Highpointin' and Roadtrippin' New England

Page Type
Trip Report
Location:
Connecticut/Maine/Massachusetts/New Hampshire/New York/Rhode Island/Vermont, United States, North America
Date Climbed/Hiked:
Aug 31, 2012
Activities:
Hiking
Season:
Summer
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Highpointin' and Roadtrippin' New England
Created On: Jan 31, 2013
Last Edited On: Apr 14, 2014

Introduction

After my first Highpointing excursion in the Southern Appalachians in the Spring, it became apparent that i wanted to hike all 48 state high points, and maybe beyond. We had such a great time there, that we figured we would give New England a shot before summer's end. Along with a hiking buddy, Travis, we arranged flights from sunny FL to the northeast to briefly see our families. After spending a couple days on Long Island, i took the ferry over to lower CT to meet up with Travis, and begin our second highpointing mission. This time, we had 7 states planned, including New York, and all of New England. From our research, the Northeastern high points seemed to be harder than southeastern Appalachia. Also, on Marcy, Washington, and Katahdin, we had planned on taking difficult routes. 7 states over the next 8 days, with a bit of hiking also in Acadia Natl Park at the end of the trip. Here are the details........

Summit, Mt Mansfield
 Wohooooooooo!!

Mt. Frissell, Connecticut - State HP #9

So, we woke up very early on the morning of Fri, Aug 31, in Fairfield, CT, with the hopes on hiking both CT and MA's high points on the same day! Aside from that, we also had 4 hours of driving, in order to make it to a family friend's house in southern VT later that night. It was a very ambitious first day, as we said goodbye to the family, and drove up into the hills of northern CT. It was about 1.5 hours to Mt. Frissell, and the ride up was fairly uneventful, taking us through gravely back roads towards the high point. I didn't know CT could actually feel this far away from civilization. Though, Frissell is actually on the border of CT and MA, and i believe we picked up the trail on the MA side. The Frissell trail is the main route, which you reach from the AMC parking lot right on the state line. So we started it around 9:30am. It had some boulder hopping, and a decent, but short incline of about 2 miles. You just follow the red blazed trail around Round Mt. and over to Mt Frissell. There were a couple of vantage points, as we passed a break in the trees. You could see around to 3 states on this hike, CT, MA and NY.

Frissell Trail Overlook
Along the Frissell Trail.


It was a mildly strenuous hike, and a good way to break us in for the week to come. Just make sure you don't get fooled by the first fake summit on Frissell. Actually, the real summit of the mountain is on the MA side, but the Frissell "shoulder" is right before you cross state lines again, and considered CT's highest point. It's a big cairn, and a green survey marker.
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State line marker at summit.

There weren't so many views here. For better views, go to the summit of the peak, on the MA side. However, it was nice to get the first HP under our belt, and we were making decent time. The total hike was about 2 hours, and that included hanging out around the summit for 20 or 30 min. Next, was a drive up to Mt Greylock, and the town of Adams. After we got back to the parking area, we hit the road for another 1.5 hour drive.
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Summit of Mt Frissell, CT.


Mt. Greylock, Massachusetts - State HP #10

We rolled into the town of Adams, MA, around 2pm, with Mt Greylock looming behind it. The route we chose was the Cheshire Harbor Trail, which matched up with the A.T. towards the top. After some lunch, we made our way to the trail head. We followed a local map that led us to a dead end, dirt road parking area, outside of town. Street signs weren't labeled that well, from what i remember, so pay attention to the instructions. I think we got lost looking for the parking area at the trail head. It was a circular area, with an open field to the right. That field is where the Cheshire trail began. The Cheshire Trail was pretty wide, and not too difficult. I think it was about 3.5 miles each way, and went through forest for much of the hike. 

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Cheshire Harbor Trail, through the forest.


There weren't many views, and the trail winded alongside the road, which people can actually drive to the summit. The Cheshire trail also met up with the A.T. less than a mile from Greylock's summit.

