You’ll walk in the shadows of Mount Katahdin on this North Woods excursion in Baxter State Park. Katahdin, the Abenaki name for “greatest mountain," holds a special place in the hearts of New Englanders. Its cloud-shrouded 5267-foot summit is the terminus of the long-distance Appalachian Trail. And while it’s not New England’s tallest mountain (6288-foot Mount Washington is), it is perhaps the most wild.
The mountain is a jumble of cliffs, ridges, serrated peaks, and glacial cirques, rising steeply from the northern Maine forest. It looms even larger and more dramatic in the winter, when the leaves have fallen from the trees, leaving nearly unobstructed views. This lowland route to a chain of ponds is one of the easier (and accessible) winter hikes in Baxter State Park. But don’t underestimate it; it is still backcountry terrain, with few nearby services. The trail is likely to be well tracked-but don’t count on it. After a fresh, hefty snowfall, it’ll take a lot longer to hike and require a lot more work. Lost Pond, an 8.6-mile up-and-back hike, is a nice destination for the day. You can continue to Daicey Pond and on to Katahdin Stream Campground to spend the night.
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