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  1. #1

    Default 2014 Katahdin Stream Campground questions answered

    The name of the mountain is Katahdin, the summit is Baxter Peak.
    Share - the bus ride, the shuttle, the campsite - save $, make friends.
    Your bus gets in many miles away from the Park at 7:30 at night. You are not going to camp in the Park that night.
    Contact the AT Lodge about their MEGA deal, they'll pick you up at the bus stop, put you up for the night, and take you to KSC the next morning.
    It's really a good deal.

    Watch the snow melt here: http://www.neoc.com/webcam/twin-pine...am-camera1.php
    and here: http://www.chesuncooklakehouse.com/c...3-webcam1.html
    and from the east: http://www.katahdincam.com/
    New Abol Bridge Store webcam - see the actual AT! http://www.abolcampground.com/Webcam.html

    You're not going to climb on May 15th. Plan your start for later.
    More often than not, the Abol Slide trail opens before the Hunt trail.
    Here's my 'unofficial' list of opening dates over the last decade plus:

    '13 May 24th
    '12 May 20th
    '11 Park canceled traditional May 15th opening, Abol open Memorial day weekend.
    '10 May 25th
    '09 May 20th for both Hunt and Abol
    '08 Park canceled traditional May 15th opening, Abol and Hunt open May 29th.
    '07 May 31st
    '06 Abol May 15th, Hunt May 18th
    '05 June 4th
    '04 May 16th, the AT was a brook between the Falls and the Hunt Spur.
    '03 May 24th
    '02 May 15th (Day hikers summited via Abol May 10th)
    '01 prior to May 20th
    '00 Memorial Day Weekend
    '99 May 18th (per South Walker '99)

    You want to book a lean-to for the night before and after your climb. Your gear stays dry, you can get a pre-tourist start in the AM, and you get to recover from the AT's hardest 10.2 miles around a campfire. The long hike out the next day to Hurd Brook Lean-to can be a slog with tired legs, so relax and get a well deserved good night's sleep.

    Tent sites 16 and 17 are roomy, plenty of space for two or three backpacking tents,
    Lean-tos 1-3 are quiet walk-ins, lean-tos 4-8 are streamside and away from the parking area.
    Reservation information: http://www.baxterstateparkauthority.com/reservation/
    Buy a bundle of firewood or two at the Ranger's cabin. Cash only, you can also buy maps and guides.
    Note: The AT has been relo'd to go straight across the tote road and behind Grassy Pond, a throw back to the route Earl Shaffer took.
    Yes, you can start before 7 AM if the trail was open the day before.
    Local radio station and weather: http://www.themountain949.com/ You can hear the weather report all the way to Whitecap.
    TALK WITH THE RANGER!

    After you hike out the next day plan on a stop at the rebuilt Abol Bridge Store. New owners, and good eats.
    Last edited by TJ aka Teej; 04-14-2014 at 19:25.
    Teej

    "[ATers] represent three percent of our use and about twenty percent of our effort," retired Baxter Park Director Jensen Bissell.

  2. #2
    PCT, Sheltowee, Pinhoti, LT , BMT, AT, SHT, CDT 560 miles 10-K's Avatar
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    That's some mighty good intel. Thanks.

  3. #3
    Registered User sureaboutthis's Avatar
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    Great info. Thank you


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  4. #4
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    A few more to add to an excellent post

    If someone is giving a ride to a hiker into the park and has out of state plates they have to pay a road fee to enter the park $14 cash, no EBTS, ATMS or credit cards. If you are dropped off at the Togue Pone gate, its a long walk on a very narrow dusty road to Katahdin Stream, although you should be able to hitch as its the main road of the park. One of the nicer views of the mountain is immediately before the Togue Pond gate. Good spot for photos.

    If the person giving a hiker a ride wants to park at any of the three katahdin trailheads, they have to buy a day use parking permit for $5. The driver can buy a pass in advance or they can take their chances at the gate. Odds are in late May or June its not an issue but on popular weekends later in the summer, they may not be able to get a permit for the trailhead they wish to park at. The hiker can be dropped off at the trailhead but the driver will not be able to park or stay. This means the driver cant hike Katahdin as there are no overflow lots or other places to park. This system is in place to manage hiker traffic on the mountain.

    Lot to be said for tenting at any of the BSP campgrounds in late May/early June. Other wise plan on getting a lot of practice on biting insect management.

    There are no stores, telephones or electric power in the park. There is cell service once you are up on the mountain near or above treeline but none down at the base of the mountain in the park at the camp grounds . There is a variety store about halfway to the park from Millinocket but its pricey. Best place to stock up is at the Grocery store on the right just across from McDonalds in Millinocket.

    New England Outdoors has family type cabins outside the park with amenities for those with family who want to visit and stay. Penobscot outdoor center is even close to the park, it strictly camping but does have amenities

    If driving to the park for the first time, do not depend on car navigation system to get you to the park. Most systems will direct you to the park headquarters in Millinocket. The available road databases in the area are very bad and many of the roads are seasonal or have long since been abandoned. There are signs in Millinocket at key intersections. You literally will be driving to the end of the state highway and the last paved road for many miles. For most folks plan on 1 to 1.5 hours to drive to KSC from Millinocket. The last stretch from Togue Pond Gate to KSC, is on road that is barely 2 cars wide, the speed limit of 25 is optimistic for many in some stretches.