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There was a lot going on at the summit of Mt Greylock, which was the most developed of any to date. There was a restaurant, a house, large parking area and a huge monument. The monument was probably the largest of any state HP in the country, to date. It's just gigantic, and the inside made me feel like we were in the Jefferson Memorial.
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Enormous tower at the summit of Mt Greylock.
 

After checking that out, we walked around the summit further, and took some time to snap pics. The town of Adams is pictured below. The views were great up there, and the weather was very pleasant. There were some breezes, but not too strong. 
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Summit of Greylock, with Adams below.

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Summit plaque

After relaxing for about half an hour, we realized it was late afternoon and time to get back towards town before darkness. The hike back down was uneventful and once back to town, we weren't done yet.As i mentioned before, we got the keys to stay in a family's ski cabin near Stratton ski resort in VT. We were pretty tired after all the hiking that day. After negotiating our way up into the VT mountains and finding town, we hit up some pizza and a couple brews at a local Stratton watering hole. Exhausted, full and a little drunk, it was up to the cabin for sleep before heading out to Lake Placid, NY the next day!
  

Mt. Marcy, New York - State HP #11

After a very long Friday, we took our time Saturday, as it was a travel and exploration day. We drove though some of the Green Mountains, and then crossed over into the Adirondacks of NY, taking back roads most of the way. The Adirondacks were noticeably taller, and inviting. The weather was perfect so far, 70s, around 80, late summer. We had a hotel booked in Lake Placid the next 2 nights, near the downtown area. Lake Placid was an interesting town too, almost no one there was American, and with some sort of international figure skating championship in town, it felt like i was travelling through the Alps.(which is cool with me, i'm just saying) We went to the hockey arena downtown, and walked around town that night, grabbing a nice dinner again, and then resting up early for lengthy hike the next day up Mt Marcy! 

Lake Placid, NY
Lake Placid

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Olympic Park, Lake Placid
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Bobsleds at the Sports Complex

Mt Marcy is right in the middle of the Adirondacks, it's hidden from the roads, as many peaks surround it. It's also the first peak we climbed that went above tree line. Yes, we are from the east, so please don't laugh. Anyhow, the trail head is reached a few miles outside of town, near the Adirondack Loj Campground. We started out about 8am, with some more beautiful clear weather, which was a common theme for us on this trip, with the exception of Mt Washington. It was a little cool to start, but eventually warmed up to 75 later on. There were many people on the Van Hoevenberg trail, being the Sunday of Labor Day weekend. Though, i didn't see all of them actually make the summit.
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Start of Van Hoevenberg Trail
 
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Marcy Dam

It was fairly flat for the first 2.5 miles up to the Marcy Dam. Reaching this landmark of the trail was a good resting point, before the incline started. It had some views of the peaks behind us, and some perspective on where the route was taking us. We decided to veer from the Hoevenberg trail and take an alternate route, which would take us past Mt Colden, to Lake Arnold, then descend back down to the Feldspar trail. After that decsent, it would ascend back up to the four corners junction in between Mt Marcy and Mt Skylight. This would add at least another 1-2 miles from the standard Hoevenberg trail, however, it would get us off the beaten path of so many Labor Day hikers.

About one mile after the dam, the trail started to ascend steeper. We were basically hopping over big rocks and boulders for most of the route. It was fairly tiring, and gave us our first measuring stick for the trip. It seemed like we were hiking up these rock beds carved into the peak forever. We eventually reached Mt Colden and Lake Arnold, where we took a much needed break, had a little snack, and took in some fresh mountain air by the lake. 

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Lake Arnold, NY

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Off the beaten path trails Lake Arnold

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Mt Marcy through the trees.

