BACKPACKING IN MAINE


Knife's Edge, Katahdin Baldplate Lean-to Helon Taylor Trail, Katahdin

Welcome to the Newenglandwaterfalls.com guide to backpacking in Maine!

Maine offers some of the most remote and spectacular backpacking on the East Coast. The famed '100-mile Wilderness' section of the Appalachian Trail does not cross a single paved road, nor does it pass through any towns. Baxter State Park is a mecca for backpackers, with the centerpiece being Katahdin, the most alpine (and arguably most beautiful) mountain east of the Mississippi River.

The premier backpacking destinations of Maine include:
  • 100-Mile Wilderness (Appalachian Trail)
  • Appalachian Trail
  • Baxter State Park
  • The Bigelows
  • Grafton Notch Loop (Eastern Section)
  • Grafton Notch Loop (Western Section)
  • Hut-to-Hut with Maine Huts & Trails
  • Mahoosuc Notch (Appalachian Trail)
If you are going to go backpacking in Maine, pick up a copy of the latest edition of these thorough and extremely accurate guidebooks: AMC's Best Backpacking in New England (2nd edition) , AMC's White Mountain Guide, and AMC's Maine Mountain Guide.

Here is a list of the fantastic backpacking opportunities in Maine. If you think I've missed anything, please email me @ gparsons66@hotmail.com.