    The campgrounds are in the deep woods with few options for great photos of the intrepid hiker starting the hike. On the west side of the park (Katahdin Stream), Daicey Pond campground has a prime view of the mountain with the pond in the foreground, the AT used to run by here but now its skirts by it. On the east side (roaring brook), the only option is taking a 2 minute walk to Sandy Stream Pond. In general there are very few good views of the park from the park roads as its mostly dense woods.

  5. #5
    Nalgene Ninja flemdawg1's Avatar
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    Are there any good campsites at KSC for hammocks?

    How tough is it to get a hitch from the park to Millinocket after climbing Big K?

  6. #6
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    Cant comment on hammock friendly but would suspect the ones on the south side of the stream might be the best. The Birches is probably better suited as its newer campground that is far less developed. The main portion of KSC is pretty beat down without a lot of trees and fairly tight spacing between sites.

    It is highly likely that a thru hiker will be able to hitch from either one of the campgrounds to Millinocket as 99% of the traffic leaving the park is going that way and 90% of the people in the park are outdoors folks. During late summer early fall when thru hikers are in the park there are many dayhikers climbing the mountain that will get down later than a typical thru hiker. Between resident campers moving in or out of the park and dayhikers I wouldn't worry about it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by peakbagger View Post
    The campgrounds are in the deep woods with few options for great photos of the intrepid hiker starting the hike. On the west side of the park (Katahdin Stream), Daicey Pond campground has a prime view of the mountain with the pond in the foreground, the AT used to run by here but now its skirts by it. On the east side (roaring brook), the only option is taking a 2 minute walk to Sandy Stream Pond. In general there are very few good views of the park from the park roads as its mostly dense woods.
    More good info here. Here's a pic from Daicey Pond, back from the days when there was an AT shelter very near by. Most folks probably don't quite "get" the way this park is organized and managed -- your post makes clear the remoteness and limited-access nature of it.

    daicey_pond.jpg

  8. #8

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    Hey, thanks so much for the info. I am in the process of planning for a sobo thru hike. However, I have no clue what date I would actually be able to leave; I only know it will be sometime in mid june. I was wondering if you know how fast the KSC sites fill up? Will knowing a week beforehand be sufficient? Will the AT lodge most likely be full?
    Thanks

  9. #9

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    Hi WhatWhy -
    Check the BSP Reservation Page for site availability, you'll see plenty of weekday still open sites. You'll want to book as soon as possible, though.

    This time of year the AT Lodge will have plenty of room for you.
    Teej

    "[ATers] represent three percent of our use and about twenty percent of our effort," retired Baxter Park Director Jensen Bissell.

  10. #10
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    Hello all!

    An update on the BSP page:

    "Due to the slow departure of snow, ice and frost from Park roads and trails, the opening of South Branch Pond, Trout Brook Farm and Roaring Brook Campgrounds as well as backcountry sites accessed from these campgrounds, has been postponed until Thursday, May 22. Rangers will continue to evaluate conditions and trails. Roads will open as soon as ground and road conditions dry and firm up. Check our Facebook page or call Park Headquarters for current info."

    I'm not sure what that means for Katahdin Stream Campground and Hunt Trail - so I will give them a call tomorrow and update my post.

    I start June 3. I'm a little worried about fording with this late snow melt. Does anyone have any tips?

  11. #11

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    736, the advisory doesn't include Katahdin Stream, that campground is still to open the 15th. The Hunt Trail however will not be open. The first trail up Katahdin will be Abol, as usual, but right now it's snow covered as is the tableland. Starting the 3rd you should be OK. The AT leaving the Park may be splashy along the river, and your first ford at Hurd Brook will just be a rock hop. No telling after that this far out, but you will be meeting northbounders who will fill you in on the trail ahead.
    Teej

    "[ATers] represent three percent of our use and about twenty percent of our effort," retired Baxter Park Director Jensen Bissell.

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    Thanks for the clarification TJ!

    Lets hope it warms up soon.

  13. #13

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    The Hunt Trail opened on 5/29/2014, with a flagged detour just below the monkey bars.
    Teej

    "[ATers] represent three percent of our use and about twenty percent of our effort," retired Baxter Park Director Jensen Bissell.

  14. #14

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    Bumping this up. prepping a new message for 2015 that will include the ATC's new hiker registration program.
    Input for 2015's message, especially from 2014 MEGAs, would be appreciated.
    Teej

    "[ATers] represent three percent of our use and about twenty percent of our effort," retired Baxter Park Director Jensen Bissell.

  15. #15
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    You probably need to mention the status of the Abol trail assuming its still closed, it will drive more traffic to KSC.

  16. #16

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    Thanks, pb!
    Teej

    "[ATers] represent three percent of our use and about twenty percent of our effort," retired Baxter Park Director Jensen Bissell.

  17. #17

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    BigBadaBump.
    Teej

    "[ATers] represent three percent of our use and about twenty percent of our effort," retired Baxter Park Director Jensen Bissell.

  18. #18
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    Still some very good information here.

    Thanks guys for helping to keep us informed on the quieter end of the trail.. Well as far as Thru hiking goes. The links have been very helpful seen the photo / camera link (posted also in another thread) very helpful in seeing that even though a few hundred miles away you guys still have a very snow covered Mt Katahdin.
    If you are afraid of bears, then don't go into the woods dressed up and smelling like a berry bush.

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