Katahdin/Russell Pond Loop
Surrounded on three sides by the soaring granite cliffs of Katahdin, Chimney Pond nestles in the mountainous heart of Baxter State Park. Overhead looms mile-high Baxter Peak--northern terminus of the Appalachian Trail--which is connected to neighboring Pamola Peak by a mile-long arete known as the Knife Edge. From the pond and its adjacent campground, wild and adventurous trails scrape their way up the mountain flanks.
On the far, northern side of the mountain is a landscape as hauntingly wild as anywhere in New England. It is a world of alpine plateaus, rushing rivers, remote ponds, and hidden valleys. A multi-day journey with stops at Chimney, Davis, and Russell ponds experiences all the highlights of Baxter State Park.
6.6 miles round-trip to Chimney Pond; 11.0 miles round-trip via Baxter Peak, Knife Edge, and Pamola Peak; 19.8 miles round-trip via Chimney, Davis, and Russell ponds loop.
: For Katahdin: Chimney Pond Trail to Cathedral Trail, across Knife Edge, return via Dudley Trail. For ponds loop: Chimney Pond Trail to Saddle Trail to Northwest Basin Trail, return via Russell Pond Trail.
Strenuous hiking. Scrambling skills essential. Advance reservations are required and essential for overnight sites. Chimney Pond is the hardest to get, though space is still available for many dates this summer as of May 24. Check out current availability
. Here's the park's camping and reservations page
” is an AMC Outdoors
blog, written by Matt Heid.