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Picture of Slackpacking Maine
Picture of Slackpacking Maine
Picture of Slackpacking Maine
Picture of Slackpacking Maine
Picture of Slackpacking Maine
Picture of Slackpacking Maine
Picture of Slackpacking Maine
Picture of Slackpacking Maine
Picture of Slackpacking Maine
Picture of Slackpacking Maine
Picture of Slackpacking Maine
Picture of Slackpacking Maine
Picture of Slackpacking Maine

Slackpacking Maine

Destination: Millinocket, Maine

The Appalachian Trail truly has mythic status and for many of us, hiking it is a dream. But then we look at the reality of it and find the prospect of carrying a 40-50 pound pack on our back and sleeping on the ground rather daunting. Solution? Slackpacking! We cover the same distance as backpackers, but at the end of the day we return to a comfortable hostel with beds and hot showers. In contrast to the Georgia section, this section is flatter but the terrain and footing makes it more challenging. And we end the trip with climbing Mt Katahdin, a more significant climb than any we do in Georgia. Maximum group size: 10;

Highlights

  • Hiking part of the 100 mile wilderness in Maine, the last stretch of the Appalachian trail
  • Returning to a comfortable bed and hot shower at the end of every day
  • Summiting the majestic peak of Katahdin in Baxter Park, the northern terminus of the AT.
  • Carrying only what you need for the day on your back

Departures and Prices

August 15 to August 22, 2020
$1795.00 - Limited Availability
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August 10 to August 17, 2019
$1775.00 - FULL
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Inclusions

  • 1 - 2 experienced AGC guides based on group size
  • Seven nights lodging
  • All meals from dinner on the first day through breakfast on the last with the exception of one dinner
  • All transportation within Maine including round trip transport from the Bangor airport and daily shuttles
  • Park entry fees
  • Not included:Transportation to and from Bangor ME, alcoholic beverages, guide gratuities, one dinner and travel insurance.

Details

Hiking from 7 to 17 miles a day (see the itinerary for daily mileage) with one 4,000 foot ascent, particularly on a trail with many rocks, stream crossings, and bogs - even if the terrain is flatter than most sections of the AT - requires being in excellent physical condition and prior hiking experience. If you need a down day, you can always choose to stay at the hostel and explore the town. This trip is rated 5 and requires a high degree of fitness. Adding some specific conditioning such as strength training, endurance training, and longer aerobic workouts is suggested. Rating: 1 2 3 4 [5]

This is a very challenging hiking trip on the last section of the legendary Appalachian Trail. You will be hiking in an area that was scoured by glaciers in the past; although the terrain is largely flat, the many streams, bogs, and marshes make the trail more difficult than many other sections. Please note that we will most likely not be on the Appalachian Trail for the final ascent.

We will be staying at the Appalachian Trail Lodge, http://appalachiantraillodge.com/, in the town of Millinocket. We will have the entire lodge to ourselves for our stay. The accommodations will be 4 rooms on the 2nd floor of the lodge with 2 beds in each room, plus 2 rooms in the loft. None of the rooms have bunk beds. Also, none of the rooms have private bathrooms. There are two bathrooms in the lodge that will be shared amongst the group. One is on the 2nd floor and one is on the 1st floor. In order to get to the 1st floor bathroom from the 2nd floor you will go outside and back into the 1st floor. The loft rooms have sloped roofs and the bathroom is on the floor below.

Below is the proposed itinerary for the trip. As is true on any adventure travel trip, plans for any specific day may be modified due to weather considerations, unforeseen circumstances, new opportunities, and group interests.

