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  1. #1

    Question Maine Suggestions?

    Im doing a section hike in Maine for a week because I only get so much allotted vacation time at work. I was wondering if anyone had any suggestions for a week hike in Maine before I just jump in gunho from NH and see how far I get.

  2. #2

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    It's 298 miles from the last road crossing in NH to Katahdin. The southernmost 120 miles - Rt. 2 through the Bigalow Mountains - are very challenging with steep ascents & descents, some of which involve rough footing. After the descent of the Bigalows, things get a bit easier. So it's up to you how much of a challenge you want. For a northbound hiker, the miles per day will definitely pick up after that last Bigalow descent.

    I'd recommend hiking south starting at Monson. It's 74 miles to Stratton and by hiking south, you're saving the toughest part - the Bigalows - for your last day-and-a-half or so. You'll enjoy the benefits of hiking Maine with mountains, lakes, maybe seeing moose, while not killing yourself.

  3. #3
    Registered User johnnybgood's Avatar
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    First off, a few questions ; how much hiking experience do you have ? How far can you hike in a day on average ? What are the goals, if any, that you want to accomplish AND when are you going ? If you want to eventually section hike the entire trail, begin at Katahdin hiking sobo and see how far you get. You can't go wrong hiking for a week anywhere in Maine.
    Getting lost is a way to find yourself.

  4. #4

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    Cookerhiker; would that take a week or longer on average would you say?

    Johnny; I have a fair amount of experience but not as much as a thru hiker would have. I cant say I have honestly kept track of how many miles I can hike with a pack on my back. I haven't done an overnight hike before. I dont have any goals really and Im going hopefully from the 29th of June through the 6th or 7th of July. I wouldn't want to start at Katahdin because they are going to be BUSY during that week so I want to avoid that as much as possible. Other trails wont be as busy!

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    Registered User johnnybgood's Avatar
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    With 13+ hours of daylight this time of year, a 10 mile day, is certainly attainable. The 74 miles from Monson to Stratton sounds within your window of 9 days, counting both weekend days.
    Getting lost is a way to find yourself.

  6. #6

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    Hiking northbound, Stratton to Monson took me 6 days. I wasn't thruhiking but section hiking all of Maine so by that time, I was pretty trail-hardy. Feel free to read my trail journal.

    Since you really haven't backpacked before, it's hard to say how you'll do. Any part of Maine is a tough place for your first backpack. But as JohnnyBGood said, you have a lot of daylight so I think it's a reasonable goal. And your lack of backpacking experience means this stretch and this direction is the best option for you for a hike in Maine.

    Are you aware that the black flies could still be out during your hike, and you certainly will have mosquitoes? Prepare to sleep in your tent every night.

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    Quote Originally Posted by johnnybgood View Post
    First off, a few questions ; how much hiking experience do you have ? How far can you hike in a day on average ? What are the goals, if any, that you want to accomplish AND when are you going ? If you want to eventually section hike the entire trail, begin at Katahdin hiking sobo and see how far you get. You can't go wrong hiking for a week anywhere in Maine.
    I agree with the you can't go wrong statement. Due to your lack of experience I would concentrate my hike around Stratton and Monson. Sue at the Maine Roadhouse in Stratton is an excellent shuttle provider and there are a couple of options in the Monson area. Know who they are before you leave in case you find yourself needed to get off the trail.

    Personally I wouldn't worry about crowds at Katahdin. You'll be starting well before the 4th. If you think you can get thru the 100 MW I would go that route. The first half is fairly easy and very enjoyable.
    Pain is a by-product of a good time.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Babystego View Post
    I haven't done an overnight hike before.
    For someone who hasn't done an overnight before, I hope the sections suggested above aren't too ambitious. The ability to cover 10 miles per day on challenging terrain isn't limited only by strength and endurance. Let's not forget about simple things like blisters, aching joints, or soggy weather that can easily derail a week-long hike.

    I haven't hiked Maine yet (I'm scared of it! I'm out of shape. and it's a long way from where I live. ), so I can't recommend specific sections, but I would suggest that an appropriate section would have decent cell phone coverage and bail-out options, with 6-7 miles per day being a more realistic goal for an untested hiker, and a re-supply plan so he/she isn't carrying 9 days of food. If the Monson-to-Stratton section meets these criteria, maybe it would be okay.

    Someday, when I've made it to Maine, my opinion might be worth reading. I'll shut up now.

  9. #9

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    Given your lack of experience with full-pack backpacking, I'd advise against the 100 Mile Wilderness. It's not that it's difficult but the access (read: bailout) points are much harder to find rides from. And while most of it is easier than most of the rest of Maine, trying to hike it in a week puts too much pressure on you.

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    start at grafton notch and head south to gorham. the mahoosucs are difficult but you can take your time, given you have seven days, its actually doable in 3. if you make good time, you can continue through to imp campsite, take the side trail back towards gorham.

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