Lincoln Woods Visitor Center. Also, before we get to where Liberty Spring Trail meets the Franconia Ridge Trail you mention so many places and where are they all in relation to each other? “One benefit I received from starting on the Liberty Spring Trail is that I was able to fill my 100-ounce water bladder at Liberty Spring. Hikers doing a clockwise loop from Osseo have to carefully plan their water allocation. Once beyond the brook along the Osseo Trail, the next on-trail water source isn’t until Garfield Pond, about 10 miles away, and, well, even with a filter it seems questionable. I have drawn water from here, and lived to tell about it, but I’d much rather resupply at the Garfield Ridge Campsite spring on the other side of the Garfield summit.
The solution? Day hikers aren’t going to have time for the 0.6-mile round trip to Liberty Spring, never mind the 2.2-mile round trip to the Greenleaf Hut off Mt. Lafayette, so their best bet is to pack an extra water bottle.”
A simple schematic map handdrwan, primitive even, would help I think.
Two of us hiked the western part of the loop 9/18-20/2020 and found this write up to be SUPER helpful. It looks like the trail got a bit of TLC from the AMC over the summer, as it was easy to follow and there was clearly some steps and planks being replaced/built. We found the section where it connects to the AT to be the hardest as it was a lot of rocky decent. We hit the summit of Old Speck without even meaning to since the ascent was such a pleasant trail!
Do you know if dogs are allowed?
Great review, thanks for publishing it. I just completed this very hike with two others and your observations were right on and helpful.
We had planned to camp at Sargent Brook campsite, but all three of the tent sites were covered with running water. We pressed on 4 miles to the Slide Mountain campsite, arriving about an hour past sunset. We set up in the dark and stored our food in the dry end of the bear box. On day two, we summited Old Speck (nothing to see but fog or us too so we passed on the fire tower). We pressed on to Speck Pond campsite along the most difficult trail section of our hike. The Speck Pond campsite gets high marks with a modern AT shelter and 5 tent platforms. Temps got below 15 degrees overnight, so our shoes were frozen in the morning (thankfully we had dry socks). The return trip NOBO on the AT to Old Speck was icy in places and less hairy than the day before only because we were hiking uphill. If we were cold at the start, we were peeling off layers before we reached the top. The 3.5 miles to the parking lot on route 26 were scenic and pleasant (and gratefully, sunny).
It is one of the best articles on the comparison of the hammock and the tent. I can’t stop me to appreciate the author for such an informative article.
You just have to fix a typo. You said the Tripoli road trail was .06 mile “shorter.” I think you meant longer. Appreciate the detailed info!
Great and thorough description, thank you
Heading up to attempt Madison and Adams tomorrow with my son Rick.First time in 30 years for me,Rick’s first .Hope we get clear weather too.
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