“The name alone has such a wild, inspiring, and inviting feel,” says Scott Adams, a member of Backpacker’s regional panel. “And the fact that we East Coasters have a substantial chunk of rugged, uncrossed trail is amazing. We should all see that as an invitation.” The extra-burly route stretches from ME 15 in Monson to Abol Bridge in Baxter State Park.
Go from south to north and tack on a 14-mile climb of 5,268-foot Katahdin, Maine’s highest point. On the route, you’ll pass through tunnels of tight pines hiding moose, mirror-calm ponds, berry bogs, rushing streams, and craggy ridges with stay-awhile views. Go in late summer to avoid bugs and enjoy tales from thru-hikers. Allow nine to 12 days.
MAP AND GUIDE: Appalachian Trail Guide to Maine ($25, atctrailstore .org, includes maps)
CONTACT: (304) 535-6331, matc.org
-Mapped by Jeff Chow