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View Full Version : Maine section hike next year, lots of Qs.



flemdawg1
05-14-2013, 17:59
My buddy is retiring next year and moving out of town so our last hurrah will be a couple of week in Maine. Plan is for him to pick me up at the airport (he doesn't fly, so he'll drive from AL), drive to Millinocket for a shuttle to Caratunk then hike north to Baxter.

Easier to access Airport, Logan or Bangor? My FF miles should be enough to get me to either, but not sure which is better.

I just finished a section hike in VA (Bland to Catawba) averaging 13.75 miles/day, is 151 miles in 12 days resonable?

Mid August sounds like a great time to leave sweltering Alabama for a cooler climate, how is Maine that time of year?

Is the AT Lodge is the best shuttler?
Resupply, I'm guessing is Monson and that's it?

Any spots I shouldn't miss (Shaw's, White House Landing,)?

Do I still need reservations for Baxter?

What are the lean-tos at Katahdin Stream CG, like a private lil' shelters?

redseal
05-14-2013, 19:16
I can answer a couple questions.

151 miles in 12 days is reasonable. However, that is about 12.5 miles/day which is just about what you were doing in VA. If you were tired or sore at the end of those days, then 12.5 miles/day might be pushing it for you.

August is a great time to be in Maine. September is also a great time.

hikerboy57
05-14-2013, 19:37
you do need reservations for baxter, all of maine is not to be missed. shaws is very popular in monson, but maine is more about the trail than the trail towns.
white house landing is a 3/4mi blue blaze and you can use it for resupply in the 100 mile if you dont mind high prices.and their 1 lb hamburger is awesome.mid august is about as good as it gets. you still have plenty of daylight, the bugs are gone, daytimes still warm , but chilly nights.as far as shuttles go phil pepin(quadzilla on wb)runs shuttles and resupplies into the 100 mi.
ksc leantos are very simple leantos.i think the one i stayed at last year slept 4.

100 of those 151 miles are relatively flat although its all roots,rocks and bog bridges. the other 51 miles are fairly difficult.and katahdin itself is an all day affair.
12 days is definitely doable. if you're confident in your ability, go for it. or start from monson, and give yourself plenty of time to enjoy it. its usually 8-9 days from monson to abol bridge, then another 2 days inside baxter, although it can be done faster, maine is absolutely sublime. enjoy it.

Chaco Taco
05-14-2013, 19:46
13.75 miles a day is pushing it if that is what you did in Virginia. It will probably be around 10-12 up here. But then again, you may hit this terrain and do as I did and love the ass kickin Maine puts on you. Maine is fun, but its tough, especially during the wet summery time. Start early and take nice longs breaks at the views, finish late.

Shutterbug
05-14-2013, 19:50
My buddy is retiring next year and moving out of town so our last hurrah will be a couple of week in Maine. Plan is for him to pick me up at the airport (he doesn't fly, so he'll drive from AL), drive to Millinocket for a shuttle to Caratunk then hike north to Baxter.

Easier to access Airport, Logan or Bangor? My FF miles should be enough to get me to either, but not sure which is better.

I just finished a section hike in VA (Bland to Catawba) averaging 13.75 miles/day, is 151 miles in 12 days resonable?

Mid August sounds like a great time to leave sweltering Alabama for a cooler climate, how is Maine that time of year?

Is the AT Lodge is the best shuttler?
Resupply, I'm guessing is Monson and that's it?

Any spots I shouldn't miss (Shaw's, White House Landing,)?

Do I still need reservations for Baxter?

What are the lean-tos at Katahdin Stream CG, like a private lil' shelters?

I can answer a couple of your questions:

Which airport? Bangor is a convenient airport but the flights are limited. I usually fly to Manchester, NH. It is much more convenient than Logan.

Your mileage is doable unless you have bad weather. I hiked the 100 Mile Wilderness in August a few years ago and we had three days of rain. It slowed us down a lot. We had planned 14 miles a day and found it really hard with the rain. Maine was really hot in August. I much prefer late September or October. I have hiked the 100 Mile Wilderness as late as the last week of October.

