Slackpacking Maine

Destination: Millinocket, Maine

| Activities: Hiking and Slackpacking

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 13 to August 20, 2022
$2125.00 - FULL
Join Waitlist

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.

Trip Documents

Trip Intro

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 lodge to ourselves. There are 4 bedrooms on the 2nd floor of the lodge with 2 beds in each room, plus 2 bedrooms on the 1st floor. None of the rooms have bunk beds. There are 2 bathrooms in the lodge. One on the 2nd floor and one on the 1st floor. These are shared amongst the group. In order to get to the 1st floor bathroom from the 2nd floor you will go outside and back into the 1st floor. There is also a 3rd bathroom available in the next door apartment where the guides stay which is also available. There are 2 singles available on the 3rd floor. These single bedrooms share a bathroom in the hall.

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 2 p.m. 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 Road to Jo Mary Road After a hearty breakfast we begin our day with a shuttle to Crawford Pond. As we wave goodbye 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.

Mileage: 7.0 miles. Elevation: beginning at 1,264 feet, ending at 624 feet. Highest: 1,285 feet (B, L, D)
DAY 3
So here’s the drill - each day we will 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 its best and we'll be enjoying it as it was meant to be enjoyed - by foot!

Mileage: 14.9 miles. Elevation: beginning at 624 feet, ending at 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! 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 at 636 feet, ending at 684 feet. Highest: 1,520 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 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.

Mileage: 17.2 miles. Elevation: beginning at 684 feet, ending at 578 feet. Highest: 1,144 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 will 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 waterfalls, including 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!

Mileage: 10.2 miles. Elevation: beginning at 578 feet, ending at 1,106 feet. Highest: 1,119 feet (B, L, D)
DAY 7
Climb Katahdin! Yes! The day has arrived, and the summit bid is at hand! 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.

Mileage: 10.4 miles. Elevation: beginning at 1,106 feet, ending at 1,106 feet. Highest: 5,268 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 11 a.m. You can plan on flying out anytime after 12:00 p.m. (B)

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

4.7

(49 reviews)
4.7 Food
4.4 Lodging
4.7 Safety
5
(34)
4
(13)
3
(2)
2
(0)
1
(0)
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Tyler H.
0 months ago

I enjoyed being with my mom and my aunt. I also loved hiking in Maine

Kimberly H.
0 months ago

This trip was very special to me because I did it with my sister and my daughter. I love that my daughter was able to see strong women of different ages (all older than her) enjoying the outdoors and challenging themselves.

Marlene G.
0 months ago

Hiking in Maine.

Durena B.
0 months ago

Hiking in Maine with old and new friends. Staying at the AT Lodge.

Lisa W.
0 months ago

Beautiful country and the AT is always a wonderful combination.

Heidi W.
0 months ago

In 2019 I did the slackpacking Georgia trip to complete the southern end of the AT. It was fun being able to hike some of the northern end of the AT as well.

Stacy N.
0 months ago

Great guides, hostel, and hiking friends

Anita S.
0 months ago

This Maine hike trip was wonderful! We had a great group of ladies from 3 states, all ready to put in those wild and rocky Maine miles. It was a challenge at times, due to unexpected warm weather in Maine, but we thoroughly enjoyed this authentic AT experience.

Anne L.
1 month ago

I enjoyed seeing a part of the country that was new to me. The guides and participants were all very enjoyable.

Gwendolyn S.
1 month ago

It was a wonderful area for hiking, and the guides and ladies on the trip were interesting and supportive.

Linda B.
1 month ago

Hiking with a group of interesting and supportive women. Excellent trip organization.

Andrea S.
1 month ago

It created a very supportive environment and I had the most perfect roommate for me.

Patty B.
1 month ago

The accomplishment.

Pam F.
1 month ago

The beautiful and daunting Maine Wilderness was wonderful to experience and staying in Millinocket, a small, remote town was wonderful.

Tasha H.
1 month ago

Great group of women, excellent food, fantastic guides.

Kristin C.
1 month ago

Loved the hike to the waterfalls and the hike up Mt Katahdin. I really liked having Jamie and Danya as guides since they knew so much about the trails and hiking on the AT. Loved listening to there experiences with hiking on the AT and running the AT lodge.

Catherine L.
1 month ago

Camaraderie among participants, lodge hosts, & guide. Moved me closer to my goal of day hiking as much of the AT as I can.

Wendy S.
1 month ago

It was as if a group of hand picked friends had signed up for this trip! Also, the knowledge of the onsite guides Danya and Jamie and their love for Maine was really cool!

