Northern Maine suggestions?

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Northern Maine suggestions?

by Castlereagh » Wed Apr 14, 2010 10:34 pm

Reading all that talk about most remote places in the US has gotten me fired up a little bit. Anyone here know of any good places and/or good trails in more remote areas of northern Maine? (besides Katahdin; it's definitely on my to-do list but I'm thinking north of there, even)

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by nartreb » Thu Apr 15, 2010 1:37 pm

North of Baxter (btw, the park offers lots of great hiking besides Katahdin) is certainly remote. Remote enough that I'm not speaking from personal experience. The hills get smaller, so there's not much "destination" hiking unless you count county highpoints and similar objects of interest only to obsessed bushwhackers. (None of the New England Hundred Highest are north of Baxter, but you might consider the Boundary Range on the Canadian border to the west of Baxter). Dedicated hiking trails are correspondingly scarce, hikers usually use logging roads and snowmobile trails when they're not bushwhacking. The major exception is the International Appalachian Trail, which continues north from Katahdin through the Gaspe Peninsula.

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by Bark Eater » Thu Apr 15, 2010 8:16 pm

North of Baxter State Park the terrain really isn't that mountainous so the hiking isn't very exciting. There is spectacular canoeing, and great remoteness, on the Allagash and St. Johns Rivers.

One of my all time favorite backpack trips was on the "100-mile wilderness" section of the AT south of Katahdin to Monson. This is probably about as remote as you'll get in the eastern US and highly scenic. Highly recommended!

Most of the Northville - Lake Placid Trail in the Adirondacks is likewise extremely remote and scenic. It doesn't get anywhere near the foot traffic you see in the high peaks. The N-P has more road crossings and is therefore more accessible than the AT portion above.

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by kakakiw » Thu Apr 15, 2010 8:23 pm

Most people get real discouraged when they find out that Northern Maine is pretty much an industrial forest. There is some wild looking areas, but those are beauty strips.

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by kozman18 » Fri Apr 16, 2010 2:26 am

Not much to hike in northern Maine. Got a canoe? Hop on the St. John River -- a zero portage 5-6 day float along the northern spine of Maine. Two quasi Class III rapids along the way, otherwise easy Class II. A great trip, some white water, wild life, etc., but mostly a long cruise. Easiest way is to pay an outfitter to shuttle a car.

It's a runoff river -- so the season is short -- early-May to early June (just after ice-out is best, to beat the bugs).

Given the warm weather, the river may open early.

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by Bark Eater » Fri Apr 16, 2010 5:36 pm

The industrial forest comment is mostly true, but the landscape is changing. Maine's paper industry has been in a state of decline for over ten years, and this is forecast to continue. So the amount of land that gets cut in any given year is way down. More and more of this private land is under conservation easement. Some rich folks have even talked about making Northern Maine a National Park...though personally I think that is a bad idea! There are some absolutely beautiful areas in N. Maine outside of Baxter State Park. As I said above, these tend to be more water experiences than quality backpacking.

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The Six Pack

by fsclimb » Fri Apr 16, 2010 5:50 pm

The Bigelow Range, Snow, Whiteface, Boundary Peak although technically not Northern maine will definitely fit what you are looking for. Reference the NE Hundred Highest list, or what is commonly called the 'Six Pack'

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by cushman » Fri Apr 16, 2010 10:18 pm

I grew up in northern Maine (Caribou) and there is not a lot of "destination" hikes in that part of the state. The best thing if you want remoteness is to paddle the Allagash. Canoeing/fishing is a fairly large activity in northern Maine.

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