After the lake, the trail actually descended for a while, though a forest, which finally hit a low point and became the Feldspar trail. This is where it turned back into more incline, and the legs started to burn. We were about a mile away from the four corners junction, where you could continue the final push above treeline to the Marcy summit, or try one of the other summits, including Mt Skylight. At this point, we started to question our choice of this alternate, more lengthy route up to Marcy. We did it to avoid all the crowds, though we knew we had much more hiking to do during the week. Finally, we hit the junction, where we decided to tough it out and take the .5 to .75 mile trail up to Mt Skylight first. We heard that there were fantastic views of Mt Marcy, and the surrounding peaks, that, it was an even better vantage point than Marcy itself. The trail inclined quickly up through lots of scrub, and then finally opened up, walking past cairns and rocks above treeline. It was a fairly clear day, and we had 360 views of the Adirondacks! Mt Marcy was right behind us, and we took some time for the necessary pics. You can let your imagination run wild up here, as it's just so damn beautiful, and growing up in NY, i was so excited to finally be on its roof! 

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Summit of Mt Skylight, with Marcy across from us.

After this break, we stared down Marcy, with that granite wall you can see near the summit, and made our way closer. We basically hopped back down the trail to the junction, and then veered towards Marcy's summit. It was less than a mile again, but the steepest part of the whole hike. You reach a rock face, on a pretty steep incline, with about 700 more feet of vertical below the summit. It was actually a lot of fun, being above treeline, and trying to balance ourselves up the steep drag. Travis was getting tired, and my legs burned too. They were yelling at me, and we just kept pushing on. We passed by more cairns on the way up.

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Steep rock face just below summit of Mt Marcy.

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Looking back down the granite face of Marcy.

Yes, we did have to stop for a couple breaths on this stretch too, but with a few more steps, we opened up onto the proper summit. Phewwww, we raised our hands up in satisfaction, after just conquering my homestate's HP! Ooohhh Mt Marcy, how amazing the views!!!! There was a ranger up there to yell at everyone to watch the alpine grass and plants, and admittedly, i almost stumbled over them a couple times. We looked for the signs, and survey markers and ate lunch up there. After that, we found a breathtaking ledge to kick back on and take a small nap. It was the 2nd best HP for me to date, yes, 2nd....we'll get to the best later.
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Showing our home colors atop Mt Marcy, proud!

We were up there for about 45 min, as the weather on the summit, was still very mild, maybe 65 or so. After finding the Signs, and Marcy surver marker, we decided that we couldn't stay up there forever. We made our way back down the trail to the junction, and then followed the Van Hoevenberg trail all the way back down to the AD Loj parking area. The hike down was uneventful, although we were both getting very tired. Rock hopping for 20 miles can do that to a person. And with the alternate trails up, and the Mt Skylight jaunt, it was almost 20 miles on the day....geez. We reached the trail head with the sun setting. We were starving so we headed back to Lake Placid to seek another mighty dinner and then back to the motel for early bed. It was a rewarding day, but we had to turn around quickly, as Monday brought us to the next HP, Mt Mansfield, in Vt. 
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On Marcy's summit!

Mt. Mansfield, Vermont - State HP #12

Hiking almost 20 miles the day before around Marcy was long and tiring. We did get to sleep early, and then woke up early on Labor Day Monday, with the mission of finding Stowe Ski Resort area and Mt Mansfield, VT. We left our Lake Placid hotel around 8am, and headed towards Lake Champlain. The drive was again very scenic, and we had another 70+ degrees, sunny weather day ahead of us. We could see the lake in the distance, and it was sparkling blue in the early sun. We actually had to drive down the west side of the lake on the NY side, and wrap around the east side in VT, up towards Burlington. Once in Burlington, a quick breakfast bagel sandwich stop, and then headed east into the Green Mountains, and towards Mt Mansfield/Stowe. I've been to Stowe before in the winter to go snowboarding and stay at nearby lodges, so i was familiar with the mountain, and base lodge. We stopped at the gondola base area to grab some lunch for later on, and browse for a little bit. The Long Trail trailhead was less than a mile down the road, and we found it around 11am. Some stretching and gear check, and we hit the trail.