I consider White House Landing to be a "don't miss" place. I have stopped there twice and enjoyed it both times. Their food is great and a shower feels really good at that point.

Shaws is a landmark. You should at least stop to have your picture taken there.

Gulf Hagas -- Most thru hikers just breese by Gulf Hagas. It is known as the Grand Canyon of Maine. It is well worth your time to do the south part of the Gulf Hagas Loop. The water falls are neat. It probably isn't worth your time to do the whole Gulf Hagas loop, but hike about a mile of the south side then turn around. The north half of the loop is just a walk in the woods -- nothing to see.

Baxter -- because you are hiking more than 100 miles, you can stay at the Birches without a reservation.

Cookerhiker
05-14-2013, 21:28
Like others, I'll aver that mid-August is a great time to hike Maine - that's when I did it. No mosquitoes!

If you weren't aware, be prepared for fords in the 100 Mile Wilderness.

Your first day out of Caratunk brings you to Pleasant Pond Mountain. It's "only" about a 1,200' ascent but foot-for-foot, as steep as it gets. The views from the top are worth it.

fredmugs
05-15-2013, 06:50
My rule of thumb for the Whites / Maine is 25% less miles than I can do south of there. For me that means planning 15 mile days instead of 20. Caratunk to Monson isn't that tough. Monson to Gulf Hagas is the toughest part. Jo Mary Rd to Baxter SP is very easy and enjoyable. You can up the miles there is you need to.

My first Maine section hike was in August and it was AWESOME! Bug free and not cold at night.

T.S.Kobzol
05-15-2013, 07:39
Logan or Bangor ? Is Portland out of question?

Actually if you can fly to Bangor then this would be the best solution. I think there is a bus that goes from Bangor to Medway and then a shuttle that goes from Medway to Millinocket.

flemdawg1
05-15-2013, 10:41
Logan or Bangor ? Is Portland out of question?

Actually if you can fly to Bangor then this would be the best solution. I think there is a bus that goes from Bangor to Medway and then a shuttle that goes from Medway to Millinocket.

Yeah Portland can work, probably better than Bangor (1-stop flight for me vs 2 to bangor), no need for buses as my buddy will be picking me up. It appears looking at road directions that Boston and Manchester are both out of the way for a quick pickup from my friend (assuming he uses 495 around Boston).

T.S.Kobzol
05-15-2013, 10:44
if money isn't too tight then fly directly to bangor. Save yourself from 4 hour drive.

peakbagger
05-15-2013, 10:56
Portland is definitely the way to go for flights, there is a dedicated exit off the Maine turnpike. If your friend is driving up anyhow there is no time savings in flying to Bangor and definite money savings in flying to Portland.

Reservations are required at Baxter unless you get lucky and there are open sites. If you end up there mid week you have a good chance of getting a spot but forget weekends. Its very important that you know that you can not leave a car in the park for a week. So you have to park outside, most would park at Abol Bridge. Which means you can drop some gear and reload for an overnight or two in the park. Day hiking the mountain from Abol can be done but is not recomended as its real long day. Even staying overnight in the park, climbing the mountain the next day and hiking out to Abol is a long day.

Alternatively there was some sort of informal arrangement near the Togue Pond Gate.

The leans tos are small three sided structures, they are nice except in buggy weather (June and early July). Katahdin Stream Campground is quite dense with little space between sites.

Water Rat
05-15-2013, 11:01
This picture was posted under the "reviews" of Katahdin Stream Campground. I noticed it a while back when I was researching the campground to make reservations.

http://www.tripleblaze.com/ra-content/images/uploads/2011/09/IMG_8025-0.jpg

flemdawg1
05-15-2013, 11:20
you do need reservations for baxter, all of maine is not to be missed. shaws is very popular in monson, but maine is more about the trail than the trail towns.
white house landing is a 3/4mi blue blaze and you can use it for resupply in the 100 mile if you dont mind high prices.and their 1 lb hamburger is awesome.mid august is about as good as it gets. you still have plenty of daylight, the bugs are gone, daytimes still warm , but chilly nights.as far as shuttles go phil pepin(quadzilla on wb)runs shuttles and resupplies into the 100 mi.
ksc leantos are very simple leantos.i think the one i stayed at last year slept 4.

