Results 1 to 5 of 5

Thread: Mullen Mountain - Baxter State Park

  1. #1
    Senior Member SpencerVT's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2015
    Location
    Brattleboro, Vermont
    Posts
    262

    Mullen Mountain - Baxter State Park

    The Ranger at the Baxter gate was so incredibly impolite and bitter.
    I didn't even say anything, she just comes up to the car and is like: "Well I guess I'll deal with you next..."
    How about "Welcome To Baxter State Park" next time??!
    Then we informed her we were going to Slide Dam towards North Brother and she sharply quipped: "You know the trails to Katahdin are closed right!"
    Didn't I just tell you we were going to a completely different part of the park than Katahdin and had no plans to climb Katahdin? What the hell was wrong with this Ranger?!@#$%!
    A funeral during a foggy power blackout would have been more upbeat than this woman. She doesn't deserve to work at a beautiful place like Baxter. It would behoove Baxter to cultivate and hire welcoming polite Rangers. (There are certainly some there, but this one was not).

    Anyhow, after we got past the rude spawn of Judge Judy and Hillary Clinton, we made it to Slide Dam and had an awesome ascent to North Brother in the best possible hiking weather.

    Fort wasn't a bushwhack, but it's not really a trail either. I don't know what the hell you'd call it. A bushy foot-route maybe? Way overgrown on the sides like a whack, but a distinct path on the ground for foot placement.
    Baxter State Park peaks are just replete with incredible views from virtually all the summits, so awesome.
    My wife didn't feel like whacking over to Mullen (I can't imagine why!!) so she went back to North Brother and down to the Slide Dam and said she'd drive up to Nesowadnehunk Field to meet me there where I'd come out.

    As Dennis C. advised me, the whack down to the Fort / Mullen col from the Fort / Brother col wasn't that bad. It was thick getting out of the Fort / Brother col, but from there the woods opened up decently and I had no problems getting down to the Mullen col.
    Then that party ended when the ascent of Mullen was like reliving all the worst Adirondack PTSD whacks, and just like the worst parts of Barren too. The ascent was sharp Krummholz so my arms at work this morning look like I played with my cats all weekend, only if they were Bobcats not domesticated house cats.

    About 90% of the way up Mullen it becomes a boulder hop, which was welcome relief from the thick woods. I made it to the summit to be greeted by some of the best views of the 770. Just magical and awesome on a perfect cloudless Fall day.

    The Fort/Mullen col is 2,650' and North Brother is 4,150', requiring 1,500' feet of gain to re-ascend from Mullen if you go back the way you came. It seems much better to descend back to the Wassataquoik trail and take that to the tote road at Nesowadnehunk field - instead of huge re-gain. This exit route from Mullen is 100% downhill and in fact proved to be gentle down hill most of the way.

    Getting off Mullen was thick, but then the woods opened up decently all the way down to the **OLD** Wassataquoik Trail. There were some really awful bog parts and a couple thick areas, but otherwise it wasn't very bad at all getting back to the **OLD** part of the Wassataquoik trail.
    From the **OLD** section of the Wassataquoik trail, I followed it until it met up with the new trail. This mile or so was very boggy and it felt like this old section of trail was discontinued in the 1950s as there was very little evidence in places of a trail having ever existed.
    I passed an old metal barrel on the trail in the middle of nowhere which I thought was interesting; if you look in certain places, there is still some evidence of Baxter's logging past.
    Once I got on the new section of the Wassataquoik, it was super short and fast to the Nesowadnehunk field where Renee was waiting for me and picked me up. The whole hike took me 10 hours and 15 minutes. It took us 7 hours to get home.
    Mullen is a total gem and an awesome rugged, hard-to-reach mountain. I would say definitely the second toughest in Maine after Barren.

    Looking from Mullen toward Fort and Brother, complete with strange blue streak from the lighting in the photo.
    Last edited by SpencerVT; 09-23-2019 at 02:04 PM.
    Spencer
    Bigfoot

  2. #2
    Senior Member skiguy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Center Conway, NH
    Posts
    2,432
    Great trip report and nice pic blue streak and all. Sorry the Ranger at the gate was not hospitable but I think they all get a little toasty around the edges this time of year. At this point they have dealt with a lot. I had a similar experience at Nesowahnehunk about ten years ago. I think they probably just get tired of people trying to pronounce all the Indian names up their correctly.
    "I'm getting up and going to work everyday and I am stoked. That does not suck!"__Shane McConkey

  3. #3
    Senior Member SpencerVT's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2015
    Location
    Brattleboro, Vermont
    Posts
    262
    Quote Originally Posted by skiguy View Post
    Great trip report and nice pic blue streak and all. Sorry the Ranger at the gate was not hospitable but I think they all get a little toasty around the edges this time of year. At this point they have dealt with a lot. I had a similar experience at Nesowahnehunk about ten years ago. I think they probably just get tired of people trying to pronounce all the Indian names up their correctly.
    I hear you on that one! I can barely pronounce basic english words let alone those 15 syllable Indian names! I don't have a clue on those!
    Spencer
    Bigfoot

  4. #4
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Gorham NH
    Posts
    5,869
    Both approaches are new to me, I haven't done it but have heard from multiple folks that the way to do Mullen is from the Northwest basin trail near the cutoff to the Northern Peak trail (so from the east).

    I suspect you got the "fall fill in" employee at the gate, the seasonal folks have gone back to wherever they go in the fall and the park has a tough time filling slots. its highly likely the gate staff sometimes dotn even know there are other destinations in park beside the three Katahdin trailhead.

    I guess the new park director is too busy for customer service issues while he attempts to rename the mountain Katahdin instead of Mount Katahdin.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Jazzbo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Waltham, MA Jazzbo & Marty meet Bigfoot on Kennebago Divide
    Posts
    1,121
    We were just up on Fort summit last week and this rocky summit jumped out at me. I was pretty sure it was Mullen although right nearby map shows summit called Bald Mountain. I was wondering if people visited it. Now I know.

    On #67 of NE67
    On #99 of NEHH
    On #45 of WNH48

    "Commuter—one who spends his life
    In riding to and from his wife;
    A man who shaves and takes a train,
    And then rides back to shave again." EB White (1899-1986)

Posting Permissions

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