Alpine Tundra Zone
Alpine Tundra Zone, Long Trail

The Long Trail route up to the summit of Mt Mansfield was not very long, less than 2.5 miles, but fairly steep. It started right off the VT 108, and was rocky and strenuous. Summitpost says you gain 2800ft in 2.3 miles, so do the math. It was a pretty good incline right from the parking lot. Stepping over big rocks/boulders, and gaining elevation quickly, our legs were noticeably not as fresh as they were the day before in Marcy. There wasn't anything technical, like we had on Cathedral Ridge on Katahdin, but just a strenuous walkup, with some fun yet freaky exposed ledges right under the summit. We went through forest over the first half of the hike, and soon approached the Lodge, halfway up the route. Travis was tired today too, as the trail had no flat sections, just incline. Quickly, we noticed elevation, and snuck some views through the forested trail. Eventually, we reached the alpine tundra zone, which only exists on two peaks in VT, similar to what we had the day before on Mt Marcy. From this area we could see the summit above us, and what seemed to be some exposed rocky ledges, where people were climbing. This was the most noteworthy part of the trail, and actually, one of my favorite parts the trip. The last .3 mile was very steep, exposed, and included 4 to 6 ledges. It was just beautiful to be above treeline again, but someone with a fear of heights would be turned around by this portion. We had to pull ourselves up on a couple of the ledges using our hands, and it was slightly nervewracking, but mostly a lot of fun.

Long Trail, scary ledge
One of the ledges below the summit.
Mansfield views
Sweeping Mt Mansfield views

Once we passed the ledge area, it opened up onto the summit of Mt Mansfield, with amazing, expansive views in all directions. We could see Lake Champlain in the distance on one side, and the Adirondacks behind it. On the other side, we could see Mt Washington and the White Mountains in NH, as it was a mostly clear day. The summit was long, and flat, and there were many people coming up from another shorter trail from the top of the gondola. There were a lot of people on the summit on Labor Day, and as we just sat there and rested, we watched different groups pass by. The views were just so nice, and the town of Stowe was below us. We ate lunch, and took in some rays, for what seemed like an hour. Finally, we realized that the peak (Mt Washington) we saw far in the distance, was next on our hit list. It was hard to leave Mt Mansfield's summit that day, with near perfect weather . We took the Long Trail back again, and the last ledges we mentioned earlier,  were even a little scarier on the way down.  Once past them, we barreled down the rest of the trail in no time. It was rocky, and tough on our knees, and after reaching the parking area, it was nice to take off the boots again, and let our feet air out a bit. It was about 4pm, we hit the road, and navigated towards our next stop, the town of North Conway, NH, near Mt Washington. We would be staying there for the next 2 nights.  
Resting atop Mansfield
Taking a rest atop Mansfield


Mt Mansfield summit
On top of Vermont

Mt. Washington, New Hampshire - State HP #13

The drive from Stowe area towards New Hampshire was very scenic, and one i wish i wasn't so tired for. I was the driver, and we stopped off to grab coffee, snacks and Travis navigated us though the mountains into the Mt Washington valley. The town of North Conway, is a neat little town, in between several New Hampshire ski resorts, and of course Mt Washington, which looms in the distance. We arrived there in the evening, to the first clouds and rain of our trip. We had researched and heard how awful the weather on and around Mt Wasihngton was, compared to the rest of New England. I grew up in NY, but had never been up to this area of New Hampshire. We were monitoring the weather on Washington the couple days before, and it called for overcast, cool weather, with potential rain. Before going to sleep that night, we decided that if it was clearly raining in the morning, we would rest a day and hang out around the town of North Conway and wait out any storm.                                                                                   
 