100 of those 151 miles are relatively flat although its all roots,rocks and bog bridges. the other 51 miles are fairly difficult.and katahdin itself is an all day affair.
12 days is definitely doable. if you're confident in your ability, go for it. or start from monson, and give yourself plenty of time to enjoy it. its usually 8-9 days from monson to abol bridge, then another 2 days inside baxter, although it can be done faster, maine is absolutely sublime. enjoy it.

My entire trip is actually 17 days, not counting the days I arrive or leave.


13.75 miles a day is pushing it if that is what you did in Virginia. It will probably be around 10-12 up here. But then again, you may hit this terrain and do as I did and love the ass kickin Maine puts on you. Maine is fun, but its tough, especially during the wet summery time. Start early and take nice longs breaks at the views, finish late.

Cool we're planning 12.5, with about 3 extra days for contingencies, visiting Arcadia, or whatever.


Shutterbug thanks for the tip on Gulf Hagas, I'm definately a blue-blazer for waterfalls.


Like others, I'll aver that mid-August is a great time to hike Maine - that's when I did it. No mosquitoes!

If you weren't aware, be prepared for fords in the 100 Mile Wilderness.

Your first day out of Caratunk brings you to Pleasant Pond Mountain. It's "only" about a 1,200' ascent but foot-for-foot, as steep as it gets. The views from the top are worth it.

How deep a ford are we talking, ankle, knee or waist deep? Yeah the 1st hill of a section hike is always the worst.



My rule of thumb for the Whites / Maine is 25% less miles than I can do south of there. For me that means planning 15 mile days instead of 20. Caratunk to Monson isn't that tough. Monson to Gulf Hagas is the toughest part. Jo Mary Rd to Baxter SP is very easy and enjoyable. You can up the miles there is you need to.

My first Maine section hike was in August and it was AWESOME! Bug free and not cold at night.

Sounds like I need to go ahead and get maps to see how the elevation profile goes.

flemdawg1
05-15-2013, 11:37
I'm thinking we'll probably skip the KSC reservations since we qualify for the Birches, plus if we can't get a spot at KSC, we could hitch back to Millinocket where the car will be.

Alligator
05-15-2013, 11:39
Bangor is super easy to get in and out of the airport. Park right out front. You might be the only flight they are dealing with at the moment. I loved flying out of there, it's about as small a jet airport you will find, quite a contradiction to the biggest airports that I was used to.

The connecting flight to there often uses a small aircraft, something to think about. I flew a little 2 seats to a row prop plane out of there once. I liked it but some folks aren't partial to them.

You might consider flight times as well for another factor in the travel arrangements.

Stepinwolfe
05-15-2013, 16:40
All of the above points are good. I made this run a few years ago--just a few more items for your consideration. Think about making a north to south trip. You can leave your car at Bangar Airport (the bus station, for free), take the bus to Milinocket, and stage out of the Appalachian Lodge. The Appalachian Lodge will pick you up at the bus station, put you up for the night, feed you breakfast, and drive you to the trail head in the morning. When you finish, take a shuttle/taxi back to the airport, where your car and plane are waiting.

Nak
05-17-2013, 02:08
I agree with all I have read except for 1 thing.....get the pizza at White House Landing. What you don't eat for dinner they'll put in a baggie for you, keep in the frig over night and you can take it with you after the all you can eat brkfst. This was done last yr.

Cookerhiker
05-17-2013, 08:35
....How deep a ford are we talking, ankle, knee or waist deep?...

It depends on the particular year or even the weather for the week before you start, meaning a lot of rain beforehand will make the fords more frequent and deeper.

It's possible for waist deep but even in a dry year, you'll have some up to your knees.