MOUNTAIN / DESTINATION AREA / REGION SCENIC / VIEW RATING # OF NIGHTS LODGING TYPE CROWD LEVEL NOTES & DESCRIPTION (is there a fee charged?) MORE INFO
100 Mile Wilderness Traverse Various 10 / 10 8-10 shelters, tent-sites low to moderate these 100 miles of terrain are often described as the wildest, most remote section of the entire Appalachian Trail; over this distance, you will not pass through any town nor cross any paved roads (and only a few dirt roads); this section of the A.T. runs from the town of Monson to Abol Bridge just outside of Baxter State Park (or vice-versa); the Maine Appalachian Trail Club recommends that you carry enough food & supplies for at least 10 nights; this can be done north-to-south or south-to-north; recommended from mid-July through late September more info
Baldplate Mountain / Baldplate Lean To Grafton Notch 9 / 10 1 shelter moderate to high the Baldplate Lean-To is located below the summit of West Baldplate Mountain (great views!); on your way to the shelter, don't miss the spur trail to Table Rock, which has excellent views (make sure to take the 2nd spur trail to Table Rock since the 1st spur trail is insanely steep); this trip is part of the western loop of the Grafton Loop Trail, so you can turn this into a multi-day endeavor if you'd like to; see map here: http://www.outdoors.org/pdf/upload/map-grafton-loop-trail.pdf n/a
Bald Rock Mountain / Camden Hills State Park Seacoast 8 / 10 1 shelters moderate two first-come, first-served shelters are available on Bald Rock Mountain within Camden Hills State Park; if you want the most direct route to the shelter, park on Youngtown Road (however, you can make this is a longer hike by starting at a trailhead on the Mt. Battie Auto Road) more info
Bigelow Mountain / West Peak / Avery Peak / Myron Avery Tent site Carabassett Valley 10 / 10 1-2 tent sites moderate to high this trip features several tent platforms located a short distance from both West Peak & Avery Peak; located along the Appalachian Trail, although the most direct route to the tent site is via the Fire Warden's Trail from Stratton Brook Road; views from both West Peak & Avery Peak are outstanding; I recommend doing this as a loop over The Horns and returning via Horns Pond Trail > Fire Warden's Trail (total mileage = 13.5 miles, which includes a must-do side trip to the summit of Avery Peak); the Bigelows are some of the finest mountains in Maine more info
Bigelow Mountain / Horns Pond Shelter Carabassett Valley 10 / 10 1-2 shelter moderate to high this shelter is located below 'The Horns' on the Bigelows; the shelter can be reached by the Appalachian Trail or via Fire Warden's Trail > Horns Pond Trail; I recommend doing this as a loop over West Peak and returning via Fire Warden's Trail (total mileage = 13.5 miles, which includes a must-do side trip to the summit of Avery Peak); the Bigelows are some of the finest mountains in Maine more info
Bigelow Mountain / Moose Falls Carabassett Valley 10 / 10 1-2 tent sites low to moderate this trip features several tent sites below the summit of West Peak; the most direct route to the tent site is via the Fire Warden's Trail from Stratton Brook Road; views from nearby West Peak & Avery Peak are both outstanding; I recommend doing this as a loop over The Horns and returning via Horns Pond Trail > Fire Warden's Trail (total mileage = 13.5 miles, which includes a must-do side trip to the summit of Avery Peak); the Bigelows are some of the finest mountains in Maine more info
Billfish Pond Baxter State Park
(Trout Brook Farm section)
unknown 1 tent site moderate there is only one tent site here and it can accommodate up to 4 people (as of 2014); make reservations online with the Baxter State Park Authority as far in advance as possible ($ fee is charged) n/a
Center Pond Baxter State Park
(Russell Pond section)
unknown 1 shelter moderate one 4-person lean-to is available for reservations (as of 2014); make reservations online with the Baxter State Park Authority as far in advance as possible; sometimes referred to as the "Center Mountain Campsite" ($ fee is charged) n/a
Chimney Pond Baxter State Park
(Hamlin / Katahdin section)
10 / 10 2-3 shelters, bunkhouse extremely high one of the most sought-after backcountry destinations in the Northeast, Chimney Pond is spectacularly settled in a beautiful cirque; day trips are possible to Katahdin (including the famed Knife's Edge) and/or Hamlin Peak; staying at Chimney Pond makes a day hike of Katahdin a bit more manageable (although still very difficult); moose are commonly seen along the edges of the pond and even between the various shelters here; most trips start from the Roaring Brook Trailhead (3.3 miles one-way to the pond and shelters); a bunkhouse is available for rental in winter and it is common with alpine hikers and ice-climbers; make reservations online with the Baxter State Park Authority as far in advance as possible ($ fee is charged) more info
