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  1. #1

    Default Best Section of Maine for Intermediate Experience

    Hi all,

    My partner and I are section hiking part of Maine the second week of June. We have some experience (AT & Glacier), but have never been this far north on the trail. Right now our plan is to do a short trip, Caratunk to Monson. Any thoughts on what to expect in this section? Seems moderate compared to the rest of the state, but I hear that's relative, considering the strenuous nature of the AT in Maine.

    Feedback much appreciated!

    Thanks!

  2. #2

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    Caratunk to Monson is "moderate" by Maine standards in that it's not as difficult as the stretch from the NH border through the Bigalows. It's not as easy as most of the 100 Mile Wilderness although the latter has more fords which could be challenging in June.

    For your hike or anywhere in Maine 2nd week in June, you can expect blackflies and mosquitoes unless it's too early for the latter. The two steepest ascents & descents that I recall are Pleasant Pond Mountain and Moxie Bald. Both are very rewarding with great views and a nice summit with flat rocks. You'll hit Pleasant Pond Mt. on your first day and foot-for-foot, it's as steep as anything in Maine.

    But even with a slow pace to allow for Maine's difficulty, a week is more than enough time to hike 37 miles between Caratunk and Monson. I suggest this approach: try hiking southbound starting in Monson with the goal of reaching Stratton. It's 73 miles and you're starting on a fairly easy stretch which then becomes more difficult as your ascend Moxie, Pleasant Pond, and later the Bigalows. There are some secondary roads after West Carry Pond before the ascent to the Bigalows for bail-out options. Should be a great hike.

  3. #3
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    I also would recommend Monson to Caratunk. Get some easy miles under your belt the first day or so and then work your way up. The extra section from Caratunk to Long Falls Dam road is some sweet walking, one minor climb up from the river and then its rolling hills and three ponds. If you keep going from Long Falls dam road to Stratton you need to go up and over Bigelow.

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