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  1. #1

    Default hike Katahdin and Blueberry Trail

    I will be staying at a hotel in Millinocket next week.

    Day 1:
    What time should I be at Togue Pond Gate?
    I have my reservations to park at Katahdin Stream and plan to day hike the AT up Katahdin. I saw somewhere that people start lining up at Togue Pond Gate by 4am. Is this correct? I thought I would show up at the gate around 6am or maybe 6:30am and be hiking by 7am or 8am. If there is a line, perhaps I should get there earlier.
    I think earlier I was told I can park and hike, no need to check in.

    Day 2:
    Is there parking at the south end of the Blueberry Trail where it intersects the AT? Where can I park around here?
    My thought is to park there, hike north on the Blueberry trail to the AT, then hike the AT southbound to my car. It looks like about a 13 mile loop and minimal elevation.

    This will take care of hiking the AT in BSP.
    Thank you

  2. #2

    Default

    Gate opens at 6 AM if you have day use reservations you need to be at the Togue Pond gate by 7 AM at the latest.

    From the website.

    if you donít have a parking reservation and there are unreserved spots, we start filling those on a first-come, first served basis at 6am when Togue Pond Gate opens. If the three trailhead lots are fully reserved, there are often no-shows and you may have a good chance to get in starting at 7:05am when parking reservations expire. Those without reservations line up in ĎLane 1í, and are permitted access to trailheads on a first come-first served basis starting at 7:05am.
    if you have a parking reservation, we will hold it for you until 7am. if you donít show up, the spot becomes first-come, first served at that time.


    The reason for lining up early even if you have day use reservations, is there are only a couple of employees running the gate. It takes awhile to process all the people coming into the park so it may take quite a while to process everyone in line. The reservations always ensure you a place to park but those there early in line get to the trailhead quicker. An early start is nice at Roaring Brook to catch the early morning sunlight on the east side of the mountain but since you are heading for KSC on the west side of the mountain, a later start means a bit more sun when you start hiking. Note, post labor day during the week there is far less car traffic into the park. Its still busy on weekends and at KSC. Remember sunrise is just after 6 AM these days. BTW its the rut season for moose and they are more active around sunrise and sunset, keep an eye out for them as during the rut they tend to run into the roads.

    I cant give you any info on the Blueberry trail as I dont think there is one at BSP. There is the Blueberry Ledges trail. I have not hiked it so you are on your own. Generally the low elevation trails at BSP are old logging roads in a closed canopy, usually easy walking.

    There are not a lot of early breakfast options in Millinocket. You may want to have something to eat while you wait in line at the park. I think the Dead RIver station in town has Dunkin Donuts that is open early.

    I plan to be up there in about six days.
    Last edited by peakbagger; 09-07-2021 at 12:49.

  3. #3

    Default

    I can now answer my own questions from experience:

    1. Driving in, there is a gate blocking the entrance and then there is a gatehouse. I arrived around 5am with my Day Use Reservation. There were probably 10 or 12 cars there already. Vehicles arrived after me, but I didn't pay attention to how many. We all sat and waited in line. A park employee came around explaining the process to the first few in line but at 6am he went to the gate and opened it and directed traffic. If one had a reservation (as I did), one was directed to the gatehouse. If one was simply showing up, one was directed to a waiting area, basically another line. It's probably a few hundred yards from the gate to the gatehouse. Of the 10 to 12 vehicles ahead of me, probably 4 or 5 had a reservation so were ahead of me at the gatehouse. The process was fairly quick. I took my time and was on the trail around 7:10am.

    2. There is a parking area just before the Abol Bridge. It is about a half mile walk to the AT/BBL intersection. There is also parking nearer the intersection. All told I did about a 14 mile loop walking up the AT (9+ miles) and back down Blueberry Ledges Trail (4+ miles).

    Something else I noticed that may be of interest to some. I walked the AT right up to the Katahdin Stream campground/parking area during my AT/BBL hike. Then I followed the road about a quarter mile to the BBL trail. A couple hundred yards in are a couple of 3 sided shelters, a picnic table, room to tent, etc. So for less than a mile total out-and-back one has a alternative camping area to the Katahdin Stream campground.

    At the start of the trail (and most trails from what I could tell) is a box with a register or sign in sheet. Name, time in, time out, trail in, trail out. I returned to the same box so filled the time out as I exited. I did not check in with a ranger at the trailhead. I believe only thru hikers are required to check with a ranger at the trailhead.
    Last edited by perrymk; 09-21-2021 at 09:44.

  4. #4

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by perrymk View Post
    A couple hundred yards in are a couple of 3 sided shelters, a picnic table, room to tent, etc. So for less than a mile total out-and-back one has a alternative camping area to the Katahdin Stream campground.
    That's the Birches long distance hikers campsite. Hike in from at least Monson northbound and you qualify for a shot at one of the 12 spots. Not available to southbounders or ATers flipping up to the Park.
    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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