Appalachian Trail Section 1 - Katahdin to Jo-Mary
The Appalachian Trail ("AT") is a 2,189 mile continuous hiking trail that runs from the top of Katahdin in Maine to Springer Mountain, Georgia. Jess and I are hiking this portion in September 2015. This 53 mile section (58.3 with the requisite hike up the mountain to the starting point) is the northernmost section of the trail running from Baxter Peak on top of Katahdin to Jo Mary Logging Rd within the vaunted Hundred-Mile Wilderness. Maine is often considered the most difficult state on the entire AT and this section the toughest portion of the AT's run through the Pine Tree State.
Days 1 and 2:
While the AT officially starts on top of Katahdin (Maine's high point at 5,270') our hike begins 5.4 miles away and over 4000' down at Katahdin Stream Campground (“KSCG”) in Baxter State Park. The plan is to park a car at the end point of this hike at the intersection of the AT and Jo Mary Road where Phil from http://100milewilderness.info/ will pick us up and take us to KSCG. We will camp at KSCG on Saturday night then rise early on Sunday and ascend the AT 5.4 miles up Katahdin where we will officially begin the hike. Once at the top we will be at the the northern terminus of the AT. We can then descend back to KSCG and camp another night before heading out toward Abol Bridge and then the Hundred-Mile wilderness.
Day three brings us our last look at civilization until we drive out on day 8. We will hike 10 miles to Abol Bridge Campground and Store. We will either camp at the state run Abol Pines CG (preferred) or at the privately run Abol Bridge CG. We shouldn’t need supplies at this point, but the store will be open until 7PM. If camping is crowded at Abol we can hike another few miles to Hurd Brook Lean To.
The following 3-4 days will be spent deep in the Hundred-Mile Wilderness as we make our way to Jo-Mary Road. The Hundred-Mile Wilderness is a famous stretch of the AT. It is the longest stretch of the trail that doesn’t pass near a town or cross a public road. It is roughly 100 miles without re-supply or easy escape options. There are, however, private logging roads through the wilderness. Jo Mary is one of these roads and as it crosses the AT halfway through the wilderness it allows us to do this hike in the amount of time we have available. Shelters and established tent-sites should be available every ten miles or so. If the trail is as challenging as legend has it then we may in fact need 4 days to hike this final ~40 miles. We hope to finish in 3 days, but we are prepared for 4 to 4.5 days of hiking if needed.
This is phase one of my (lame) plan to section hike the entire Appalachian trail. I’ve read that PA is less than stellar.. I’ll save that for last. Check back here for a link for the main AT Section Hike page.