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  1. #1

    Arrow Some Katahdin Stream Campground questions answered

    Your bus gets in many miles away from the Park at 7:30 at night. Contact the AT Lodge about their MEGA deal, they'll pick you up, put you up for the night, and take you to the Ranger's cabin the next day. 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/webcam.html
    and from the east: http://www.katahdincam.com/
    Please don't call it 'the big K' or 'Mount Katahdin' - the name of the mountain is Katahdin, and the summit is Baxter Peak.
    Share - the bus ride, the shuttle, the campsite - save $, make friends.
    You're most likely not going to climb on May 15th. Here's my 'unofficial' list of opening dates over the last several years:

    '11 Park is considering postponing May 15th opening.
    '10 May 25th
    '09 May 20th for both Hunt and Abol.
    '08 May 29th (Park had canceled May 15th opening)
    '07 May 31st
    '06 May 18th (Abol May 15th)
    '05 June 4th
    '04 May 16th
    '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.

    Map: http://www.baxterstateparkauthority....mpgrnd-Map.gif
    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.
    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/
    TALK WITH THE RANGER!
    Teej

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

  2. #2
    AT 4000+, LT, FHT, ALT Blissful's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TJ aka Teej View Post
    Please don't call it 'the big K' or 'Mount Katahdin' - the name of the mountain is Katahdin, and the summit is Baxter Peak.
    Super, super info...

    ...but is the above sentence really needed for a successful SOBO on the grand scale of things? I mean I could easily take offense with thru and section hikers always calling SNP here in VA "The Shenandoahs" when its known as Shenandoah.

    Whooptie do.

    So hikers you're on notice - please don't call Shenandoah National Park the Shenandoahs anymore...








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  3. #3

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    Some minor additions to an excellent post

    Katahdin Stream is infamous for lots of overly friendly critters that will go after any food if its left out. They recommend that all food be kept in vehicles or latchable containers which isnt much use to backpackers dropped off. The critters at the site have been habituated to humans for many years and are well trained at how to get at your food.

    There is no cell service or electric power at the campground. There usually is cell service near the top of the mountain.

    There is no last minute place to buy anything in the park. The closest place is Abol Bridge outside the park. They have a basic variety of goods but its very pricey and a half of day walk from the campground so it is not a viable source while at KSC.

    Make sure you have bug repellent it will be buggy.

    The campsite is carry in carry out, If you want to lug beer and champagne up the mountain you have to carry the empties out of the park or find someone to do it for you.

    There is a lot of human use along the stream which is the water source, plan on treating it.

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by TJ aka Teej View Post
    You're most likely not going to climb on May 15th. Here's my 'unofficial' list of opening dates over the last several years:

    '11 Park is considering postponing May 15th opening.
    '10 May 25th
    '09 May 20th for both Hunt and Abol.
    '08 May 29th (Park had canceled May 15th opening)
    '07 May 31st
    '06 May 18th (Abol May 15th)
    '05 June 4th
    '04 May 16th
    '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)
    Great info! Got any estimate for a start date for this year? The nice ladies at Baxter State Park don't want to pick a date because they're afraid of me being mad if they're wrong (I'm assuming). I was wondering if you could give an honest estimate based on your experience? I'm shooting for a June 4 summit, but need to figure out if I need to reconsider. Thanks!

    Quote Originally Posted by Blissful View Post
    So hikers you're on notice - please don't call Shenandoah National Park the Shenandoahs anymore...

    Guess all SOBO's have no excuse now!
    Trailname: Reboot

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by Blissful View Post
    - please don't call Shenandoah National Park the Shenandoahs anymore...
    Little things do matter
    Teej

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

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by protargol View Post
    I'm shooting for a June 4 summit, but need to figure out if I need to reconsider.
    There's no telling from a distance. It could snow some more. I'll be up there next week, but even if the roads and campgrounds are open the mountain may not be. All early start MEGAs should have a plan B, like heading north from Monson, or bouncing back to Baxter from Monson.
    Teej

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

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by TJ aka Teej View Post
    There's no telling from a distance. It could snow some more. I'll be up there next week, but even if the roads and campgrounds are open the mountain may not be. All early start MEGAs should have a plan B, like heading north from Monson, or bouncing back to Baxter from Monson.
    Well, I'm in Boston and the plan is to drive up, so my plan B is just leave when the trail opens. Hopefully that works. Thanks for the great info
    Trailname: Reboot

  8. #8
    Registered User Chop's Avatar
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    Any issues stealth camping near Katahdin stream campground?

    I had to change my dates last minute and the campground is full for my second night. I reserved a spot in another campsite, but it is 45 min away (by car).

  9. #9
    Registered User weary's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chop View Post
    Any issues stealth camping near Katahdin stream campground?

