Some Trails on Mt. Katahdin Open 5-30-14

Published Mar 28, 2016

Good news!

Rangers in Maine's Baxter State Park say some trails on Mt. Katahdin open on Friday, May 30, 2014.

Let the SoBo season for Appalachian Trail (AT) hikers begin.

From Baxter State Park's Facebook page:

Good news for hikers!! Rangers inspected Katahdin trails today. Beginning Friday, May 30, the Hunt, Knife Edge and Helon Taylor Trails are open to hiking. Some snow and ice remain at the treeline of the Hunt Trail at the base of the Hunt Spur. Rangers have flagged a bypass. Hikers are advised to use caution in this area and to please stay in the trail at all locations on the Tableland to protect rare vegetation. On the north end of the Park, the Traveler Loop is also open.

The Abol Trail and all trails to and from Chimney Pond remain closed. This closure is marked by the orange flagging shown in the photo.

God bless the SoBos.

It's a proven fact that people who hike southbound are far more weird than the weird people who hike northbound. [Insert proven facts here.]

Sure, the AT was created with the notion that hikers would naturally go from Maine to Georgia -- perhaps because most maps make it look like it's downhill all the way -- but it didn't turn out that way. Hiking northbound is more common.

I've been to Amicalola Falls State Park in Georgia, where the Approach Trail to Springer Mountain begins, and I've been within sight of Mt. Katahdin, from Abol Bridge.

On the AT Approach Trail in Georgia, hikers must climb 604 fearsome stairs alongside a steep waterfall to walk to the Trail's southern terminus on Springer Mountain. Those fabled steps have crushed more than one hiker's hopes.

Doubters Should Click Here

That's a hard way to begin a journey, but it's nothing compared to beginning on Mt. Katahdin, in my humble opinion. According to the Appalachian Trail Thru-Hikers' Companion, the trek up Mt. Katahdin is "the single greatest sustained climb on the A.T."

Tough way to begin an adventure. There are no shelters above the tree line and all trails are exposed to the weather. The Thru-Hikers' Companion states, "The ascent packs an elevation gain of 4,000 feet into 5 miles."

That's just to GET to the northern terminus. Once you arrive, you must descend the mountain, go several miles, turn right, cross Abol Bridge, turn left and enter the (hello?) 100-Mile Wilderness.

Give me the staircase, please. At least I could go up backwards on my butt, one step at a time.

Whichever way you go, go.

Thru-hikers are our heroes, living our dreams. If you can't do it for yourself, do it for us. Please.

Tags: Attractions, Events, Tourism, Appalachian Trail Conservancy, Appalachian Trail, Hiking, Hiking Gear, News, Closings, Appalachian Trail Clubs, Maine Appalachian Trail Club, Georgia Appalachian Trail Club, Weather, and Closures

About the Author Robert Sutherland:
Robert Sutherland is a travel writer enjoying life. Robert has two adult daughters and six grandchildren.
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