SouthMark
05-17-2013, 21:47
In June, 2009 when I did the Saddleback and Bemis ranges, it rained 26 days. We were able to ford the South Branch of the Carrabassett and Orbeton Stream. A week later hikers had to be shuttled around these. I did the 100 mw in August and never got my ankles wet. As Cookerhiker said, "depends on the year, the time of year and the weather which can change often. When we forded Black Brook in the morning it was maybe knee deep, that afternoon it was almost waist deep.

flemdawg1
01-22-2014, 15:40
Alright starting to get closer. Here's an update.
Made flight reservations to Manchester, NH: arrive afternoon Aug 15, leave Aug31 early.
Meet hiking partner in Manchester, spend night in local hotel.
Aug 16, drive up to Millinocket, spend night. (I tried to contact the AT lodge for a shuttle quote, never heard back) (any other shuttler reccomendations)
Aug 17th get early shuttle to Caratunk, start hiking North.
Aug 19th, Monson, leaning toward Lakeshore house at this point, (kayaks and pub, + accepts maildrops), will send a maildrop to here.
Aug 24, was planning to go to WHL. I guess I won't now that they've closed :(
Aug 26, Abol Bridge CG, will resupply at store here.
Aug 27 KSC
Aug 28th climb Katahdin
Aug 29-31 extra days, open to suggestions. May go to Bar Harbor or Arcadia. mmmm Lobster Rolls. If my hiking buddy wants to take off, may have him drop me off near Boston (flying back via MHT) or may go visit my sister in Brooklyn (and change flight to depart from LGA).

flemdawg1
01-22-2014, 15:43
This picture was posted under the "reviews" of Katahdin Stream Campground. I noticed it a while back when I was researching the campground to make reservations.

http://www.tripleblaze.com/ra-content/images/uploads/2011/09/IMG_8025-0.jpg

HA! looks just like the Cable Gap Shelter, right before Fontana

flemdawg1
01-22-2014, 15:45
Also are there any issues Hammocking between Caratunk and Baxter?

flemdawg1
01-22-2014, 15:45
Brown Fork Shelter, not cable Gap.

Kerosene
01-22-2014, 17:35
Nope, that looks more like Cable Gap Shelter to me, although the step-over isn't there. We ate lunch at Brown Fork Shelter and while it wasn't much different it did appear a bit larger than Cable Gap.

bigcranky
01-22-2014, 19:23
Aug 16, drive up to Millinocket, spend night. (I tried to contact the AT lodge for a shuttle quote, never heard back) (any other shuttler reccomendations).

If I recall correctly, there's no one there this time of year to answer you. That may have changed.


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk (http://tapatalk.com/m?id=1)

HighLiner
01-22-2014, 23:17
I hear White House Landing will be closed this year. I sent an E-mail to Rebekah at Lakeshore asking if they know anything.

4eyedbuzzard
01-23-2014, 04:08
I sent a PM to Linda asking if they will be open this coming season. Will post here if I receive a reply.

Hill Ape
01-23-2014, 05:09
brown fork vs cable gap... i think you are both wrong. brown fork is considerably wider and has two vertical posts along the open wall supporting the carrier beam. cable gap is built with much larger logs, and the corners are swedish coped

Hill Ape
01-23-2014, 05:16
also, only cable gap doesn't have a front step, and brown fork the step is a full round log, whereas the picture here is a square hewn log step

4eyedbuzzard
01-23-2014, 13:09
I hear White House Landing will be closed this year. I sent an E-mail to Rebekah at Lakeshore asking if they know anything.


I sent a PM to Linda asking if they will be open this coming season. Will post here if I receive a reply.

Linda (owner) PM'ed me. White House Landing will NOT be open this year. The business is still for sale.

Berserker
01-23-2014, 13:13
HA! looks just like the Cable Gap Shelter, right before Fontana


Brown Fork Shelter, not cable Gap.