    I had to change my dates last minute and the campground is full for my second night. I reserved a spot in another campsite, but it is 45 min away (by car).
    There are no legal stealth sites near Katahdin Stream that I've heard of. But things change from year to year. If you have a car you should just go to the alternative campground. There are no terrible camping areas in the park. It's a chance to explore a bit in another section of a mostly wild park.

    if you are a friendly guy, sometimes you can get invited to camp with someone else. JUst wander among the campsites and ask about the willingness to share

  10. #10

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    There are big issues about stealth camping in the park. They take their rules seriiously and stealth camping is not allowed and will earn you a trip out of the park and a fine. The reality is that rarely will you need to stealth camp as there are frequently last minute openings at campsites when people leave early or there are no shows. If you let the rangers know, they can work with you, if you decide to go it on your own thats when you can get in trouble.

    Pure speculation is they may let you stay at the Birches (entirely at their discretion). There are sometimes trail crew sites that are available. Since you have made the effort to book a campsite, the staff will mostly likely be more helpful, but dont get on their wrongside.

  11. #11
    Registered User Chop's Avatar
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    thanks folks. all helpful words that will most likely keep us out trouble.

  12. #12

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    I'd say enjoy that second night at the other campground. Be sure to talk with the Rangers right when you get in, they are really helpful, and might be able to figure out something.
    Teej

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

  13. #13
    Registered User weary's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TJ aka Teej View Post
    I'd say enjoy that second night at the other campground. Be sure to talk with the Rangers right when you get in, they are really helpful, and might be able to figure out something.
    I'd say that Tj is giving good advice. When I arrived at Baxter on October 15, many years ago, preparing to climb Katahdin I had no place to stay that night, when officially the park was closing.

    A couple of radio calls later, me and my wife were in a "VIP" cabin at Daisy Pond. We spent the night there on the 15th, I climbed the mountain the next morning, and camped that night with my wife after six months on the trail. We left the park on October 17.

    Don't plan on such largesse. But being friendly helps, I've found.

  14. #14
    AT 4000+, LT, FHT, ALT Blissful's Avatar
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    You may alos be able to share a site with another hiker. Some SOBOS did that last year when they didn't know they needed reservations to stay at the campground. But the rangers are very helpful, totally hiker-friendly







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  15. #15

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    Bumping this up as the MEGA season fast approaches.

    Updating the 2011 info:

    '11 May 28th (Park opening was delayed til May 20)
    '10 May 25th
    '09 May 20th for both Hunt and Abol.
    '08 May 29th (Park had canceled May 15th opening)
    '07 May 31st
    '06 May 18th (Abol May 15th)
    '05 June 4th
    '04 May 16th
    '03 May 24th
    '02 May 15th (Day hikers summited via Abol May 10th)
    '01 prior to May 20th, but not May 15th
    '00 Memorial Day Weekend
    '99 May 18th (per South Walker '99)
    Teej

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

  16. #16
    Registered User tenn_hiker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TJ aka Teej View Post
    Bumping this up as the MEGA season fast approaches.

    Updating the 2011 info:

    '11 May 28th (Park opening was delayed til May 20)
    '10 May 25th
    '09 May 20th for both Hunt and Abol.
    '08 May 29th (Park had canceled May 15th opening)
    '07 May 31st
    '06 May 18th (Abol May 15th)
    '05 June 4th
    '04 May 16th
    '03 May 24th
    '02 May 15th (Day hikers summited via Abol May 10th)
    '01 prior to May 20th, but not May 15th
    '00 Memorial Day Weekend
    '99 May 18th (per South Walker '99)
    Any idea when it will open this year?
    "Teufel Hunden"

  17. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by tenn_hiker View Post
    Any idea when it will open this year?
    Katahdin Stream and Abol campgrounds May 15th. Trails up from there, hard to tell. The Tableland needs to dry out before hikers are allowed up.
    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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    Early Spring in Maine this year, so May 15 should be a go. The big issues are the gravel roads in the Park, but with the early meltoff, most of the frost is coming out of the ground earlier than usual and the roads should be graded and easily passable. The Hunt and Abol trails are usually the first trails to be opened since they have a southerly exposure and the snow melts quicker in the direct sunlight (may be a few pockets of snow in the dense fir, but nothing major). Was up near "the mountain" last week and this is the earliest I have ever seen the snow retreat. Hopefully, there won't be as many bugs this year since most of the breeding waters are drying up as well.......Quadzilla www.100milewilderness.info

  19. #19

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    Starting a 30 to 60 day southbound hike starting at Katahdin in June. Getting ready to mail in my campground request to Baxter this week for mid to late June and was curious if anyone has ever hung a hammock at Katahdin Stream? Do they not allow it or are there no places to hang? Should I note it on the request? I was just curious since I have to mark preference for tent sites or lean-to.

  20. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by doglvr View Post
    Starting a 30 to 60 day southbound hike starting at Katahdin in June. Getting ready to mail in my campground request to Baxter this week for mid to late June and was curious if anyone has ever hung a hammock at Katahdin Stream? Do they not allow it or are there no places to hang? Should I note it on the request? I was just curious since I have to mark preference for tent sites or lean-to.
    I stayed a few years back in my hammock and they were cool with it. The way the ranger explained it to me was that if you get a lean-to then you can't put up a tent, but you can put up a hammock. There are plenty of trees around at both the campsites and lean-tos so make your priority getting a site that is between the AT and the stream as those are the best. I would call them and make sure things haven't changed though.

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