Several years ago our family spent a special day climbing Mt. Katahdin in our home state, Maine. In this time when we are all looking for safe activities that will take us outside, keep us active, and allow us to spend time together, we thought you might enjoy reading about one family’s outing.
While you don’t necessarily need a mountain to climb, just about everyone can take advantage of areas close by that get you out into nature. Good for our bodies and in this time of Covid 19, good for our spirits.
Maine is seeing an uptick in tourism this year from people seeking all of these things. If a trip to Maine is not in your immediate plans, please take a look at some of the resources below for the inspiration they offer. In the meantime, here is our story…
My quads still hurt. I groan every time I stand up or sit down. Don’t even ask about getting in and out of bed!
The adventure that led to these aches and pains was a “hike” up Maine’s Mt. Katahdin in Baxter State Park. And it was worth every step. Every groan. Every ache.
I’ve lived in Maine for nearly 30 years but somehow had never made it to Baxter State Park, one of Maine’s gems. Katahdin is the highest mountain in Maine and the northern terminus of the Appalachian Trail and a very popular site for hikers and campers who want to get away from it all in the northern Maine woods.
Climbing Katahdin is not your garden variety hike. I am not an experienced hiker though I am relatively fit, but the exertion level was surprising to me. We took the route from Roaring Brook Campground to Chimney Pond and then up the Saddle Trail, approximately 5.5 miles each way with an elevation gain of 3778 to the top of Baxter Peak. Park information lists the Chimney Pond Trail as moderate hiking and the Saddle Trail as strenuous; altogether we hiked 11 miles up and down in 10 hours and we were all tired by the end of the day. Nearly every step of the way had to be carefully chosen through rock-covered trails, boulder fields, loose stones and gravel, and several difficult faces that were not for the faint of heart. Simple walking trails these are not!
This trip started with my wife’s 67th birthday. Connie loves to do something unusual each year on her birthday and we like to include as many of our family as are available in whatever adventure we undertake. Two years ago we ran a half-marathon; last year all 10 of us were in Africa on safari; in past years we’ve done long bike rides or swims. But this year it was a hike up Mt. Katahdin with two of our adult children and their spouses and one granddaughter. With a baby in a backpack our daughter and husband hiked up part way (still quite a feat) before heading back down, while the rest of us pushed on to complete the climb, spending only 25 minutes at the cold and very windy summit.
As always, the best part of the day was spending time with our family. Who wouldn’t want to have that extended time up and down the trail to talk about their lives and ambitions, their friends, and life in general? Sharing such an experience is more and more important to our family. With everyone scattered across the country these moments together are precious and treasured.
A reflection six years later. The experiences that our family shared that one day have become part of our “family lore” passed down in bits and pieces of stories for our grandchildren, most of whom were not born yet. Getting prepared for the hike, conversations throughout the day, and sharing such a special experience are replayed time and time again. And that was only ONE day!
Make a memory today!
Enjoy BoomerTECH Adventure’s YouTube tribute to Mt. Katahdin.
Want to see more of Maine? In addition to the hiking in Baxter State Park there are many opportunities for fun and adventure—whitewater rafting, looking for moose and other wildlife, poking through Maine history, and so much more.