WhiteBlaze Pages
A Complete Appalachian Trail Guidebook.
$10 for printed copy(paperback). $6 for interactive PDF. $2 for printable PDF.
Read more here WhiteBlaze Pages Store

Results 1 to 17 of 17

Thread: IAT in Maine

  1. #1

    Default IAT in Maine



    I am thru-hiking the AT this year (2008) and was thinking about continuing on from Katahdin to the Canadian border. Does anyone know where I can get a map and/or guidebook for the IAT in Maine? Can anyone whose hiked that stretch tell me more about it?

    Will this damned banana ever tire of dancing...

    Thanks,

    Twineman (Christoph Meyer)

  2. #2
    Registered User vaporjourney's Avatar
    Join Date
    03-28-2006
    Location
    Asheville, NC
    Age
    39
    Posts
    370

    Default

    I had planned on doing this exact same extension on my '07 thru-hike, but ultimately decided against it for several reasons. I did a moderate amount of research before the hike, and told myself I'd buy the guidebook during the hike if I wanted to keep going. That turned out to be a great decision since I wound up not wasting my money.

    Definitely check www.internationalat.org if you haven't already. They have some rough maps on there...really good maps of Newfoundland (are you planning the NFLD section as well? that'd be AMBITIOUS!), and of course the guidebook, maps, and french/english dictionaries for sale.

    From what I could gather, at this point the AT thru Maine is sadly a lot of roadwalking. The IAT founder Dick Anderson told me that it was mostly on quiet logging roads, but still. They have added a new section though that goes through a wind farm, which would be really fun to hike through. I've also read some reports by people talking about how near the Maine/New Brunswick border is a miserable boggy mess. There are lots of beaver dams you cross, and just general sloppy hiking. Don't let any of this deter you though. Think of how great it would feel to know that you've broken the chains of convention and just didn't hike the AT, but went all the way to the Canadian Border. Northern Maine and Southern New Brunswick is an amazingly wild and quiet place. I can remember never wanting to leave Maine once I got up there, so maybe another couple of weeks wouldn't be a bad idea.

  3. #3
    Registered User A-Train's Avatar
    Join Date
    01-12-2003
    Location
    Brooklyn, NY
    Age
    38
    Posts
    3,027
    Images
    10

    Default

    I believe you need some sort of permits allowing you to enter certain areas and stay at certain shelters in Quebec, and there is an associated fee.

    There is usually an over-abundance of info at the Gathering each yr (October) but that doesn't do you much good.

    I'd probably see what you can find on the various sites. I know much of northern Maine is roadwalking on logging roads which can either become totally boring or a great change from the arduous AT in Maine.

    Either way, good luck and I hope you follow thru. I hear the Chic-Chocs? in Quebec are spectacular.
    Anything's within walking distance if you've got the time.
    GA-ME 03, LT 04/06, PCT 07'

  4. #4
    Administrator attroll's Avatar
    Join Date
    09-03-2002
    Location
    Denmark, Maine, United States
    Age
    61
    Posts
    5,518
    Journal Entries
    201
    Images
    589

    Default

    You may want to check into the passport situation to. I think you are required passports to inter into Canada starting this year.
    AT Troll (2010)
    Time does not wait for you, it keeps on rolling.

    Whiteblaze.net User Agreement.

  5. #5
    Peakbagger Extraordinaire The Solemates's Avatar
    Join Date
    10-30-2003
    Location
    Appalachian Ohio
    Posts
    4,385

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by attroll View Post
    You may want to check into the passport situation to. I think you are required passports to inter into Canada starting this year.
    you are!
    The only thing better than mountains, is mountains where you haven't been.

    amongnature.blogspot.com

  6. #6

    Default I need more Info on the IAT in Maine

    Thanks for the advice. I am not going to enter Canada so I won't worry about the passport. I plan on ONLY hiking the Maine portion of the IAT so that my 2008 AT thru-hike will end at the Canadian border instead of Katahdin.

    Thanks Vaporjourney, the best maps and guides I've found so far are the files on the Internationist.org website you reccomended. But I would love to see something with more detail. It seems there are two alternate routes from Katahdin that meet up and continue toward Canada. Has anyone hiked either route? Does anyone know any pros or cons of each route? How many miles is the IAT in Maine?

    Almost all the information I've been able to find is about the Canadian portion of the IAT. Is there an organization that maintains the Maine portion of the trail? Perhaps they would have the best info.

    I took a few short hikes on the AT (and some trails here in Ohio) this past year but this will be my first long hike. Can't wait to start in Georgia at the end of March. Just 2 months. I'm about as excited and full of enthusiasm as this guy...

    Any advise is greatly appreciated.