Cutler Coast Public Reserved Lands North of Acadia 9 / 10 1 tent sites moderate explore a large chunk of the limited amount of remaining wilderness along Maine's coast; a 10-mile loop along the Coast Trail and Inland Trail is the preferred way to hike this area; three first-come, first-served tent sites are found close to the ocean's edge; also commonly called the "Bold Coast"; beautiful cliff-top ocean views; very remote location (northeast of Acadia National Park); if all three tent sites are already taken, you can camp on any flat rocks you can find near the ocean (but it can be very tough to find a good spot) n/a
Davis Pond Baxter State Park
(Hamlin / Katahdin section)
9 / 10 1 shelter extremely high one 4-person lean-to is available for a 1-night-stay reservations (as of 2014); make reservations well in advance; take note that this is one of the most remote shelters in Baxter  State Park and the park actually requires you to stay at one of several select shelters within the park the night before staying here; Davis Pond can be used as a good base camp for climbing Katahdin or Hamlin Peak ($ fee is charged) more info
Deboullie Public Reserved Land Northern Maine unknown 1-2 shelters, tent sites low to moderate lean-to site is available within the Gardner East section of this park; tent sites are available at the Deboullie West section of this park; good and wide-open views can be seen from the Deboullie Mountain Tower; fishing is rumored to be excellent in many of the ponds within this conservation land; see map on Maine.gov's page for Deboulllie Public Reserved Land n/a
Flagstaff Hut Carabassett Valley / The Forks 8 / 10 1 Maine Huts & Trails® hut extremely high one of four Maine Huts & Trails® huts in existence as of 2014 (although more huts are planned for the future); offers dinner and breakfast as part of full-service reservation; the owner of these huts called them "boutique hostels" (makes sense!); hut has mostly shared accommodations but also some more private rooms (which cost more, of course); each hut has a main lodge and separate bunkhouses; huts are open in winter for XC skiers, snowshoers and in some cases, snowmobilers; canoe and kayak rentals available on Flagstaff Lake (you can swim here as well) ($ fee is charged) n/a
Frost Pond Baxter State Park
(northern section)
unknown 1 shelter moderate one 4-person lean-to is available for reservations (as of 2014); make reservations online with the Baxter State Park Authority as far in advance as possible ($ fee is charged) n/a
Goose Eye Mountain / Carlo Col Shelter Grafton Notch 9 / 10 1 cabin, tent sites moderate the cabin and tent sites are located below the summit of Mt. Carlo, which is a few miles south of Goose Eye Mountain; the most direct access to this shelter is via the Carlo Col Trail from Success Pond Road (take note that this dirt road is normally passable to most vehicles but is known to washout after heavy rains); beautiful views from the summit of Goose Eye Mountain; you can do a 7.7 mile loop of this hike by hiking up Carlo Col Trail, taking the Appalachian Trail/Mahoosuc Trail to Goose Eye Mountain, and returning via the Goose Eye Trail (there are some rocky sections and some scrambling involved) more info
Goose Eye Mountain / Full Goose Grafton Notch 8 / 10 1 shelter, tent sites moderate the shelter and tent sites are located between Mahoosuc Notch ("the hardest mile on the Appalachian Trail") and Goose Eye Mountain; the most direct access to this shelter is via the Notch Trail from Success Pond Road (take note that this dirt road is normally passable to most vehicles but is known to washout after heavy rains); you can also make this a loop by using the Goose Eye Trail, but there is a lengthy road walk involved; beautiful views from the summit of Goose Eye Mountain more info
Goose Eye Mountain / Unnamed Tent sites Grafton Notch 9 / 10 1 tent sites moderate these tent sites are located on the Wright Trail along Goose Eye Brook; beautiful views from the summit of Goose Eye Mountain; several swimming holes and small waterfalls can be seen on the Wright Trail; it is recommended to take the north fork of the Wright Trail up to the summit and return via the south fork; great open ridgeline hiking; one of the best hikes in Maine and one of the most underappreciated hikes in New England; trailhead is on Bull Branch Road near the Sunday River Ski Resort n/a