Bad weather day, Washington
Looking up Tuckerman Ravine

We rose around 6am, to find the skies still overcast, not welcoming, with drizzle in the air. It was not what we were hoping for, yet we got changed and geared up, filling our daypacks, and taking extra clothing. It was in the 50's around the base, and we knew it was near freezing at the summit, with winds and potential rain. And this was the beginning of September, still summer conditions on all other peaks. We had absolutely beautiful weather till this point. I wasn't exactly happy the day, but we knew that we had a window to climb Washington, and more plans after this. If we decided to put it off for another day, then Katahdin and Acadia would be in danger, so we decided to climb on as planned. We drove to the lodges, and the trailhead for Tuckerman/Hungtington Ravines. The initial plan was to hike Huntington Ravine trail, which supposedly has a really steep climb up a class 4 area towards the summit. It was something we couldn't wait to do all trip, however, everything was so slick already, we figured it could be dangerous. Due to the fact that it was drizzly, and really cold, we decided to just take the Tuckerman trail up. It was probably a smart decision, as we had lots of rock/boulder hopping right from the beginning of the trail, before we had to make our decison as to which trail we would take. It was the 3rd day in a row of serious hiking, after we hit Mt Marcy on Sunday, and Mt Mansfield on Monday. I had my headphones blaring in my ear, as i yelled at myself with each step over more rocks and boulders on the lower portions of the trail. I feel im in pretty decent shape, but again, this was the 3rd day of steep trails. It started to rain on and off, and it made us just walk faster. The first 2.5-3 miles were just constant rock hopping. It was getting foggy, and the trail seemed to wander on and on. After what seeemed like an eternity, it leveled out, and we hit the stretch where there were a couple shelters below the ravine. There was a bridge, and we got our first glimpses of the ravine, the steepest part up Mt Washington. Again, we didn't decide to take Huntington Ravine Trail due to the weather, but Tuckerman was no slouch. It seemed like a straigh shot up a boulder field on the ridge of this imposing peak, one i couldn't believe we were about to conquer in this crappy weather.



Clouds below, Mt Washington!
Clouds below us on Mt Washington!
Foggy Trail, Mt Washington
Whiteout conditions, on the upper reaches of Tuckerman Ravine, Mt Washington
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Daaaamn


The boulder field seemed immense, and we started on it foot by foot. They were large and small, and we followed the blazes up ledges at points, and over running streams at others. There weren't many hikers on the trail at this point, as the weather seemed to worsen the farther we went. We slipped a couple times, and it probably wasn't so safe. The couple people we did pass were all descending, and we seemed to be the only people still climbing in these clouds. Our foot placements were important in the slick conditions, and it became somewhat of a challenge. Tuckerman Ravine was all around us, and we were determined to rise through. It was in getting colder and foggier at this point too. The tough section of boulder was about a mile long. Finally we made it up through, and hit a moon like landscape of smaller rocks and scree on the upper portion of the trial. It was totally whiteout fog here, and the temps were below 40! That's pretty crazy, considering it was 60-75 the rest of the trip to this point. We were fully layered, with undershirts, a light shell, over shell, and a hoodie north face jacket! Who cares, it was almost humorous how it was still summer, and could be snowing up here! The blazes were further apart, and we wandered off course a little, but not too far to see a blaze in the distance. I mean, it was really foggy, check the pics, just eerie!! I was the most tired of any part of the trip at this point, as it was the third day in a row. Had my headphones on, yelling at myself, keep stepping and move!! The fog surrounded us, the trail was still steep, and seemed to go on foreeeeeeeever! It is Mt Washington, right! Well, after hopping, and stepping, and side stepping, and slipping over slick rocks for a while, we just seemed to step out of it onto the Mt Washington auto road, and what was basically the summit. Actually, a car almost ran us over. It was almost upsetting, to see people driving past us, after we grinded for 6 miles through rocks, and terrible weather up to this point! However, it was also the most rewarding yet. 

Foggy Summit
Kiss The Summi
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Windy, foggy, and wet summit. Let's Go GMen!




