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Follow the AT from the town of Monson to Abol Bridge on the edge of Baxter State Park, a one-way 99.4-mile trip.

The hike travels through a lush, low-elevation hardwood forest and crosses numerous streams and rivers that cut through wild terrain. The trail then ascends the Barren-Chairback Range, traversing the mountain spine for 15 miles before crossing the West Branch of the Pleasant River and reaching the slate gorge of Gulf Hagas. From here, the journey climbs White Cap Mountain's 3,654-foot alpine summit, the highest point on the hike.

After steeply descending White Cap, the AT treks toward Crawford Pond, the hike's midpoint. The route follows Cooper Brook along an easy-cruising section of trail past idyllic Cooper Brook Falls and enters the land of large lakes and more level walking. Tour the shores of substantial Jo-Mary and Pemadumcook lakes and walk alongside Nahmakanta Stream to emerge at Nahmakanta Lake. After a steep climb over Nesuntabunt Mountain, the final leg of the hike travels beside the rushing Rainbow Stream and the long length of Rainbow Lake. A final rise over the Rainbow Ledges leads to the hike's end at the southwest edge of Baxter State Park.

Many people underestimate the rigors of this hike. The rugged trail is laced with roots and rocks, and occasionally boggy. There are no resupply points. The longer your trip, the more food you'll need to carry-and the slower you'll hike. Achieving the right balance of speed, pack weight, and enjoyment time is a challenge. AT thru-hikers often complete the 100-Mile Wilderness in only five days, an average of 20 miles per day. But keep in mind that thru-hikers are in top physical condition by this point in their journey, and inspired by their approaching endpoint atop Katahdin. Moving this quickly also allows little time for relaxing at the many beautiful locations on the way.

A seven- or eight-day itinerary sets a more relaxing, but still steady, pace covering an average of 12 to 14 miles per day. A trip of nine to ten days is a more leisurely journey, with plenty of time for fishing, swimming, and viewsavoring, but you'll have to pack a lot of food. No matter how long you take, the trip requires a high degree of fitness. Dogs are allowed.


  • HIKE OVERVIEW - Trip 34: 100 Mile Wilderness
    • Shelters and Tentsites
    • Lodges and Hostels
    • To Reach the Ending/Northern Trailhead.
    • To Reach the Starting/Southern Trailhead.
    • Other Trailheads

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