View Full Version : Katahdin by way of Knife Edge Trail

07-02-2005, 16:02
I am finalizing plans for a 3 week section hike Katahdin-Kennebec R. (perhaps). I don't particularly like to back track, which I would have to do if starting from Katahdin Stream campground. I also have a minimal need for adrenaline rushes. Is it reasonable (barring bad weather, of course) for a 50 something in pretty good shape to do the Baxter approach from Roaring Brook campground 1. starting out with full load (call it 35 lb.) pack. 2. 1st day after not hiking for last 6 months. It looks like it will be a 10-12 mile day that 1st day.

I've seen pictures of the Knife Edge trail and am fascinated by it, but could it be considered a moth-to-flame fascination, especially considering disco leg possibility?

Michael Grosh
Katahdin Aug. 11 or 12

07-02-2005, 17:53
You have to go over Katahdin and I understand you not wanting to double back, so I recommend go for it. Make sure you start out 6 AM. The worst case scenario is you will get into Birches late. Anyway you climb Katahdin is tough, so yes the Knife Edge can be fun, grueling, exciting, challenging or all 4 combined. The only negative is after that in terms of climbs, other than a short scramble up Chairback you don't have any challenging ascents. Some climbs yes, but nothing rivaling remotely that first day.

07-02-2005, 21:00
My lady and I did that last fall. Going up and over to the top isn't all that bad. A time or 2 you might think how the...but just follow those blue blazes. Coming down, slow down- it's a real knee buster. Enjoy

07-04-2005, 14:30
Thanks for the replies guys. I'm gonna go for it.

>The only negative is after that in terms of climbs, other than a short scramble >up Chairback you don't have any challenging ascents.

I've done the southern end up to Nolichucky, so, truth be told, I'm looking forward to just covering some miles with minimal gasping for breath :) I'll save the Presidentials for the next time.

BTW I'm figuring on doing the float plane thing Kennebec River area back to my vehicle(Katahdin Air Service) about Aug 29-30. There will be room if anyone can work that schedule into their plans. MG

07-04-2005, 19:09
I think you are nuts. If there was a pool, I'd bet that you make it but pull, twist and or f-up some essential joint on the way down. Your trip, I wish you well.

The problem is just the weight on your back. That said, I carried a heavier pack over the top once. I was 23 and stupid and lucky, though.

Its not a question of difficulty or strength, but bio mechanics.

Rick B

07-07-2005, 21:20
i've come up from the north side twice and down on the AT. the first time was with a full pack (33 lbs) and the second was with a day pack. both times starting at roaring brook campground. when i took a day pack, the ranger at roaring brook was nice enough to arrange to have my backpack shuttled around to katahdin stream. i would recomend asking the ranger if that is a possibility.

coming down from baxter peak with a full pack almost broke my knees into pieces. it more or less sucked. doing it with the daypack was so much easier. i still had enough strenth to put on my backpack once i reached katahdin stream and walk to abol bridge that same day.

TJ aka Teej
07-08-2005, 18:48
DickDurk - The Knife Edge isn't the only trail to Baxter Peak from the Roaring Stream side. However, you'd be better off going up and the Hunt or adding Abol. Planning an up-and-over with a 10-day pack to start your trip just isn't a smart idea. Don't forget you'll need camping reservations www.baxterstateparkauthority.com (http://www.baxterstateparkauthority.com)
AskUs - No Birches for southbounders, long distance northbounders only.

07-08-2005, 20:35
I stand to be corrected by TJ, if you can't stay at Birches (I didn't know you can only be a northbound thru-hiker to stay there), then you are adding another 9 miles to the hike from the base of Katahdin at Katahdin Stream to Abol Bridge, albeit an easy 9 miles but on top of 8 miles over a 5000 foot mountain with full pack becomes a grueling hike especially for someone who has not hiked in over 6 months. Of course if you do a dayhike over Katahdin and use Grizzly Adams suggestion of getting a ranger to take your backpack around that would work. Even if you don't have reservations you can do two circular hikes like I did (one requires a 2 mile road walk). You can stay outside the park and use Abol Bridge as a base. See my ME AT I trip report (http://www.whiteblaze.net/forum/showthread.php?t=9422) for detailed information.

TJ aka Teej
07-08-2005, 21:27
Aaron, you write great trip reports! Thanks for sharing your AT photos, too!

07-08-2005, 22:18
I am glad you like my trip reports. I think there is a alot of valuable information for AT slackpackers there. If you like my ME AT I trip report make sure you look at the askus3 member sub-forum for all my hike reports. And along those lines, we should thank attroll for allowing me to post such exceptionally long reports. I really appreciate having a place to post all my trip reports in their entirety all in one location on-line. And in one month I hope to have my ME AT IV photo album linked. Also, ME AT V from East Flagstaff Road to South Arm Road is taking place 8/16 thru 8/26 with another complete photo album & report to follow. If anyone wants my trip itinerary just send me an e-mail. Lastly, we are getting somewhat off topic from dickdurk original query, but I will say to Dickdurk that my trip reports are in a southbound direction and perspective and you just might find a piece of interesting and useful info within the reports so take a look at it (http://www.whiteblaze.net/forum/forumdisplay.php?f=401) as ME AT II & III cover the Hundred Mile Wilderness and ME AT IV take you past the Kennebec.

07-09-2005, 02:38
The Hunt Trail is worthy of a backtrack. Looks different pointing the other direction. There are no bad trails up that hunk of rock, but I am biased. Knifeedge=daypack=use your head

07-09-2005, 08:04
Thanks Guys

Getting the Ranger to shuttle my pack around would be wonderful.

I sent in reservations to Katahdin stream campground-they had two openings at the time.

I am now seriously considering starting my trip south from the katahdin stream campground, then when I get back to the beginning, just do a dayhike up and down Katahdin. Closing a weather window and doing a repeat of the trail up and down are what I'd rather avoid.

Anyway, I'll keep my options open as long as I can, and see what shakes.

Askus3, I will be studying your trail reports with interest

Thanks again all