Mount Katahdin via the Knife Edge

Millinocket, Maine

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10 Reviews
5 out of 5
A day hike to the top of Mount Katahdin along a granite ridge called the Knife Edge. One of the most spectacular and breathtaking hikes in the East, with views of Moosehead Lake, the Penobscot River, and the mountains and hills in Acadia National Park and Camden Hills State Park. Mount Katahdin is the northern terminus of the Appalachian Trail. General location: Mount Katahdin is in the southern part of Baxter State Park, in Piscataquis County central Maine. The trailhead is a 45-minute drive from the town o Millinocket.
Hiking Maine

DESCRIPTION FROM:

Hiking Maine

by Tom Seymour (Falcon Guides)

A day hike to the top of Mount Katahdin along a granite ridge called the Knife Edge. One of the most spectacular and breathtaking hikes in the East, with views of Moosehead Lake, the Penobscot River, and the mountains and hills in Acadia National Park and Camden Hills State Park.

Mount Katahdin is the northern terminus of the Appalachian Trail. General location: Mount Katahdin is in the southern part of Baxter State Park, in Piscataquis County central Maine. The trailhead is a 45-minute drive from the town o Millinocket.

©  Tom Seymour/Falcon Guides. All Rights Reserved.

Activity Type: Hiking
Nearby City: Millinocket
Distance: 9.5
Trail Type: Loop/Lollipop
Skill Level: Difficult
Season: May through October, weather permitting.
Local Contacts: Baxter State Park Authority
Local Maps: Appalachian Mountain Club map of Mount Katahdin and Baxter State Park; DeLorme's The Maine Atlas and Gazetteer
Topo Map: Mount Katahdin via the Knife Edge Topographic Map
Guide Book: Hiking Maine Guide Book
Driving Directions: View Directions
Trail Directions: View Guide

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Recent Trail Reviews

6/10/2017

Do not underestimate Katahdin. We tried to hike to Baxter Peak via Cathedral trail in 2016 and only made it half-way before running out of steam. A year later, and after some much needed physical training we successfully climbed Katahdin via Cathedral trail, hiked/scrambled along Knife Edge trail and down Helon Taylor. This was the most rewarding hike I have ever completed. The views were spectacular and the park staff was very friendly. If you decide to do this hike, be sure to stop at Chimney Pond to take in the view from there as well. If you have the slightest fear of heights, Knife's edge is not for you.

9/15/2015

This review describes the second half of a combination hike of two unforgettable day hikes. Two days after completing the Franconia Ridge Loop, we took the old jalopy up into Maine, to tackle the Knife Edge. We stayed at the venerable Baxter Park Inn. We set out in darkness, as I wanted to make it to the trailhead by Dawn, with plans to make it to the Pond by Sunrise. The weather was perfect! We weren't. I took too many breaks, as usual. We got to the pond by 9:30 am. The ranger hut was occupied, and told us that we would likely be in darkness if we were to go up the Cathedral Trail to Baxter Peak, across the KE to Pamola, and then down via the Helon Taylor. No problem! The Cathedral trail rivals Huntington Ravine in scrambling. The views are amazing. Danielle shed a few tears on the way up. I shed a bunch of calories. Bill was in his usual Gazelle mode, and was taking pics while drinking various purchased liquids. Baxter Peak always is quite the accomplishment. We had some cheese and jerky, then contemplated the Edge. After ascending the Cathedrals, we were pretty satiated with adventure. Then there's the KE. No argument- we had to do it! We were blessed- not a crosswind over 20 knots in any direction. The uh-oh moments were predictable, yet not too precarious. That is, not until the downclimb before Pamola! Once we reached Pamola, we were exhausted! The sun was starting to cast shadows ahead of us towards Chimney pond. I almost wished I had packed enough gear to spend the night up above treeline- it was so beautiful. The surrounding mountains and terrain were truly showing off for us. We descended into treeline as the sky turned from azure to violet, then finally to black. On came the headlights, except for mine, which had spent batteries! Small problem. We eventually made it back, but were too late to celebrate that evening. That was fine; the hike itself was celebration enough.

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