The Fabulous Trails End Festival in Millinocket, Maine

The 2013 Trails End Festival in Millinocket, ME. ~~ Photograph by Robert Sutherland

The 2013 Trails End Festival in Millinocket, ME. ~~ Photograph by Robert Sutherland

Yeah, yeah. We're all supposed to be perfectly happy wherever we are. We're not supposed to wish we were someplace else. I get it. I still wish we were going to be at the Trails End Festival in Millinocket, Maine, Friday-Sunday, September 12-14, 2014, again this year.

We had a blast there in 2013. The whole town got involved in the parade, yard sale, hikes and in enjoying the fun with out-of-towners and thru-hikers who finally had Mt. Katahdin in their sights.

The 2013 Trails End Festival in Millinocket, ME. ~~ Photograph by Robert Sutherland

The 2013 Trails End Festival in Millinocket, ME. ~~ Photograph by Robert Sutherland

Maybe the locals have some innate understanding that it's going to start snowing soon and they might not see one another until next April, so they live it up during the Trails End Festival.

The entire Katahdin Region comes to town for the food, activities, family fun and thru-hiker fun with three-days of free music in downtown Millinocket. They're happy to honor the hikers who finish their quest to conquer Mt. Katahdin -- the end of the Appalachian Trail.

The Happy Crew from Baxter State Park at the 2013 Trails End Festival in Millinocket, ME. ~~ Photograph by Robert Sutherland

The Happy Crew from Baxter State Park at the 2013 Trails End Festival in Millinocket, ME. ~~ Photograph by Robert Sutherland

One of the best parts of the Trails End Festival is what you can give back to the community.

They call it the Hard Core Project. Hit the trail at 7 AM on Friday morning to help maintain our beloved Appalachian Trail. After a hard day's work with great people, you'll get a Trails End Hard Cord patch and Bar-B-Q at the AT Lodge. Not to mention the free music in town Friday night and all weekend long.

Click Here for the Hard Core Project

Saturday at 10 AM the festival parade gets rolling, led by some of America's finest from the Warrior Hikers.

Sean Gobin, Stephanie "Rosie" Cutts and Sharon "MamaGoose" Smith at the 2013 Trails End Festival in Millinocket, ME. ~~ Photograph by Robert Sutherland

Sean Gobin, Stephanie "Rosie" Cutts and Sharon "MamaGoose" Smith at the 2013 Trails End Festival in Millinocket, ME. ~~ Photograph by Robert Sutherland

The Blue Hill Brass Band will play music that will make you want to parade your stuff through town from Stearns High School to the bandstand at Veteran's Memorial Park. Polish up your favorite trail gear and join the parade on foot, on a bike or ATV. Put new tennis balls on your walker to celebrate life and the Appalachian Trail and join the parade for a few feet or all the way.

At 11 AM, Warrior Hikers in the "Walk Off the War Program" will speak about their experiences as AT thru-hikers, as veterans and what this very special program means to them.

Happy Campers at the Appalachian Trail Cafe during the 2013 Trails End Festival in Millinocket, ME.

Happy Campers at the Appalachian Trail Cafe during the 2013 Trails End Festival in Millinocket, ME.

Come meet and greet these vets who completed their hike in time to celebrate the Trails End Festival. They deserve our appreciation on so many levels.

Parade survivors are invited to the 3rd Annual TEF Chili Cook Off where you're the judge. Taste the chili and vote for your favorite.

The winner will receive a trophy to display in their business or organization for the year, along with bragging rights for the best chili in the area.

Proceeds benefit the Trails End Festival. A paltry $5 per person will be charged for this tasty way to spice up your life.

Trails End Festival Schedule

Visit Abol Bridge Store for Semi-Fine Dining and Spectaculor Views of Mt. Katahdin. ~~ Photograph by Robert Sutherland

Visit Abol Bridge Store for Semi-Fine Dining and Spectaculor Views of Mt. Katahdin. ~~ Photograph by Robert Sutherland

While you're in town, drive out to Baxter State Park for camping, hiking or dreaming of doing the Trail.

Sorry, but motorcycles and dogs are not allowed in the park.

If Baxter State Park is too far, head over to Abol Bridge and enjoy a sandwich and cold drink while you gawk at the end of the trail: the mighty Mount Katahdin.

Anyone in town can tell you how to get there.

Trails End Festival's Website

Mount Katahdin -- the End of the Trail for Northbound Appalachian Trail Thru-Hikers ~~ Photograph by Robert Sutherland

Mount Katahdin -- the End of the Trail for Northbound Appalachian Trail Thru-Hikers ~~ Photograph by Robert Sutherland

About the Trails End Festival

We're thankful for all those whose faithful efforts make the Trails End Festival such a tremendous success! ~~ Photograph by Robert Sutherland

We're thankful for all those whose faithful efforts make the Trails End Festival such a tremendous success! ~~ Photograph by Robert Sutherland

The Trails End Festival is a joint effort by the many Downtown Millinocket businesses and members of the Katahdin Area Chamber of Commerce.

The Festival organizers realize that visitors come for many different reasons, but the majority come to enjoy the vast natural resources of the Katahdin Region.

These businesses appreciate those who hike the mountains, paddle the lakes and rivers; and, walk, bike, cross country ski or snowmobile on the trails.

The Trails End Festival expresses appreciation for those who visit Millinocket.


Tags: Events, Appalachian Trail, Appalachian Trail Community, News, Appalachian Trail Clubs, Maine Appalachian Trail Club, Appalachian Mountain Club, Warrior Hike, Appalachian Trail Festival, and Robert Sutherland Travel Writer

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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