    Thanks,
    Twineman

  7. #7
    Registered User vaporjourney's Avatar
    Join Date
    03-28-2006
    Location
    Asheville, NC
    Age
    39
    Posts
    370

    Default

    Here are the mileages for every section of the IAT, as well as the Eastern Continental Trail. http://www.internationalat.org/Pages/SIAIAT_PDF/ECT.pdf

    It looks like the IAT through Maine is 100 miles long. Not bad at all once you've already hiked 2,174. From what i could gather last year, the main con about taking the route north of Katahdin and through the park is that you have to make absolutely certain that you have reservations for another campsite north of Katahdin. If not, whenever you leave the park, rangers will give you a barrage of questions of where your camping permit is, and you will most likely get a fine. Of course you may get away with it, but thats you're choice. If I recall correctly, the other option is a roadwalk out of Baxter, which would obviously be less scenic, but you wouldn't have to worry about lining up exact dates for a campsite beforehand.

    I would imagine that the hiking would be pretty dang easy, and you'd probably knock out 25+ mi days if you wanted through there, because of the large amount of road walking. http://www.internationalat.org/Pages/SIAIAT_PDF/ECT.pdf

    Feel free to email Dick Anderson, the IAT chairman, at [email protected] if you have any questions. He was really helpful when I had so many questions. There are also journals on trailjournals.com and www.nimblewillnomad.com if you'd like to read some firsthand accounts of the IAT thru Maine.

  8. #8
    But I believe, yes I believe, I said I believe
    Join Date
    09-24-2006
    Location
    Between Kittery and Fort Kent
    Age
    30
    Posts
    2,576
    Images
    3

    Default

    If you have the right mindset, northern Maine is quite nice.

    Kirby

  9. #9
    Registered User GGS2's Avatar
    Join Date
    01-05-2008
    Location
    London, Ontario
    Age
    75
    Posts
    722

    Default

    I understand that the park rangers discourage hikers from walking off Katahdin going North and out the park that way. Nimblewill talked of doubling back through the main gate and road-walking around the park. Is the northern park trail route practical, and anyone know the procedure for it?

  10. #10
    Registered User
    Join Date
    07-08-2005
    Location
    Lafayette, IND.
    Age
    42
    Posts
    474

    Default IAT Book

    I know that you only want to hike the Maine portion of the IAT, but there is a book called "Alone in the Appalachians" by Monique Dykstra that chronicles a hike up the IAT in 2000, the year it officially opened. It also has an IAT planning guide in the back of the book.

    PS--If you are offended by blue-yellow-and-or-aqua-blazing, I would not reach for this book, although personally I think this book is wonderful.

  11. #11

    Default Leaving BSP thru the North

    Quote Originally Posted by GGS2 View Post
    I understand that the park rangers discourage hikers from walking off Katahdin going North and out the park that way. Nimblewill talked of doubling back through the main gate and road-walking around the park. Is the northern park trail route practical, and anyone know the procedure for it?
    As long as you have reservations heading north, which would likely be Russell Pond first, through Pogy Notch towards South Branch Pond CG and then out Matagamon Gate... you are legit. You can call up to 14 days ahead of time to BSP HQ and use a cc over the phone to book. Russell is not as full these days as it used to be. A strong hiker with 2175 under their belt should be able to get out of the Park the next day then.

    HTH,
    BB

  12. #12
    Registered User weary's Avatar
    Join Date
    12-15-2003
    Location
    Phippsburg, Maine, United States
    Posts
    10,115
    Journal Entries
    1

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by GGS2 View Post
    I understand that the park rangers discourage hikers from walking off Katahdin going North and out the park that way. Nimblewill talked of doubling back through the main gate and road-walking around the park. Is the northern park trail route practical, and anyone know the procedure for it?
    You have to make reservations. If I had plenty of time, I would do the Knive Edge and descend via the Dudley Trail to Chimney Pond. Then take the Hamlin Ridge Trail and the North Peaks Trail to Russell Pond. From there go through the Center of the Park to South Branch Ponds, and then out the Mattagammon Gate at the north end of the park. That involves reservations at Chimney, Russell Pond and South Branch campgrounds.

    Most thru hikers hikers could probably skip the Chimney Pond stop and go directly from the summit to Russell Pond, and from Russell Pond to the Mattagamon Gate.

    But then you would miss the best of Baxter. If you have time and can get reservations, I would make all three stops. While you are going through ponder the incredible commitment that allowed one man to buy all this land, cajoling the big land owners to sell, one at a time. It was a lifetime project for Percival Baxter.

