Today NoKey and I went hiking in Baxter State Park after more than a week of rain and being stuck indoors. This was our first official hike together since we finished the AT more than 7 months ago. We hiked north from the AT from the Abol Bridge after taking in the morning view. There was a ton of snow as it had snowed up there Friday and Saturday nights. We were able to keep dry feet for about 4.5 miles when we ran into a SoBo, our first official trail SoBo, who let us know that Neswadonahunk Stream was running high and we’d definitely have to take the high water trail. Even this trail had high water! We got our feet pretty wet before coming back to the AT and passing both Big and Little Niagra Falls. We walked around Daicey Pond and were less than a mile from Katahdin Stream Campground when we thought we heard someone in the woods. We kept going, but heard a voice behind us… it was Erick, a hiker who stayed with us for a few days waiting for the high water to receed before starting his section hike. He made the statement “Only you two could make a SoBo hike north on the AT to catch you!” We gave him half of a giant sub and some Little Debbie cakes for trail magic before we ran into another one of our hikers from the weekend, Stinky Jesus! (We named him SJ because a hiker came in hypothermic and he helped him take off his boots to help him into the shower.) We gave SJ some trail magic too and wished him well for his hike.
After getting to Katahdin Stream we decided to take a break, but the black flies and mosquitos were out in full force, so we kept moving on to the Blueberry Ledges Trail. We had no idea what to expect on this trail, as we’d not ever really seen pictures. Much of the trail was flooded for the first two miles and had been washed out quite a bit from all the rain last week, but we kept on until coming to the ledges, which were all granite rock with alpine plants. The ledges go downhill to meet Katahdin Stream, which was running swift and high. (Pictured above). From here, we had a short 1.4-mile walk back to the AT near Abol Bridge and it couldn’t have been more pleasant, an old roadbed where we followed moose prints nearly the entire way down. At the bottom of the trail we had another wonderful view of Katahdin and much of the snow melted in the direct sunlight and 70+ degree temperatures of the afternoon.
It felt great to be hiking again back into Maine. I can’t wait to get back into the 100 Mile Wilderness next time!