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  1. #1
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    Question 100 Mile Wilderness Advice

    Several of us are thinking of hiking the 100-Mile Wilderness (south to north), then continuing to push on to Katahdin. Right now, we're targeting the last half of September 2015.

    Any thoughts on that time of year? We're hoping to find a window between the black flies/mosquitos and cold weather/snow.

    Also, we're guessing that we should plan two weeks on the outside for that trip.

    Any advice -- general or specific to the questions above -- much appreciated!

  2. #2
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    Hi Helmdash,

    Late September/early October is a wonderful time to hike the 100MW. 2 weeks will be plenty of time. Some people do it in 4 days. I'd say most do it in 6-8. I've done it in 7, 8, and 10 days - the 10 day trip being the most fun. I'm not sure what type of advice you are looking for other than that time of year and if 2 weeks is sufficient, but if you have more questions you came to the right website.

    Nights will be chilly. Make sure you have adequate shelter for your whole group, in case lean-tos are full. Bears really aren't an issue, but the squirrels will ravage through unattended food in a heartbeat. Actually, you'll probably have a few try to get your food even if you are sitting right next to it. Take lots of pictures. If any part of your group likes to fish, they will be in heaven, especially if you are going at a 2 week pace.

  3. #3
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    Putts:

    Thanks for the advice. The two weeks would include the additional trip to the top of Katahdin, so it looks like our planned duration is conservative, and will allow us to fully enjoy the experience.

    When you say "chilly," do you mean sub-freezing? Also, I am assuming that water will be plentiful. On that note, do you know whether there are water crossings, and how deep?

    Finally, are there any side trips that we should consider?

    Thanks again!

  4. #4

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    When I hiked the 100 Mile Wilderness as part of my Maine section hike, I started September 7 and experienced no mosquitoes at all. In fact, I don't recall any mosquitoes for the entirety of the section hike which began in mid-August.

  5. #5

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    It all depends on the weather. It can be wonderfully beautiful or insanely miserable. In a 2 week period, you can expect a mix of both. If you happen to get bad weather while in the Chairback range, that could slow you down. A lot. If your not experienced with hiking in Maine, plan the full 10 days to be safe. If you do have a spell of nice weather and can spare a day, Anters campsite on Jo-Mary Lake would be a great place to relax and take a zero. The Gulf Hagg loop is suppose to be real neat, but would make for seriously long day.

    There are three significant stream crossings in the HMW, some 20 feet across. Again it depends on the weather. The crossings can be ankle to waist deep depending on recent rain fall. NEVER cross barefoot!

    You will likely meet a lot of thru hikers racing to finish.
    The AT - It has it's ups and downs...

  6. #6
    Springer to Elk Park, NC/Andover to Katahdin
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    I hiked it in August. Only rained one half a day. No bugs at all. Weather was mild. No water crossings over ankle deep. A wonderful trip.
    I am not young enough to know everything.

  7. #7
    Registered User DLANOIE's Avatar
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    As others have stated, two weeks is PLENTY of time to hit the blue blazed trails, get in a lot of fishing, pictures galore etc. Take your time and enjoy it. It will undoubtedly be cold at night and in the AM. Yes, it could get to 32* or colder up here in September so prepare for it. Water crossings will be fun unlike hiking it in June when they are all raging and deep. Mosquitos should be just about non existent by then. Mid/late September is THE best time to hike the 100 Mile Wilderness. Just keep in mind everyone else and their grandmothers will be out there at that time too!

    Have fun and report back how it went!

    SkinnyD
    skinny d

  8. #8
    Springer to Elk Park, NC/Andover to Katahdin
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    Quote Originally Posted by DLANOIE View Post
    Just keep in mind everyone else and their grandmothers will be out there at that time too!

    SkinnyD
    I met everyone else's grandmother (81) climbinb Barren Mtn. in August with a full pack. LOL
    I am not young enough to know everything.

  9. #9
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    I think the Gulf Hagas side trail is worth doing if you aren't in a rush. It is a 5-6 mile loop, but there are connector trails that make shorter loops if you prefer. There is no camping allowed in that area though, the next lean to is 5-6 miles north, and up hill.

    There is great swimming along the Gulf Hagas trail, but I had an unforgettable leach experience there. Mom and at least 30 babies attached to my foot.

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by putts View Post
    I think the Gulf Hagas side trail is worth doing if you aren't in a rush. It is a 5-6 mile loop, but there are connector trails that make shorter loops if you prefer. There is no camping allowed in that area though, the next lean to is 5-6 miles north, and up hill.

    There is great swimming along the Gulf Hagas trail, but I had an unforgettable leach experience there. Mom and at least 30 babies attached to my foot.
    Yikes! Better your foot than your........., well you know. I hate leeches, ever since Viet Nam
    "every day's a holiday, every meal a feast"

  11. #11
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    I hiked out there a couple weeks ago. There were no black flies or mosquitoes, it was perfect weather.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by putts View Post
    I think the Gulf Hagas side trail is worth doing if you aren't in a rush. It is a 5-6 mile loop, but there are connector trails that make shorter loops if you prefer. There is no camping allowed in that area though, the next lean to is 5-6 miles north, and up hill.

    There is great swimming along the Gulf Hagas trail, but I had an unforgettable leach experience there. Mom and at least 30 babies attached to my foot.
    I guess if you live up there, maybe you get used to them, but to me, leeches are creepy!

  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by helmdash View Post
    Putts:

    Thanks for the advice. The two weeks would include the additional trip to the top of Katahdin, so it looks like our planned duration is conservative, and will allow us to fully enjoy the experience.

    When you say "chilly," do you mean sub-freezing? Also, I am assuming that water will be plentiful. On that note, do you know whether there are water crossings, and how deep?

    Finally, are there any side trips that we should consider?

    Thanks again!
    It would be unusual to have subfreezing in September. I once hiked the 100 Mile Wilderness the third week in October. There was a little ice on the puddles a couple of the mornings, but it warmed up quickly. Sept. should be ideal.
    Shutterbug

  14. #14
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    I am brand new to Whiteblaze.net, and am amazed by and grateful for the quick, thoughtful and helpful responses! Thanks to all of you for your insights...we'll be sure to report back on our experiences.

  15. #15
    Registered User DLANOIE's Avatar
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    We LOVE pictures, so take lots and share em!

    Have a great trip!

    SkinnyD
    skinny d

  16. #16
    1,630 miles and counting earlyriser26's Avatar
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    I hiked the northern half of the wilderness the first week in October in 2010. The weather was perfect. Never got much below 50 at night. All the thru hikers were attempting to summit 10/10/10. I am sure it can be much colder. My biggest warning is that the days are very short that time of year. Dark by 5 pm. I didn't expect to get any cell service, but at Antlers campsite I got 3 bars from Verizon. Amazing.
    There are so many miles and so many mountains between here and there that it is hardly worth thinking about

  17. #17
    Registered User Mohawk77's Avatar
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    Default 100 Mile Wilderness - Crawford Pond to Abol

    Quote Originally Posted by miked914 View Post
    I hiked out there a couple weeks ago. There were no black flies or mosquitoes, it was perfect weather.
    I was planning to take my two boys to hike the upper section of HMW in late June (this would be their first backpacking experience). I myself have only done ~170 miles of the AT in Maine, down as far as Flagstaff Lake. I was pleasantly surprised by the comment above that the black flies and mosquitoes weren't bad... I'm hoping this will still be the case in a couple weeks. Thoughts? How does the rest of the trail look... anything in particular we need to be worried about? How much wildlife dd you come across? Thanks in advance for any insight you can provide.

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