The best part of Maine on the Appalachian Trail and future art inspiration

2 min read 1 Comment

Well, there isn’t just one part, there are many! But for the sake of keeping this post from becoming a novel, I’ll focus on my favorite hike.

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As mentioned in this post about the beginning of our hike, Maine is sprinkled with beautiful lakes, rivers, forests and mountains (including the most fantastic lake front camp spot we had all to ourselves). As we continued to head south, the mountain terrain picked up. And as mentioned in this post, the terrain is insanely rocky and difficult to navigate.

At a certain point, you start to question the futility of hiking up and down mountains all day, every day.

But the peak views make it all worthwhile.

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Ridge hikes are definitely my favorite - endless views in all directions and often slightly smoother, less rocky trails. My absolute favorite one in Maine was the Saddleback Mountain Ridge.

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Our first ascent took us up Saddleback Junior, a steep rocky climb into alpine zone, just below the bigger peaks and the first glimpses of epic views above tree line.

And it just keeps getting better!

The hike continued up The Horn, then mostly above tree line for about 2.5 miles to the official Saddleback peak. It’s down and up around 1000 feet of elevation, deceptively far and surprisingly hard for what you think is going to be a mellow hike. But totally gorgeous.

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The sky felt endless, piled with big puffy marshmallow clouds

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Making it to the final peak felt like one of those accomplishments I won’t soon forget. I’m not going to lie, despite the endless epic beautiful views, I did nearly cry at one point from exhaustion. But once I got past that, it was thrilling.

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If I could only pick one part of the trail to hike in Maine, it would be this ridge. Of course, hiking the entire AT through the state in varying weather has been incredible. This glimpse at the top of the Bigalows as a tropical storm was kicking up was also fantastic, even hiking most of it in a cloud.

But Saddleback tops the list!


Art inspiration is sure to come from this one.

And now onto New Hampshire…

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1 Response

Cristal

March 07, 2021

Katie, I’m quite impressed with your wherewithal! I feel your fear & exhaustion but see your strength & diligence. What a priceless experience & I appreciate you sharing with all of us from our living rooms, who would otherwise never see such sites! Take care!

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