AT Fall Color Hike: Katahdin & Baxter State Park

Our morning began at the A.T. Lodge in Millinocket, Maine. I roll out of bed at four-thirty a.m., grab my small nalgene, open my Amazing Grass green powder (with yerba mate) and dump it in the water. Our shuttle departs for Baxter State Park at 6:00 am, dropping us at Katahdin Stream and the Hunt Trailhead to summit Katahdin. A bit of paperwork to get our permit, and off we go…

The Hunt Trail starts out in the forest, overgrown with moss and ferns, lichen and fungus. Everything is wet. The ground is saturated, sometimes water running down the trail. It’s steamy, so humid. The forest slowly gives way to large granite boulders. High steps, scrambling, and a bit of hand over hand, until the mountain comes into view.

We reach Thoreau Spring and stop to rest. A hiker comes in from a different trail. He’s also wearing sandals. This is always a conversation starter. He’s wearing a running vest, so Neon asks if he’s running the trail. He says he does run trails, but not this one. He didn’t start running until he was 63. He’s 82 now. We can’t help but look amazed, because he’s in such awesome shape, and doesn’t look anywhere near 82. We chat about strength training, building core and glute strength to protect the knees and back. He tells us about a thing called “toe pro” that he uses to strengthen his feet and ankles, and comments that it’s an interesting thing “training for longevity”. We all nod in agreement. Training for longevity… This resonates deeply with me—learning and relearning how to be healthy—how to work with my broken parts to be stronger.

Another mile leads us to the summit of Katahdin. I’ve been here once before, up Pamola Ridge and the Knife’s Edge. It’s a spectacular mountain. And so our A.T fall color hike begins—training for longevity.

Our camping reservations were at Abol Campground, so we descended Katahdin on the Abol Trail, retrieved the rest of our hiking gear, and met up with friends. A few more miles the next day led us out of Baxter State Park…

View of Katahdin from the last few miles in Baxter State Park.

Instagram: theredheadednomad


  1. You guys rock!!! Let me know when and if you are passing through near I-80 and I will be willing to pick you up and provide any hospitality that I can for some rest and refurbishment…
    Love you both… D

    Liked by 1 person

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