If you haven't been to the top of Washington, there is a lot going on. There is a huge cafeteria building, with shops, lockers, and a museum. There are also observatories, which on this day were useless, and a historical house. There are labs, and this is obviously the place that has the highest wind recorded ever! The place was so foggy, that it was hard to even see what was going on in front of us. We just wanted to find the infamous sign and survey markers to prove our conquest! After we found those, and took tons of pics/video, we headed inside the cafeteria for chile and hot chocolate! So what, let us have our glory, lol! There were AT thru hikers huddled up in the main building, with their huge packs, and gear. They were all actually enjoying hot cocoa too, an d just napping. It was a mix interesting people up there on that day. It was around the 32 degrees outside, and winds were blowing pretty good, maybe 40-50 mph. Not the most appealing weather, yet, just what we expected after reading lots of tales! I am actually happy we climbed Mt Washington in these conditions, as it makes me more confident about seeing further peaks out west. Well, we ended up staying in the lodge for over an hour, just relaxing from the elements. Eventually, we put our wet gear back on and made our way back down the trail.......i was not enthused for this. The hike back down was uneventful, but cold and wet! It started to rain harder on the way down, and we had to be careful through the rock/boulder fields. We were not happy campers but eventually made it all the way back down to the lodges and the car. PHEWWWWWW! 

It felt like an accomplishment to finish Mt. Washington in such crappy weather. As a reward, it was time to hit up the Muddy Moose in town for some food and a few local brews. The Moose was inviting, as we met a bunch of locals and exchanged stories. Several beers later, full and drunk, time for sleep. The next day was just a travel day, so we didn't have to wake up so early for any hiking. Our next stop was Maine, and the town of Millinocket. Katahdin was next on our agenda, and the final steep hike of the trip. 

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Katahdin, Maine - State HP#14

The travel day was a much needed day of relaxation, as we had just hiked Mt Marcy, Mansfield and Washington three days in a row. We took our time driving through the Whites of New Hampshire, and up into central Maine. We found the small town of Millinocket, which is the closest to Katahdin. The town looked like we stepped back in the 1970's, i'm just saying. We stayed up just enough to watch the Giants-Cowboys opening NFL game. The Giants actually lost, but i was too excited for the next morning's hike to be upset. Katahdin was calling, and this was the day i was looking forward to the most. We were going to hike up to the Chimney Pond, then pass the Ranger Hut and on to the Cathedral Ridge trail up to the summit. After that,  we were going to make our way along the famed Knife's Edge trail and back down Helon Taylor. It was roughly a 12 mile loop hike, that we chose purposely for the difficulty, and great views. The Cathedral Ridge trail is class III, and though short, very steep and fun.  
Chimney Pond mist
Chimney Pond in the morning

Chimney Pond reflection
Chimney Pond relection

We started out around 7am at the Roaring Brook Campground. The weather was chilly in the morning on this early September day, though we knew it was going to warm up into the 70's and not have a cloud in the sky all day long. This was the best day of hiking i've ever had, granted i've only hiked the eastern seaboard to date, but still it was crystal clear. The Chimney Pond trail up to the hut was relatively calm, with no real steep sections. I believe it was 3 miles or so to the campground and the Hut. The pond itself was very picturesque, and we relaxed for a snack there. It was already warming up nicely by this point, and we shed our outer layers for the tough sections to come. We had to see the ranger at the Hut, and after getting "clearance", we started up for the Cathedral Ridge section of our ascent. We hit the boulder field at the bottom of the trail, which already had huge boulders to hop on, and around. As we looked up, it was like a playground for hikers, with gigantic boulders and ledges for a mile. 
Cathedral Ridge approach, Katahdin
Approaching boulder field, Catherdral Ridge

lBase of Cathedral Ridge
Base of Cathedral Ridge

This was our hardest high point trail to date, but not beyond our capabilities. We had to be careful at points, and use our hands in many different moves. There were some ledges where we had to balance our feet, while pulling ourselves up. Let me repeat, some of these boulder were HUGE! Hopping was necessary, and you wouldn't want to slip in between two of them. Like i said earlier, a playground of fun. It was never too scary that we would turn back, more of a fun challenge. There were three "humps" in the trail, where it flattened out momentarily and we could sit out on the ledge and snap a couple great pics. 
WHOOOOOO, Cathedral trail
What a view, climbing up Cathedral Ridge

As we climbed higher, the views became more spectacular. We could see chimney pond, and the other lakes in the distance. The weather was picture perfect as we had lucked out yet again. 
 Regal views high up Cathedral Ridge, ME.
Spectacular views high atop Katahdin!