Nope, that looks more like Cable Gap Shelter to me, although the step-over isn't there. We ate lunch at Brown Fork Shelter and while it wasn't much different it did appear a bit larger than Cable Gap.


brown fork vs cable gap... i think you are both wrong. brown fork is considerably wider and has two vertical posts along the open wall supporting the carrier beam. cable gap is built with much larger logs, and the corners are swedish coped


also, only cable gap doesn't have a front step, and brown fork the step is a full round log, whereas the picture here is a square hewn log step

I just couldn't resist a good sleuthing opportunity. I'm a little quirky, and like to take pics of all the shelters (for some wierd reason). I looked back at my Cable Gap and Brown Fork Shelter pics, and neither one of them looks like this shelter. So I don't know what shelter it is, but it isn't Cable Gap or Brown Fork.

Berserker
01-23-2014, 13:15
I just couldn't resist a good sleuthing opportunity. I'm a little quirky, and like to take pics of all the shelters (for some wierd reason). I looked back at my Cable Gap and Brown Fork Shelter pics, and neither one of them looks like this shelter. So I don't know what shelter it is, but it isn't Cable Gap or Brown Fork.
You know what, I just realized you guys were comparing it to Cable Gap and Brown Fork...my bad. It still doesn't look like either one of those though.

Actually on second thought it does resemble Cable Gap...sorry for the dumb thread drift.

Seatbelt
01-23-2014, 20:10
You know what, I just realized you guys were comparing it to Cable Gap and Brown Fork...my bad. It still doesn't look like either one of those though.

Actually on second thought it does resemble Cable Gap...sorry for the dumb thread drift.

To drift it a little further----Cable Gap has cooking shelves on the outside of the shelter.

flemdawg1
01-24-2014, 11:26
Ok enough about the stupid shelters.

TEXMAN
01-31-2014, 15:33
Alright starting to get closer. Here's an update.
Made flight reservations to Manchester, NH: arrive afternoon Aug 15, leave Aug31 early.
Meet hiking partner in Manchester, spend night in local hotel.
Aug 16, drive up to Millinocket, spend night. (I tried to contact the AT lodge for a shuttle quote, never heard back) (any other shuttler reccomendations)
Aug 17th get early shuttle to Caratunk, start hiking North.
Aug 19th, Monson, leaning toward Lakeshore house at this point, (kayaks and pub, + accepts maildrops), will send a maildrop to here.
Aug 24, was planning to go to WHL. I guess I won't now that they've closed :(
Aug 26, Abol Bridge CG, will resupply at store here.
Aug 27 KSC
Aug 28th climb Katahdin
Aug 29-31 extra days, open to suggestions. May go to Bar Harbor or Arcadia. mmmm Lobster Rolls. If my hiking buddy wants to take off, may have him drop me off near Boston (flying back via MHT) or may go visit my sister in Brooklyn (and change flight to depart from LGA).

I've used Buddy from Monson twice> very easy going guy and reasonable ..below is his info from the ATC shuttle list
Richard (Buddy) Ward
Monson, ME
(207) 997-3792 (home)
(207) 343-2564 (cell)
buppyx4@midmaine.com
A.T. in all of Maine and New Hampshire
Specializing in "slack packing" from Caratunk to Katahdin and also food drops covering the same area.
Experienced in emergency extractions

flemdawg1
01-31-2014, 15:51
Thanks, got a reservation with Buddy.

flemdawg1
04-01-2014, 11:18
Ok revised the Itineary again:


Made flight reservations to Manchester, NH: arrive afternoon Aug 15, leave Aug31 early.
Meet hiking partner in Manchester, spend night in local hotel.
Aug 16, drive up to Millinocket, 2pm shuttle to Caratunk, start hiking North.
Aug 18th, Monson, leaning toward Lakeshore house at this point, (kayaks and pub, + accepts maildrops), will send a maildrop to here.
Aug 24, was planning to go to WHL. I guess I won't now that they've closed :(
Aug 26, Abol Bridge CG, will resupply at store here.
Aug 26 KSC
Aug 27th climb Katahdin
Aug 28-31 extra days, open to suggestions. May go to Bar Harbor or Arcadia. mmmm Lobster Rolls. If my hiking buddy wants to take off, may have him drop me off near Boston (flying back via MHT) or may go visit my sister in Brooklyn (and change flight to depart from LGA).

