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Thread: Who's done the Hamlin/Katahdin loop?

  1. #16
    Senior Member TEO's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MichaelJ View Post
    If you:
    Start at Roaring Brook Campground
    Go up Hamlin Ridge Trail (highly recommended)
    Over Hamlin Peak, across the Saddle and up to Baxter Peak
    Double back and go down the Saddle Trail past Chimney Pond and down to Roaring Brook

    I would roughly estimate the day on par with a loop of Adams, Madison, and Jefferson in terms of effort required. There's no equivalent in terms of view and experience. The place is just majestic.
    This is what I did a couple of summers ago and it was an awesome day in every aspect. I started at 7:30 AM, and finished in the mid-late afternoon, IIRC. My recollection was that it was a big day, but not huge. In terms of scenery and terrain, there is nothing like it in the northeastern U.S.

  2. #17
    Senior Member Stan's Avatar
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    As you can see, there are several permutations of loop routes, all of which allow you to claim bragging rights for a long tough day. In my mind it is a waste of the trip to rush through it ... Katahdin should be savored for all its glory, history and rugged beauty. It is probably the only mountain east of the Mississippi River which most closely resembles a Rocky Mountain experience and the demanding entry is worth it. The Park represents a sensible controlled blend of wilderness and human accommodation. I recommend enjoying it to the fullest and staying inside the park ... cabin, bunkhouse, leanto or tentsite ... at least a few days to fully absorb the ambience, assure access and maintain flexibility for the vagaries of the weather.

    We've hiked Katahdin three times: 1) a through hike from Roaring Brook up to Hamlin and down the Hunt Trail (we bypassed Baxter Peak to hasten a descent against an approaching summer storm), 2) a day hike from Chimney Pond which included my father, in his 70's at the time, and 3) a Knife Edge loop with one night at Chimney Pond in a group I organized. Oh! to relive any of these hikes ... such is the allure of Katahdin.

    Katahdin is best sipped, not chugged, so plan it well and you'll enjoy it long after the event.

  3. #18
    Senior Member MadRiver's Avatar
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    A personal note about Baxter if you please. This August will be my 7th trip to Baxter State Park. Each year a group of 20 to 30 of us rent out an entire campsite for a week so as not to interfere with otherís wilderness experiences. I have yet to encounter any Draconian Regulations that have left a bad taste in my mouth. Each ranger I have met, whether in camp, on the trail, or up top have always been courteous and professional. In fact, I only remember one bad experience and I caulk that up to the ranger being a Dick, and not some systemic attitude of rangers by in large.

    Now I wasnít present when others had problems so I cannot comment on whether or not they are blowing things out of proportion or not. If you hike exclusively in the Whites with its Live Free or Die attitude, then go to Baxter that actually has regulations to keep the troglodytes in check, it might seem a tad Draconian. Either way, I am looking forward to my August trip to Baxter!
    What do you mean he don't eat no meat? Ok, I'll do lamb.

  4. #19
    Senior Member Tim Seaver's Avatar
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    I have had mixed experiences over the last 20 years at Baxter with the rangers, everything from great helpful advice from the best, to the worst of them just making up their own regulations out of thin air. The worst example was when I arrived late in the afternoon at Turner Pond doing some freelance photography. The ranger saw my tripod and other photo gear and actually tried to tell me that it was illegal for me to take images without a license, purely on the premise that I was a professional and was therefore engaging in "commercial" use of the park. I politely pointed out that what I was doing, which was freelancing with only potential client use is not commercial use and insisted that unless he can produce some paperwork that shows these "rules" that I would proceed with my hike. Like any profession involving a funny hat and tiny bit of power, you'll have a sprinkling of authoritarian types just dying to get in on telling people what they can and can't do, even if they just have to make it up on the fly. Fortunately most of the rangers are quite helpful, if a bit more invasive feeling to people who hike regularly elsewhere in the NE.
    You donít have to be a fantastic hero to do certain things ó to compete. You can be just an ordinary chap, sufficiently motivated. - Edmund Hillary

  5. #20
    Senior Member MichaelJ's Avatar
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    The actual rules for a special permit definitely do not include what you were carrying:
    Uses equipment in addition to a video/still camera and regular tripod, including artificial lighting, generators, camera/microphone booms, cords, speakers or any other equipment not normally used by the visiting public.
    They do throw in the line:
    Requires access to closed areas, hiking to sites before sunrise/ after sunset, staff logistical assistance or other operational exceptions.
    but seeing as there are no published rules about hiking in general before sunrise / after sunset there's definitely plenty of leeway here for freelance photography.

    On an interesting note, for those who've followed stories about Baxter for a few years, hang gliders and parasailers are now officially forbidden in the park.
    May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view. May your mountains rise into and above the clouds. - Edward Abbey

  6. #21
    Senior Member MichaelJ's Avatar
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    Another interesting note. Quoting the BSP website:

    "Park rules require hikers to carry only one piece of equipment - a flashlight (or headlamp)."
    May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view. May your mountains rise into and above the clouds. - Edward Abbey

  7. #22
    Senior Member MichaelJ's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by peakbagger View Post
    With a day use parking pass you can arrive at the gate at a somewhat more reasonable hour than you would if you wait in line with out one and hope for no shows.
    FYI: DUPR spots are held until 7:00am on the day of your reservation, after which any unfilled DUPRs or remaining space will be filled on a first-come, first-serve basis.
    May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view. May your mountains rise into and above the clouds. - Edward Abbey

  8. #23
    Senior Member spencer's Avatar
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    For those of you who are still limiting your visits to the Park because of past bitterness, I suggest you take a fresh look at the policies. BSP has evolved (e.g., solo winter day use).

    And for what it's worth, several rangers are "real cops" as they have been through the criminal justice academy.

  9. #24
    Senior Member Ed'n Lauky's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by spencer View Post
    For those of you who are still limiting your visits to the Park because of past bitterness, I suggest you take a fresh look at the policies. BSP has evolved (e.g., solo winter day use).

    And for what it's worth, several rangers are "real cops" as they have been through the criminal justice academy.
    How about allowing dogs in on a leash?
    I used to look at my dog and think 'If you were a little smarter you could tell me what your were thinking', and he'd look at me like he was saying 'If you were a little smarter I wouldn't have to'. Fred Jungclaus

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  10. #25
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    Legally defined "Assitance Dogs" have been allowed in the park. An AT thruhiker finished a few year back on the summit with her dog and I beleive Bill Irwin also did with Orient. This did and does open up a "can of worms" as the assistance dog laws have reportedly been abused to allow people with no need of assistance to bring their pets into places that preclude pets. Unfortunately Baxter's rules (which are pretty well cast in stone) and the subsequent interpretations by the park commission are not expected to change anytime soon regarding pets.

  11. #26
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    I'm glad I live so close to the mountain. It allows me to pick and choose my days in Baxter with little notice. I've been on Katahdin every month from May to November, haven't tried red tape for winter ascent yet. I think I've been to park near 20 times and on Katahdin about a dozen. I haven't had too much problem with rangers. I also have freedom to go on non weekend days with little or no planning too so that helps get my choice trail usually. Oddly enough last year a friend was visiting from PA and we decided to go to Baxter and on July 4th we actually got Roaring Brook Parking. I asked the ranger at the gate if any Katahdin Trailheads were open he said none. I said we'd go to the Brothers and he replied....Just Kidding 4th of July joke and all lots were still available. Being fast hikers we were first on summit that day and had peak to ourselves for a good 15 mins.

  12. #27
    Senior Member natron's Avatar
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    drifting thread slightly north..

    just booked middle fowler north for next wed. night, and billfish pond for thurs. night., hoping for brook trout dinners, but will bring p.b.j.'s as backup
    http://www.baxterstateparkauthority....TroutBrook.pdf

  13. #28
    Member snoshoovt's Avatar
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    Baxter Hamlin loop

    This thread has drifted a bit but here's my $.02: I did the loop a few years ago, in my 50's, up Helon Taylor, across KE and over to Hamlin then down Hamlin Ridge, an awesome loop, yep the first half is a bit strenuous but not a particularly long day, I think 8 or 9 hours total from Roaring Brook, taking time to enjoy the spectacular view, especially from the Hamlin Ridge IMHO. I agree with previous posters about White Mt comparables. If you're in pretty good hiking shape, definitely go for it!
    Enjoy.
    John

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