Mount Katahdin is a steep, tall mountain formed from a granite intrusion weathered to the surface.
Katahdin was well known to Native Americans in the region centuries ago, and to Europeans at least since 1689. It also marks the northern terminus of the Appalachian Trail. Perhaps its most notorious feature is the Knife’s Edge, a rugged narrow stretch with precipitous drops off to either side that is not for the feint of heart.
It is best to try and summit as early as possible as bad weather and high winds often set in as the day goes on.
Did You Know?
The Penobscot Indians gave Mount Katahdin its name. It means "The Greatest Mountain".
Mount Katahdin Basics
- Summit elevation: 5,267' (1,605 m)
- Vertical gain: 3,897'
- Hiking mileage: 8.9 miles
- Location: Baxter State Park, Millinocket, ME
Hiking Mount Katahdin
There are many trails leading to the summit of Mount Katahdin. The recommended trail for 6 Pack of Peaks challengers is the 8.9 mile Katahdin Loop Trail. Others, such as the Hunt Trail (essentially the Appalachian Trail) are quicker but still steep in parts and require scrambling.
- Driving from Boston, MA: 5:45 (334 Miles)
- Driving from Portland, ME: 4:00 (223 Miles)
- Look-up turn-by-turn directions to the trailhead here on Google Maps
Where to Stay and Eat
There are plenty of great camp sites to choose from in Baxter State Park that are in close proximity to Mt Katahdin.
Because Mt Katahdin is located in a fairly austere part of the state, lodging options are somewhat limited. The town of Millinocket is approximately 30 minutes from the entrance to the park and offers a few small hotels, inns, and B&Bs. The Appalachian Trail Lodge is highly recommended, as is the clean, no-frills Baxter Park Inn.
The Scootic In Restaurant, located in downtown Millinocket offers great food and is a favorite of hikers and campers tackling Mt Katahdin and the Appalachian Trail.
Thanks to New England Six-Pack of Peaks Ambassador Craig Wonson for local recommendations and details.
This hike is part of the New England Six-Pack of Peaks Challenge, a series of challenging hikes up six iconic New England mountains. Sign-up to take the challenge today!