But then I saw this in the AT Companion(2010):

"Ending at Katahdin—Northbounders who plan to have family and friends meetthem at the park should reserve campsites in advance. Labor Day weekend is especially packed, with a traditional Indian festival reserving the entire Katahdin Stream Campground."

OK, it seems a bit anti-climatic to end a hike at the Kennebec instaed of Katahdin. But would that be the more prudent course here? Starting at BSP and then Sobo. If we stick to the NOBO schedule (12.6 miles average), we'd summit Big K on Wednesday (Camping KSC on Tuesday night) and could potentially avoid the Scalpfest (i kid, I kid).

flemdawg1
04-01-2014, 11:23
For mileage pace, reference my most recent section hike was Franklin to Fontana in 4 days. 14 mile/day

flemdawg1
07-30-2014, 14:22
Ok revised the Itineary again:


Made flight reservations to Manchester, NH: arrive afternoon Aug 15, leave Aug31 early.
Meet hiking partner in Manchester, spend night in local hotel.
Aug 16, drive up to Millinocket, 2pm shuttle to Caratunk, start hiking North.
Aug 18th, Monson, leaning toward Lakeshore house at this point, (kayaks and pub, + accepts maildrops), will send a maildrop to here.
Aug 24, was planning to go to WHL. I guess I won't now that they've closed :(
Aug 26, Abol Bridge CG, will resupply at store here.
Aug 26 KSC
Aug 27th climb Katahdin
Aug 28-31 extra days, open to suggestions. May go to Bar Harbor or Arcadia. mmmm Lobster Rolls. If my hiking buddy wants to take off, may have him drop me off near Boston (flying back via MHT) or may go visit my sister in Brooklyn (and change flight to depart from LGA).

But then I saw this in the AT Companion(2010):

"Ending at Katahdin—Northbounders who plan to have family and friends meetthem at the park should reserve campsites in advance. Labor Day weekend is especially packed, with a traditional Indian festival reserving the entire Katahdin Stream Campground."

OK, it seems a bit anti-climatic to end a hike at the Kennebec instaed of Katahdin. But would that be the more prudent course here? Starting at BSP and then Sobo. If we stick to the NOBO schedule (12.6 miles average), we'd summit Big K on Wednesday (Camping KSC on Tuesday night).

Alright 2 weeks from Friday I go. Schedule seems to be holding. 16th afternoon shuttle to Caratunk then hit the trail to the first shelter 6 miles. 13 mi/day average. (Did a 20 mile day on the Pinhoti last month fully loaded) I've been running and doing yard work on the 90+ degree AL heat on weekends. Will be taking 7 days of food from Monson, scheduled for 5 days to get to Abol Bridge, but thought if the terrain kicks my butt too much to make my schedule, I'll have extra. Taking my standard AT summer kit (40 deg quilt, Prolite+ sleeping pad, 2 shorts, 2 pr socks, 2 tees, windshirt, rain jacket, base layer bottom, beanie, hammock w/ tarp)

Missing anything here? Has it been a wet summer in Maine so far? How cheap are the lobster rolls? Is the food at the Abol Bridge restaraunt any good?

DavidNH
07-30-2014, 14:36
do not miss the Shaw's hostel in Monson, ME. This is a fabulous hostel. For a little extra $ you get fed really well. Nice and comfy lodging. At it will be your last hostel before the 100 mile wilderness.

As for Whitehouse landing.. you can miss it, but it's hard to pass by lodging and 1 pound cheese burgers. The place is expensive ($$$$$)

flemdawg1
07-30-2014, 15:23
I plan on Shaw's for breakfast, but thought the Lakeshore House might suit my needs better. And I thought WHL was still closed.

peakbagger
07-30-2014, 18:08
I think you are correct WHL is no longer open