Grafton Loop Trail-Eastern Loop Grafton Notch 9 / 10 1-2 shelter, tent sites moderate to high the eastern loop of the Grafton Loop Trail is 21.1 miles (not including spur trails to Table Rock and the ledges on Puzzle Mountain on the Woodsum Spur Trail, both of which are recommended for their fine views); of the two loops on the Grafton Loop Trail, this is the more interesting one (more views); there is one shelter and three tent sites along this loop (take note that Knoll tent site is supposedly permanently closed); this is not exactly a true "loop" since a road-walk, car-spot or bike-ride is necessary between the two trailheads on ME 26; see map here: http://www.outdoors.org/pdf/upload/map-grafton-loop-trail.pdf n/a
Grafton Loop Trail-Western Loop Grafton Notch 8 / 10 1-2 tent sites moderate to high the western loop of the Grafton Loop Trail is 17.5 miles; views are good from Sunday River Whitecap and Old Speck Mountain; there are three (free) tent sites along this loop; this is not exactly a true "loop" since a road-walk, car-spot or bike-ride is necessary between the two trailheads on ME 26; see map here: http://www.outdoors.org/pdf/upload/map-grafton-loop-trail.pdf n/a
Grafton Loop Trail-Entire Loop Grafton Notch 9 / 10 3-4 shelter, tent sites moderate to high hiking the entire Grafton Loop Trail (the eastern & western sections) is a highly-rewarding 39 mile endeavor that offers 7 tent sites and one shelter en route; views are excellent from several mountains and ledges along the way; there are two trailheads you can start from (both are on ME 26 and one is within Grafton Notch State Park); a portion of the loop is along the Appalachian Trail; this is one of the finest long-distance backpacking loops in New England n/a
Grand Falls Hut / Grand Falls Carabassett Valley / The Forks 8 / 10 1 Maine Huts & Trails® hut extremely high one of four Maine Huts & Trails® huts in existence as of 2014 (although more huts are planned for the future); offers dinner and breakfast as part of full-service reservation; the owner of these huts called them "boutique hostels" (makes sense!); hut has mostly shared accommodations but also some more private rooms (which cost more, of course); each hut has a main lodge and separate bunkhouses; huts are open in winter for XC skiers, snowshoers and in some cases, snowmobilers; considered the most remote and secluded hut of the four-hut system; the beautiful and wild Grand Falls is about a 1-mile hike west of the hut ($ fee is charged) n/a
Hudson Pond Baxter State Park
(northern section)
unknown 1 shelter moderate one 4-person lean-to is available for reservations (as of 2014); make reservations online with the Baxter State Park Authority as far in advance as possible ($ fee is charged) n/a
Katahdin Lake Wilderness Camps Baxter State Park
(Katahdin Lake section)
unknown 2 cabins extremely high reserve one of 8 remote cabins; Katahdin Lake has perhaps the most stunning water-based view of Katahdin; the camps are privately owned and you can hike or fly (sea-planes) into here; more info here: www.katahdinlakewildernesscamps.com ($ fee is charged) n/a
Little East Baxter State Park
(northern section)
unknown 1 shelter, tent sites moderate I believe there is 1 shelter and 1 tent site here; located along the Freezeout Trail in Northern Baxter State Park; make reservations online with the Baxter State Park Authority as far in advance as possible ($ fee is charged) n/a
Little Wassataquoik Lake Baxter State Park
(Russell Pond section)
unknown 1 shelter very high to extremely high one 4-person lean-to is available for reservations (as of 2014); make reservations online with the Baxter State Park Authority as far in advance as possible ($ fee is charged) n/a
Long Pond Outlet Baxter State Park
(Trout Brook Farm section)
unknown 1 tent site moderate there is only one tent site here and it can accommodate up to 4 people (as of 2014); make reservations online with the Baxter State Park Authority as far in advance as possible ($ fee is charged) n/a
Long Pond Pines Baxter State Park
(Trout Brook Farm section)
unknown 1 tent site moderate there is only one tent site here and it can accommodate up to 4 people (as of 2014); make reservations online with the Baxter State Park Authority as far in advance as possible ($ fee is charged) n/a
Lower Fowler Outlet Baxter State Park
(Trout Brook Farm section)
unknown 1 tent site moderate there is only one tent site here and it can accommodate up to 4 people (as of 2014); make reservations online with the Baxter State Park Authority as far in advance as possible ($ fee is charged) n/a
Lower Fowler Pond Baxter State Park
(Trout Brook Farm section)
unknown 1 tent site moderate there is only one tent site here and it can accommodate up to 4 people (as of 2014); make reservations online with the Baxter State Park Authority as far in advance as possible ($ fee is charged) n/a