    Weary

  13. #13
    Geezer
    Join Date
    11-22-2003
    Location
    Portsmouth, NH
    Age
    74
    Posts
    2,964

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by weary View Post
    It was a lifetime project for Percival Baxter.
    Weary
    Forever wild. You gotta love him for putting in that stipulation.
    Frosty

  14. #14
    Registered User jcazz's Avatar
    Join Date
    03-19-2006
    Location
    Raymond, Maine
    Age
    58
    Posts
    88

    Default

    The North Peaks Trail has been closed for a few years now. I hiked it after it was closed in 2001?? It was easy to follow above treeline but after it goes below good luck. Unless someone has gone through and unofficially flagged/trimmed the fur trees and cleared the blow downs you could be in for quite a bushwack. You will need a compass and a good topo to make it out to Russell Pond. I would recommmend the Northwest Basin Trail to Russel Pond instead.

  15. #15

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by jcazz View Post
    The North Peaks Trail has been closed for a few years now. I hiked it after it was closed in 2001?? It was easy to follow above treeline but after it goes below good luck. Unless someone has gone through and unofficially flagged/trimmed the fur trees and cleared the blow downs you could be in for quite a bushwack. You will need a compass and a good topo to make it out to Russell Pond. I would recommmend the Northwest Basin Trail to Russel Pond instead.
    Correct. North Peak trail is impassable, my s.o. is a ranger @ RP. Apparently there are still cairns above treeline.... I meant to say this when I saw
    Weary mention it.

  16. #16
    Registered User weary's Avatar
    Join Date
    12-15-2003
    Location
    Phippsburg, Maine, United States
    Posts
    10,115
    Journal Entries
    1

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by jcazz View Post
    The North Peaks Trail has been closed for a few years now. I hiked it after it was closed in 2001?? It was easy to follow above treeline but after it goes below good luck. Unless someone has gone through and unofficially flagged/trimmed the fur trees and cleared the blow downs you could be in for quite a bushwack. You will need a compass and a good topo to make it out to Russell Pond. I would recommmend the Northwest Basin Trail to Russel Pond instead.
    Thanks for the correction. In some ways the Northwest Basin Trail is an even better route. The basin is the wildest part of the park.
    Weary

  17. #17
    Registered User
    Join Date
    04-28-2008
    Location
    Massachusetts
    Age
    60
    Posts
    15

    Default

    IAT - more than you want to know

    I hiked the IAT after AT in '04 (after starting in AL). It is a great trail if you have the right mindset as it is not the AT. Just the hike north through the park is great. In '04 anyhow, they opened the reservation system to phone reservations with a credit card within 2 weeks of the date. I was able to make reservations from Monson. The kicker is they won't let you hike more than so many miles. It is possible to hike out of the park directly from The Chimneys which is in the cirque on the north side of the peak. Alternatively you can get a car camping campsite on the north side and let them think you are driving around. I got an inexperienced "agent" on the phone and she found something that worked in this manner. The miles were big enough or the fact that it was a regular camper site kept the system from kicking it out. (I would have liked to hike out the nw part of the park but they would have stuck me doing these 5- 8 mile days or less??). I got to the car accessible campsite in the north part of the park by 2 or 3 including 2 nice swims. The next day, I hit 5 lakes taking the longest route out through the NE part of the park. You can get enough food at Abol Bridge and the campsite store outside the north entrance to get you on the way.

    90% of Maine is road walk and the same with NB. However, in ME, I stayed at a great waterfall, walked through an Amish community, had beers from others at sunset at a shelter on a ski peak, talked with several people along the "trail". Depending on the route chosen, you hit traffic for parts of only 2 days. I also spent an hour or two relaxing and chatting with bored border guards and another 20 minutes convincing a 3rd one that I was a thru-hiker. Using Delorme and help from the border patrol, there are several ways around the beaver pond or if you don't hike throught just stop when you first hit the border. The IAT site gives reasonable road directions but a copy of the appropriate Delorme ME atlas pages is indispensable.

    NB also has something nice each day including some relatively remote sections following a rail trail. It also has some trail angels. On this trail and in QB you are a celebrity but be aware most of it is empty paved road or rail trail (= ATV trail).

    Quebec is 95% on trails, empty dirt roads or remote ATV trails. There is one section along the beach = great sunrise and/or sunset. The short paved sections are in towns or in the boonies. There are numerous undesirable spots but overall it is great although WET. If you can't stand hiking in wet shoes stay away. It grows on you after a while. This hike is as much a cultural experience as it is a backcountry experience. Expect to spent some $ on motels in addition to the "passport". Although I only shared three backcountry campsites in QB, I also was invited into three homes. Expect to be lost most days but not LOST. A big plus is that all of the backcountry sites are on platforms or huge cabins with bunkrooms and a wood fireplace.

    The Matane and Parc de la Gaspesie in the Chic-Chocs are great places along with Cap Gaspe. These are remote, wild, and full of wildlife (bear, moose, porcupine, caribou).

    Daybreak

++ New Posts ++

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •