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Thread: North Peaks Trail in Baxter State Park info.

  1. #1
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Howard, Colorado

    North Peaks Trail in Baxter State Park info.

    I just hiked Nortwest Basin Trail and am curious in exploring Howe Peaks/North Peaks area. I have the 1996 edition of Katahdin...the Stephen Clark guide to the park and it still has the North Peaks Tr. extending all the way to the Northwest Basin Tr near Russell Pond. New books don't have this and the trail is maintained only to treeline about 2 miles over the Howe Peaks.
    Has anybody recently tried this trail beyond treeline following the old trail below treeline? Is it still followable and hikeable? Is it heavily overgrown? Does the park prohibit using the old trail? Any info from recent trips in this are would be helpful.

  2. #2
    Senior Member RoySwkr's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    IIRC the park closed this trail because it was being advertised as the route of the IAT and they didn't want the traffic on it, no idea on present condition on whether park would discourage occasional use

    But after your NW Basin hike, if you were to skip Baxter Peak this should be easy for you even if trail is in bad shape :-)

  3. #3
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Gorham NH
    There have been trip reports on this trail in VFTT in past since it was closed. I have talked to two park employees at different times in the russel pond area and they both said that there were several sections of serious blowdown that rendered the trail "impassable". At least one had done it and indicated it was passable but very slow with some climbing and crawling and she had noted that going through with a backpack would have close to impossible. This was several years ago. As it would be a potential atractive route for hiking over the mountain to Russel Pond, I expect that they would need to discourage any potential use as normal park trail as it could strand folks short of Russel Pond.

    I believe the past VFTT trip reports confirmed blowdown issues but I expect everything is relative.

    Roy's comment about the IAT was an issue in the past, another legacy of the concept "of write and publish a trail description then ask permission"

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