DAY 1
We'll meet at the Bangor International airport at 2pm. We will be picked up by our shuttle and transported to 'hiker heaven' - the Appalachian Trail Lodge, our home for the next week. That evening we'll start getting to know each other and review everything we need to know for our upcoming adventure to keep us safe and healthy. D
DAY 2
Kokadjo B Pond Rd to Jo Mary Rd After a hearty breakfast we begin our day with a shuttle to Crawford Pond. As we wave good bye to our shuttle driver, we can be assured that our shuttle will be waiting for us at the end of our hike to transport us back for that wonderful shower at the end of a satisfying hiking day! Our hike today is a great 'warm up' for the week and will take us through not only Crawford Pond but Cooper Brook Falls, a great swimming hole and an Appalachian trail shelter. Today's terrain is mostly level with approximately 300 feet of elevation loss, a great way to get the 'trail legs' ready and a wonderful beginning to our week. Daily stats: Mileage: 7.0 miles. Elevations: beginning: 1264 feet, ending: 624 feet, highest: 1285 feet B, L, D
DAY 3
So here’s the drill - each day we’ll get dropped off where we left our hike the day before. Today we head back to Mary Jo Road and once again put on our packs, grab our poles, and head into the wilderness. As with much AT hiking in northern New England, the trails are challenging with many rocks and roots and require a "mind-full" approach to the day's hiking. Our hike today is definitely longer, with slightly rolling terrain and more lakes, streams, and picturesque footbridges. Northern Maine at it's best and we'll be enjoying it as it was meant to be enjoyed -- by foot! Daily stats: Mileage: 14.9 miles. Elevations: beginning: 624 feet. ending: 636 feet highest: 624 feet B, L, D
DAY 4
The high point of today's hike will be Nesuntabunt Mountain complete with the first sighting of our goal – Katahdin! Known first by Native Americans as 'Kette-Adene' or the 'greatest mountain', that is exactly what it looks like, particularly from this perspective: a gray, granite monolith rising from the green Maine forest. After enjoying this spectacular view of not only Katahdin but of the land below us, we'll descend thru a beautiful stand of old growth red spruce and white pine trees (some at +140 years!) and pass by the Pollywog Gorge. A short side trail will give us great views of the Pollywog Gorge before we finish our day at the Pollywog Stream with more beautiful scenery! Daily stats: Mileage: 8.5 miles. Tonight we leave open for you to explore the culinary opportunities available in town, and our lodge host will be happy to make suggestions (there aren't that many choices so if your stomach is set on fine French cuisine, tell it to wait). Mileage: 8.5 miles. Elevation beginning: 636 feet. Ending: 684 feet Highest: 1520 feet B, L
DAY 5
Pollywog Stream to Abol Bridge Yes, today is our longest mileage day and we're glad it's not all up! Our terrain will include some flat and slightly ascending trail as well as more of the rolling terrain that the AT does so well! The Maine terrain has been described as appearing as though 'a mirror has been broken and scattered over the mantle of dark green spruce and fir forest cover, producing myriad lakes reflecting the sun’s light' and we will see many of those lakes today. We'll hike past Murphy Lake outlet, continuing past Rainbow Lake and Rainbow Lake Dam as we make our way toward Abol Bridge over the west branch of the Penobscot River – a beautiful river that figured significantly in Maine's logging history. Our shuttle will indeed be a welcome sight and that end of the day shower will be calling. Daily stats: Mileage: 17.2 miles. Elevations: beginning: 684 feet. ending: 578 feet highest: 1144 feet B, L, D
DAY 6
By now we have a great routine going - good night's sleep, great breakfast, and then out the door and shuttle to the trail! This morning we’ll once again put in where we left off yesterday - at the Abol Bridge and head - which way? North of course, toward Katahdin. The beautiful northern spruce and fir forest continues to impress and our forward progress toward Katahdin is exciting. Several highlights of our hike today will include, yes! water features! This time not only ponds and streams but a couple of spectacular water falls as well – Big and Little Niagara Falls. Both of the falls are located on the Nesowadnehunk Stream, originally used extensively by the logging industry in Maine. The forest has long since recovered from that era and there are few, if any traces of that endeavor now. Our destination for the day is a much-anticipated spot, Katahdin Stream Campground. Here is the place where you realize that the end of your hike is near! Tomorrow, 'the greatest mountain' awaits! Daily stats: Mileage: 10.2 miles. Elevations: beginning: 578 feet. ending: 1106 feet highest: 1119 feet B, L, D
DAY 7
Climb Katahdin! Yes! The day has arrived and the summit bid is at hand! After checking in at the Ranger Station to ascertain the weather conditions, our guides will determine the best route to hike up the mountain. We have had some strenuous hikes to prepare us for this day, but today will be our most strenuous with the ascent just as challenging as the descent - which means we have a long and challenging day ahead of us. While there are several options for our climb, we most likely will not take the AT on this final stretch; instead our likely approach starts with a 3.3 mile hike up Roaring Brook Trail to Chimney Pond. At Chimney Pond we will re-group to hydrate and eat a snack. From there we take the Saddle Trail which is a very steep 1.2 mile boulder scramble followed by another mile to the Katahdin summit. This is the most challenging part of our hike today and people with a fear of heights may choose to make Chimney Pond their final destination. For those that continue to the summit, we will take pictures at the famous Katahdin sign and then begin our long, careful descent down the mountain. Our chariot (OK, our shuttle) will be a welcome sight and will take us to the Lodge for our last dinner and a festive celebration of our week together. Daily stats: Mileage: 10.4 miles. Elevations: beginning: 1106 feet. ending: 1106 feet highest: 5268 feet B, L, D
DAY 8
Sadly, it's time to go home. You are free to leave anytime after breakfast. If you are flying out, we will have you back to the Bangor International airport by 11am. You can plan on flying out anytime after 12:00pm B

