Throwback Thursday #6 - Gulf Hagas loop hiking in July 2013. 

The Gulf Hagas rim trails are known only in passing to AT thru hikers.  By reading guidebooks, you’ll know that 0.7 miles apart, the AT bisects the Gulf Hagas Trail, but it takes you more than 5 miles to hike that distance if you take the Gulf Hagas Trail.  Many thru hikers keep on going when they have this gem of a hike within a stone’s throw of Katahdin.  

This trail system has some beautiful waterfalls, seven to be exact, and is extremely rugged hiking.  When we hiked it in July it was incredibly hot and the black flies were brutal, but being that we had to cross the east branch of the Pleasant River to get there, it was nice to get the chance to cool off a few times during the hike.  Despite being a waterfall-heavy trail, there are only two stream crossings that are of any concern.  The only hitch in our day was the fact that one of the trail signs wasn’t properly secured in the ground and had actually been turned, so we did “bonus miles” taking us to the Head of the Gulf instead of back to the AT.  Thankfully, we ran into the only people we would see all day on this particular trail and they showed us their map, getting us back on course.  

The photos you’re seeing above are: 1) The plaque on the other side of the second water crossing with the double blue blazes, letting you know you’re now off the AT and in Gulf Hagas, which is designated as a National Scenic Landmark; 2) Screw Auger Falls; 3) Buttermilk Falls; 4) A typical canyon/gorge that follows this trail system. The water below feeds the east branch of the Pleasant River; 5) The Head of the Gulf, where two large streams convene into a larger one and create the system which feeds the waterfalls.