Mahoosuc Trail / Mahoosuc Notch Traverse Grafton Notch 10 / 10 3-4 shelter, tent sites moderate a traverse of the full Mahoosuc Trail takes you over 31.1 miles of tough terrain from North Road in Gorham, NH to ME 26 in Grafton Notch State Park in Maine; almost all of this trip coincides with the famed Appalachian Trail; be prepared for extremely challenging terrain, including lots of boulder scrambling and what is frequently called "the toughest mile on the Appalachian Trail"; overnight accommodations include (these are listed south to north): Trident Col Tent site, Gential Pond Shelter, Carlo Col Shelter, Full Goose Shelter, and Speck Pond Shelter (fee charged for this shelter); you can cut this traverse in mileage by using some of the trailheads off Success Pond Road if you don't want to do all 31.1 miles; several attractive ponds passed en route, along with several excellent viewpoints (make sure to do short spur trail to the summit of Old Speck near the end); it is recommended that you only plan to hike 6-8 miles a day along the Mahoosuc Trail because it is such a rough trail (you can always continue further if you have the energy--just don't plan on doing 10 miles a day if you have never hiked in this area) ($ fee is charged) n/a
Mahoosuc Trail / Speck Pond / Speck Pond Shelter Grafton Notch 9 / 10 1-2 shelter, tent sites moderate to high 8-10 person shelter plus some tent sites; the easiest access to this site is via the Speck Pond Trail from Success Pond Road (although be aware that although this road is normally passable to cars, it is known to washout after heavy rains); from the pond, a day trip is possible to Mahoosuc Notch, which is often called 'the hardest mile along the Appalachian Trail' (bring a small backpack as you'll be scrambling through caves and on/around massive boulders), or to the fire tower atop nearby Old Speck Mountain ($ fee is charged) more info
Maine Huts & Trails traverse Carabassett Valley / The Forks 9 / 10 at least 4 Maine Huts & Trails® huts extremely high visit all four Maine Huts & Trails® huts (as of 2014); offers dinner and breakfast as part of full-service reservation; the owner of these huts called them "boutique hostels" (makes sense!); hut has mostly shared accommodations but also some more private rooms (which cost more, of course); each hut has a main lodge and separate bunkhouses; can be done south/west to north/east (Stratton Brook Hut > Poplar Hut > Flagstaff Hut > Grand Falls Hut), or vice versa; huts are open in winter for XC skiers, snowshoers and in some cases, snowmobilers ($ fee is charged) n/a
Martin Pond Campsite Baxter State Park
(Katahdin Lake section)
unknown 1 shelter extremely high one 6-person lean-to is available for reservations (as of 2014); make reservations online with the Baxter State Park Authority as far in advance as possible ($ fee is charged) n/a
Middle Fowler North Baxter State Park
(Trout Brook Farm section)
unknown 1 tent site moderate there is only one tent site here and it can accommodate up to 4 people; make reservations online with the Baxter State Park Authority as far in advance as possible ($ fee is charged) n/a
Middle Fowler South Baxter State Park
(Trout Brook Farm section)
unknown 1 tent site moderate there is only one tent site here and it can accommodate up to 4 people; make reservations online with the Baxter State Park Authority as far in advance as possible ($ fee is charged) n/a
North Katahdin Lake Baxter State Park
(Katahdin Lake section)
unknown 1 shelter extremely high one 6-person lean-to is available for reservations (as of 2014); make reservations online with the Baxter State Park Authority as far in advance as possible ($ fee is charged) n/a
Northwest Cove Baxter State Park
(northern section)
unknown 1 tent site moderate there is only one tent site here and it can accommodate up to 4 people (as of 2014); located along the Freezeout Trail in Northern Baxter State Park ($ fee is charged) n/a
Pogy Pond Baxter State Park
(Russell Pond section)
unknown 1 shelter moderate one 4-person lean-to is available for reservations (as of 2014); make reservations well in advance ($ fee is charged) more info
Poplar Hut / Poplar Stream Falls Carabassett Valley / The Forks 7 / 10 1 Maine Huts & Trails® hut extremely high one of four Maine Huts & Trails® huts (as of 2014); offers dinner and breakfast as part of full-service reservation; the owner of these huts called them "boutique hostels" (makes sense!); hut has mostly shared accommodations but also some more private rooms (which cost more, of course); each hut has a main lodge and separate bunkhouses; huts are open in winter for XC skiers, snowshoers and in some cases, snowmobilers ($ fee is charged) n/a