Sandy M.
1 month ago

The support given to one another. Tons of laughter

Andrea B.
2 months ago

Guides Group Bucket list

Diane S.
2 years ago

Deborah B.
2 years ago

Exceeded them. Best trip I've ever taken in my life.

Beth W.
2 years ago

Leigh and Gina were wonderful guides, our group of women were fantastic, and pushing far outside of my comfort zone and succeeding...priceless.

Annmarie E.
2 years ago

It exceeded my expectations.

Beverly H.
2 years ago

This trip far exceeded my expectations!

Doris E.
2 years ago

This trip exceeded my already high expectations. Excellent guides and a group of fun, smart, interesting and accomplished women who love adventure and the outdoors, plus my most physically challenging AGC experience to date in the extraordinary beauty of the 100 Mile Wilderness and Baxter State Park. That boulder scramble up Mt. Katahdin was really something!

Donna K.
2 years ago

Highlights - Guides were fantastic. The AT trail was beautiful and Mt Katahdin summit was a real accomplishment. Failures: There was no physical recovery day within the 6 days and 80 or so miles of hiking. I am very fit at 64 years old but a down day to recover would have made my post recovery from the hike shorter.

Laura D.
2 years ago

Great guides! They were knowledgeable, compassionate, and fun! Great ladies to travel with. The Katahdin hike was definitely something I’ll never forget.

Karen G.
3 years ago

Summiting Katahdin!

Catherine G.
3 years ago

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

Mary R.
3 years ago

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!

Bonnie T.
3 years ago

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.

Megan N.
3 years ago

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

Patty B.
3 years ago

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.

Ruth S.
3 years ago

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.

Suzanne E.
4 years ago

Hiking to the top of Katahdin, the beauty of the 100 mile Wilderness, the great mix of people on the trip along with our aweome guides.

Pamela W.
4 years ago

Some of it was out of your control - eg excellent weather. Beyond that just very well crafted access to 100 Mile Wilderness which is not easy to slack pack at all.

Lynn D.
4 years ago

The highlight was a successul climb to the Baxter Peak summit on Katahdin and completing the entire mileage of this 5-rated trip. I was personally disappointed that the Applachian trail was so similar to hiking in the woods that I do at home. I expected more vista points out into the mountains. I would have been happy with a shorter trip focused on the Katahdin hike, along with a 7 mile warm-up hike day and the Pollywog hike to get a view of Katahdin from a distance. The Baxter State Park hike at the base of Katahdin would be a nice warm-up hike if the trip was shortened; ponds and waterfalls were nice to see. The extra days of the week-long trip are useful as insurance for good weather for the Katahdin hike; I suggest being very upfront about switching the Katahdin day to earlier in the trip for good weather.

Brenda L.
4 years ago

Debra R.
4 years ago

The highlight was making the top of Katahdin! Just the daily wonderful hiking in the Maine Woods was wonderful.

Bianca W.
4 years ago

Long hikes, scrambling,lively conversations

Patricia Y.
4 years ago

In no way should my comments be seen as negative. The trip, as always, was perfectly executed. The guides were amazing. The location was great and all the women were friendly. Having said all this, this trip was the most difficult and painful of any i have taken.

Teresa R.
5 years ago

I guess the highlight for me was that I was able to do the hike and enjoy it. I went back and forth as to whether to proceed given a knee ailment and was uncertain that I was ready to do the hike. I modified my participation but I think every day was a successful one for me.

Lisa C.
5 years ago

Great hikes, great food, great company

Katy G.
5 years ago

Loved the morning rituals of early coffee and breakfast and then getting in the van..... The dinners were nutritious and healthy . The overall organization of the whole week was great. There was no hick up

Wendy W.
5 years ago

I realize that to some degree the lengths of the days was dependent on forest access roads, but I felt that the easy-hard-easy-harder-easy-tough sequence was great. We were ready for Katahdin when it came. I expected a tough trip and was worried about whether I could complete all of it -- but the pre-trip and day-to-day coaching once on the trip made it not only manageable, but fun to achieve. The guides took genuine pleasure in our efforts. Encouragement is always good, no matter our age : )

Allison E.
5 years ago

guides, activity, scenery, food, etc resided on third floor, which was OK but steps a bit tricky and trek to bathroom "eye-opening" at 2am

Antoinette K.
5 years ago

Meeting new women and hering/sharingstories

Jana F.
5 years ago

Excellent guides

  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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