Chewonki Foundation: Maine Appalachian Trail Backpack

Wiscasset, ME

Overview

The Appalachian Trail (AT) stretches over 2000 miles between Springer Mountain, Georgia, and Mount Katahdin, Maine. The trail winds through beautiful, remote wilderness and the occasional small town taking some hearty souls four to six months to hike the entire length!

Chewonki offers two backpacking trips each session that cover the Maine Appalachian Trail (AT). The AT stretches over 2,000 miles between Springer Mountain, Georgia, and Mount Katahdin, Maine. The trail winds through beautiful, remote wilderness and by occasional small towns. Some hearty souls take four to six months to hike the entire length of the AT, and most experienced hikers call the Maine section the most challenging but also a very rewarding part of this great eastern trail. For those who want to explore the wilds of Maine on their feet, living close to nature and removed from everyday life, a trek on the Maine AT promises an adventure.

Trip Overview:

We begin just north of Monson, Maine, the last town on the AT, and hike north and east through territory known as the 100-Mile Wilderness, from the Barren Chairback Range to Baxter State Park. This section is the longest stretch of “wilderness” hiking on the AT; roads are few and far between. Most of the campsites along the way are lean-to sites, but we bring our own tents to leave room for others. We visit the Hermitage, an area of old-growth forest, and the distinctive Gulf Hagas gorge, sometimes referred to as the Grand Canyon of the East. Wild raspberries and blueberries abound and make great trail treats. There are many beautiful lakes and ponds along the trail and because of their remote locations, we won’t have to share with many other people! Our adventure ends with a challenging hike up Mount Katahdin (Wabanaki for “the greatest mountain”), which marks the northern terminus of the AT.

We average 4-12 miles per day, depending upon terrain. We enjoy and learn about the natural history and ecology of the places we visit. There is a great chance of seeing moose, bear, beaver, eagles, deer, and other wildlife, and opportunities to observe and take photographs are plentiful. As with all Chewonki trips, “Leave No Trace” ethics underlie our approach to the places we visit. As a result, participants learn to live and travel responsibly in the outdoors.

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