*These are the unfiltered reviews of women who have been on this trip in answer to the question "Did this trip meet your expectations?". We take reviews very seriously and often tweak itineraries based on feedback. Please feel free to contact us about any questions you have.

Summiting Katahdin!

Slackpacking Maine 8/11/2018-8/18/2018


Walking in the Maine woods. Swimming in the lakes. Climbing katahdin. Experiencing the Appalachian trail cult. Meeting interesting people.

Slackpacking Maine 8/11/2018-8/18/2018


summiting Katahdin! hearing more about AT life and experiences camaraderie with my trail mates little stops during our hiking days and the FOOD!!! ok, all of it!

Slackpacking Maine 8/11/2018-8/18/2018


These were the highlights of my trip: the wonderful gals and guides who were on the trip; having either Leigh or Gina stick with me in the rear, since my pace was considerably slower than the younger gals'; seeing moose at Sandy Stream Pond and bear and cub on trail into Roaring Brook from Chimney Pond; beautiful trails and scenery every day; accomplishing a significant section of the ME 100 mi; Slackpacking as opposed to backpacking presents a bit of a time problem in that the hiking starts later and ends perhaps earlier in the day, and thus puts pressure on one to hike at a faster pace. Would that there were a hot air balloon to carry our overnight gear that would float above us as we hike! To be honest, I was not conscientious about specific training during the winter, such as indoor bike riding, which has helped me in the past. It would have in retrospect been very helpful.

Slackpacking Maine 8/11/2018-8/18/2018


lodging was nicer than I expected, everything else was as described in a good way!

Slackpacking Maine 8/11/2018-8/18/2018


Far exceeded my expectations. Six really great days of hiking. A perfect itinerary. Beautiful scenery. And I made it to the top! I'd wanted to do this trip for several years now and I'm so glad I finally did.

Slackpacking Maine 8/11/2018-8/18/2018


Summitting Katahdin. Could not have done it without Leigh and Gina's expert guidance. The entire itinerary was well organized and planned. The meals were delicious, wholesome and fresh. The accommodations were very comfortable. Everyone was friendly and welcoming. Met some wonderful people and had a memorable time.

Slackpacking Maine 8/11/2018-8/18/2018


  1. Where do we eat?

    The guides will be cooking breakfasts and most dinners at the hostel. Before you leave in the morning the guides will put out lunch 'fixings' and you'll take a packed lunch. You'll go out for one dinner where you can order off the menu; other nights you'll relax in the lodge and have dinner there.
  2. What dietary preferences or restrictions can you accommodate on this trip?

    If we know well in advance, we can accommodate vegetarian, lactose-free, and gluten-sensitive diets. We cannot guarantee a completely gluten-free diet and we cannot provide a kitchen guaranteed to be free of cross-contamination. If you are vegan, we ask that you bring some additional protein bars; and if you are gluten-sensitive, please bring some gluten-free snacks. If you have severe allergies, Celiac disease and/or other significant dietary restrictions, please call the office before you register.
  3. I will be coming by myself. Do I need to pay a single supplement?

    There is not a single supplement charge on this trip. Singles are only available in the 3rd floor loft. There is not a bathroom on this floor. You can select this room on your registration form. Otherwise we’ll pair you up with someone.
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