View Full Version : Getting home from Katahdin

11-29-2015, 13:59
I am heading to attempt a nobo thru next year and am curious about how you all get out of Baxter to an airport or bus station. My wife is willing to meet me up there but she doesn't like the smaller planes. It looks like Millinocket has a small airport but I'm assuming it is only for smaller planes. Is there a way to get to Bangor or another larger airport? I would like to look into maybe taking a smaller plane by myself out of Millinocket to Bangor and meet her there. Does anyone have any experience with this. I appreciate your help. Thanks!

11-29-2015, 14:20
Easy and cheap ($12?) bus ride to Bangor, CYR (I think) bus lines. We then rented a car in Bangor, drove around the Maine coast for a couple days then down to Boston for flight home. flights can be really cheap from boston, not so much from Bangor, rental car paid for itself easily.

11-29-2015, 15:26
You might want to have your wife fly into Boston Logan and rent a car there, and drive to Baxter/Millinocket and meet you/pick you up. It avoids hitching, shuttles, one way rates on rental cars (approx $100+/day), riding buses (limited schedules), air taxi ($$$), etc., and you'll get much cheaper flights (1/2 or less than other area airports) from Boston Logan back home.

If your dead set on air taxi, try Katahdin Air or West Branch Aviation.

TJ aka Teej
11-29-2015, 16:35
Starting in September the AT Lodge runs a daily shuttle from KSC to Millinocket. They can provide shuttles to the Medway bus stop, or to Bangor. Also, 9 out of 10 vehicles leaving the Park are heading to Millinocket and points south.

11-29-2015, 17:30
This was definitely a stressful decision for me as I had to figure it out before stepping into the 100 mile wilderness and hope I made the right choice. As Teej said once you get to Millinocket you will have an easy shuttle to Medway which gives you daily options for catching a bus to Bangor, Portland or Boston depending on which works best for you. My biggest pain was trying to figure out my timing on making it through the wilderness and looking at upcoming weather, whether or not I gave myself enough time to summit and get to my departing flight. In fact as you get towards the end you will here a lot of chatter about people hiking fast to try to make a departure date (especially the Europeans).

I suppose it's something that you can really start worrying about when you get into Maine...that will give you about 2000 miles to think about it:-)

11-29-2015, 18:49
This seems to come up every year. Bangor is served by major airlines but the schedule is spotty, two flights a day? and usually they are more expensive than Portland, Manchester NH or Logan. Portland is competitive with Boston and far less stressful than driving up from Boston, land in Portland, rent a car, get on I95 north just outside the airport then for three hours and take a left in Medway. There are several motels in the Millinocket area. Unless the airline schedules have changed the thruhiker shuttle doesn't line up well with the limited flights from Bangor so you are better off getting a room in Millinocket and then heading south. There is a lot to be said to driving to Bangor then heading south to Bar Harbor and Acadia NP and then a drive down the coast to Searsport where you can RT3 back to I95 or run the tourist gauntlet on RT 1 down to Brunswick. Worth stopping at LL Bean in Freeport and Portlands Old Port area is worth a day.

If you do have someone meeting you there is a lot to be said to having them meet you at Abol Bridge, grabbing you pack and picking you up a few hours later at Katahdin Stream. Then stay in town or at the Twin Pine Cabins outside the park and then driving back to the park in the AM to climb the mountain. If its nice day have your driver meet you at Roaring Brook campground so you can do the knife edge trail and Helon Taylor trail down (a fitting end to a thru hike).

11-29-2015, 18:51
Thanks everyone! That's a ton of great info. I think I'm liking the idea of heading to Boston and checking it out for a few days with the wife and then head home. I figure if I overestimate my arrival date by a week, even if I go over, it will leave me a few days to spare. I can't freaking wait to get out there. 63 more days of work and a few weeks finalizing life here and I will be on springer!

11-29-2015, 19:10
Flights out of TFG Providence RI are almost always cheaper than Logan Boston. And while even further South a much easier drive. Boston is horrible to drive in.

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11-30-2015, 05:36
What's hitching like around there? I haven't really planned in any detail but ideal for me would be to hitch around and get over The Armstrong-Jackman border crossing. Quebec is my next port of call but there doesn't seem to be anything in the way of public transport from Bangor.

Also, does anyone have any experience crossing land boarders between the US and Canada? Would a non-US citizen be able to get a passport stamped there? I'll only have 6 months in the US and it will be getting close to that when I finish, so I'll need to get stamped out, or forever banished from your fine land!

11-30-2015, 17:06
As for crossing the border depends on what country you are from, check the state department website and the candian equivalent

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12-01-2015, 04:53
I know I need an eTA to go to Canada but I'm a British citizen so should be painless. I'll be allocated a maximum of 6 months in the US on my VISA so I really just need to know if the land boarder crossings would stamp my passport out of the US. I don't want to jeopardise being able to return to the US because I couldn't get stamped out of the country by the time my 6 months is up.

12-01-2015, 07:38
Hitching to Jackman will require a few hops. I95 to Pittsfield, RT 2 to Showhegan and RT 201 to jackman. Mainers will generally pick up hitchhikers but you need to clean up a bit and try to look like a hiker. A cardboard sign with AT hiker would help. One thing to consider is you will be crossing RT 201 in Caratunk just after canoe crossing of the Kennebec river. It would be an easy hitch up the border if there is any value to checking in at the border. Then hitch back and finish your hike.

12-01-2015, 08:11
Manchester, New Hampshire also has a sizable airport and is much easier to get into and out of than Logan in Boston.

12-01-2015, 10:46
Thanks Peakbagger.

I was planning on hitching to Fairfield on the I95 then getting on the 201, to potentially save the extra stop.

Border-hopping would be ideal but I think that's not as straight forward as it used to be. I don't think you can just jump over a border for a day to reset the VISA anymore?

12-01-2015, 12:30
Not sure on the visa requirements, I have read of folks doing something like this in the past but never went into the details as it doesn't apply to me.

12-01-2015, 12:40
I think it comes down to the individual working on the border and it's at their discretion. They're unlikely to look favourably on you if you cross into Canada and straight join the queue to get back into the US!