We eventually achieved the upper reaches of the trail, where it flattened out a bit, and there were plenty of cairns. Here, it met up with other trails, including the most famous in the states, the A.T. The summit had unreal beauty in all direction. Did i mention that it was the most beautiful weather day eeeeever! Just being able to see the famous sign signifying the northern terminus of the Appalachian Trail was cool! 

Katahdin Summit
Famous summit sign!

Katahdin summit plaque
Katahdin summit plaque.

As we were taking all of our necessary pics and videos at the summit marker, we saw a group guys who had just finished the Appalachian Trail. They took out a cigar that they had been carrying the whole way, just for the occasion. I think they had tears and were all soaking in their accomplishment. It was a special moment, and one that actually gave me much more motivation for our future goals........Back to our climb, so after all those pics, we walked the summit area for a while and glanced over at our "escape" route. It was the famed Knife Edge. The Knife Edge trail was something i had been looking forward to all summer during planning and talking to other hikers online. It looked even more fun, and scary in person.

Summit views Katahdin
Views around the summit of Katahdin.

Knife Edge Katahdin
Knife Edge ridge

The summit of Katahdin is a horseshoe, with many spines accessing the summit ridge. The Knife Edge is basically one half of the horseshoe ridge of the summit area of Katahdin. It runs for roughly 1 mile, encompassing a very rocky, trek. It has many up and downs, with seriously steep ledges on both sides of you. In fact, at one point, the width of the ledge was little more than the length of both my feet.

Start of Knife Edge
Start of Knife Edge, with clouds rolling in.

The Knife Edge trail was nervewracking, yes, however it was one of the most entertaining trails ever. There was an eerie fog rolling in from the west side of the trail. It was a cool breeze that enveloped us, like a scene from a scary movie! There were many smaller rocks in the beginning of the trail. It was very uneven, and awkward to walk on.  As we progressed through the hike, it was gradually more difficult. The smaller rocks turned to larger boulders. The terrain was no longer flat, and we had to maneuver over those big humps on the ridge line. At some points, we had to climb a little bit, and the ledges got narrower and narrower. Small climbers gloves may be recommended for this portion of the trail. There was an insanely narrow ledge midway through the trail, less than two feet wide! I have a great gopro video of the ledge, that i'll try to include below! Also, there was another drop-off towards the end of the trail, that you had to actually down climb as if on a ladder, otherwise you would need to let your body hang down and jump. I don't want to scare anybody from doing the knife edge, as it was really just a lot of fun. Just make sure you keep your concentration and wits about you. It isn't a race here, and it's an amazing place to just take frequent breaks and snap great photos and videos. 
When you finally reach the end of the ridge, the trail descends into the valley and below treeline. It reconnects eventually with the Chimney Pond trail near the Roaring Brook campground and back out to the trail head. We were back out to the campground by 5pm, after a full day of hiking and fun. Katahdin was truly a great place to see, and an excellent experience. I will return to the hills of Maine one day soon, and tackle Katahdin again. This was my favorite peak of our Northeast trip! After finishing Katahdin, we made our way back to the coastline of Maine, and the resort town of Bar Harbor, near Acadia Nat'l Park. It was our way of celebrating all the successful climbs, and getting to see a Nat'l Park we hadn't visited yet. 

Acadia National Park


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Acadia is beautiful!! I had read to much about it, but getting to see the picturesque coastline of Maine was special. We woke up in our beautiful hotel in the town of Bar Harbor, which is surrounded by Acadia Nat'l Park. First order of business was to do the drive up to the famous Cadillac Mountain. We could've hiked it but were worn out from the week on our feet. It was still sweet to spend some time up there and have a 360 view of the coast.  

Cadillac Mountain
View from Cadillac Mountain

After that, we took the drive up the coast by Sandy beach, and to see the Thunder Hole. These are some of the more noteworthy attractions in Acadia.

Thunder Hole, Acadia
Thunder Hole, Acadia

Beautiful coastline
More Maine coastline

After a day to drive around and see the sights, we wanted one more hike before our return trip to Connecticut and home. So, on our final day in Maine, we decided to hike Acadia's toughest trail, the Precipice. It takes you up to the top of Champlain Mountain, a tall peak located on the coastline. The Precipice Trail climbs up the peak, via many iron rungs and ladders bolted into the cliffs. It was recommended to us by other visitors to the park. Precipice was an amazing trail, but unnerving and definitely not for those who are afraid of heights. It started by hopping over huge boulders at the base of the trail. The trail took us directly to the base of this large cliff, and we had to climb vertically up to the summit. It was scary at points. It was basically ladder after ladder, taking you to the next ledge. Each new ledge we would pause and take a couple more pics. At points, our bodies were suspended in mid-air while climbing these iron rungs. I would test them out before putting all of my weight on each one just to make sure. A fall could be fatal on much of the climb.  I don't want to scare you away from hiking it, as it was a lot of fun for the both of us. Again, just be careful and take it slow, as it goes directly up the cliff to the summit. I got to snap some great pics and vids from this trail, and the view of the coastline from the summit was just spectacular! Once we hit the summit of Champlain, we hung out for a long time taking more pics, and chatting with other hikers who had braved this trail. 
  
Mt Champlain summit
Champlain's summit, right on the coast, with low lying clouds! Sweeeet....

Precipice Trail, Champlain Mt.
Buddy descending back into the Precipice Trail.

After finishing the Trail, we returned back to the hotel and had one more night out on the town of Bar Harbor to celebrate our exhausting week of hikes and successful summer! It wasn't over yet, though, as we were heading back to CT the following day, and would make a stop off at Rhode Island's high point of Jerimoth Hill, and our 15th state HP. 

Jerimoth Hill, Rhode Island - State HP #15

The drive down from Maine through NH, MA, and into Rhode Island was uneventful. It finally rained on our trip, and was gloomy the whole day. Luckily we hadn't any more hiking to do, and Jerimoth was just a mere roadside stop off to check off of our list. Jerimoth used to be on private property, but now the state of RI owns it and grants access daily. It sits just down the road from the state border with CT. The summit is really just a huge rock about 200 yards from the road in the forest. We were quiet and respectful as there are house nearby. There is now a sign on the road too, and it well marked through the trees too. We quickly dodged the raindrops and made our way to the "summit". 
Jerimoth sign
Sign

Jerimoth summit
Jerimoth Hill "summit"

After snapping our requisite pics, we made our way back to the car and finished the drive to lower CT and my buddy's family. The following day we flew home to Florida. This trip brought my total to 15 State High Points, and completed a majorly successful summer. The Northeast was great to us, as we only had 1 bad weather out of 9. The peaks were all beautiful, and all had their own unique qualities. I personally have to say i had the best day on Katahdin, and enjoyed the combination of trails we took there. But, that is just an opinion. Hopefully many more will get to see all of these great peaks, and towns we visited along the way. Until Spring of 2013, signing off.................






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Jow

Jow - Feb 1, 2013 9:54 am - Hasn't voted

Flag

Driving around New England with a Giants flag is a risky endeavor arguably as dangerous as these mountains. I love these peaks though and highpointing roadtrips in general. Nicely done

Abney

Abney - May 20, 2015 3:47 am - Hasn't voted

England

A friend of mine from N. England had quite the venture in these mountain regions, a sort of late-season-in-the-mountain horror story. Congratulations on your trip and efforts, the pics look great!

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Highpointin' and Roadtrippin' New England

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