Russell Pond Baxter State Park
(Russell Pond section)
9 / 10 2-3 shelters, bunkhouse, tent sites very high to extremely high some of the most remote tent sites in Baxter State Park; Russell Pond serves as gateway to many different destinations within the state park; several ponds and streams are nearby and offer excellent fishing; day trips to various waterfalls are possible (Green Falls, Ledge Falls, Grand Falls); can be accessed via the Roaring Brook Trailhead from the south (7.6 miles one-way) or from South Branch Pond Trailhead from the north (9.6 miles one-way); canoe-rentals available (highly recommended!); take note that Katahdin cannot be hiked as a day hike from here; frequent moose sightings in and along the pond's edge; make reservations online with the Baxter State Park Authority as far in advance as possible ($ fee is charged) more info
South Katahdin Lake Baxter State Park
(Katahdin Lake section)
unknown 1 shelter extremely high one 6-person lean-to is available for reservations (as of 2014); make reservations online with the Baxter State Park Authority as far in advance as possible ($ fee is charged) n/a
Stratton Brook Hut Carabassett Valley / The Forks 7 / 10 1 Maine Huts & Trails® hut high to very high one of four Maine Huts & Trails® huts in existence as of 2014 (although more are planned for the future); offers dinner and breakfast as part of full-service reservation; the owner of these huts called them "boutique hostels" (makes sense!); hut has mostly shared accommodations but also some more private rooms (which cost more, of course); each hut has a main lodge and separate bunkhouses; huts are open in winter for XC skiers, snowshoers and in some cases, snowmobilers ($ fee is charged) n/a
Upper South Branch Pond Baxter State Park
(South Branch Pond section)
unknown 1 shelter very high to extremely high one 4-person lean-to is available for reservations (as of 2014); trailhead is near or within the South Branch Pond Campground; access via the Pogy Notch Trail, South Branch Mountain Trail, and a short spur trail to the shelter; make reservations online with the Baxter State Park Authority as far in advance as possible ($ fee is charged) n/a
Wassataquoik Lake Island Baxter State Park
(Russell Pond section)
unknown 1 shelter very high one 4-person lean-to is available for reservations (as of 2014); take note that this is one of the most remote shelters in Baxter and the park actually requires you to stay at one of several select shelters within the park the night before you stay at the Wassataquiok Lake Island Shelter; make reservations online with the Baxter State Park Authority as far in advance as possible ($ fee is charged) more info
Wassataquoik Stream Baxter State Park
(Russell Pond section)
unknown 1 shelters very high to extremely high two 4-person lean-tos are available for reservations (as of 2014); make reservations online with the Baxter State Park Authority as far in advance as possible ($ fee is charged) n/a
Webster Lake Outlet Baxter State Park
(northern section)
unknown 1 shelter, tent sites moderate I believe there is 1 shelter and 1 tent site here; located at the western end of the Freezeout Trail in Northern Baxter State Park; take note that this lean-to is currently CLOSED as of 2014 due to poor trail conditions; make reservations online with the Baxter State Park Authority as far in advance as possible ($ fee is charged) n/a
Webster Stream Baxter State Park
(northern section)
unknown 1 shelter moderate one 4-person lean-to is available for reservations (as of 2014); make reservations online with the Baxter State Park Authority as far in advance as possible ($ fee is charged) n/a

Knife's Edge, Katahdin
Knife's Edge, Katahdin, Baxter State Park

Baldplate Lean-to, Grafton Loop Trail
Baldplate Lean-to, Grafton Loop Trail

Helon Taylor Trail, Katahdin
Helon Taylor Trail, Katahdin, Baxter State Park

Katahdin views
views from Katahdin, Baxter State Park

TIPS FOR BACKPACKING IN MAINE



1. Get and use the excellent AMC Maine Mountain Guide (10th edition).
2. Use Trailsnh.com, Newenglandtrailconditions.com, Vftt.org or other internet sites to obtain the latest in trail conditions (especially in winter, when conditions can be highly variable).
3. Buy the a guidebooks and actually read each relevant chapter before you take a backpacking trip.
4. Bring friends with you on your backpacking adventures (so long as you sincerely believe they will be capable of hiking these mountains and will actually enjoy the terrain and trails that you are selecting for them).
5. Invest in high-quality hiking shoes or boots.
6. Save your knees so that you can still hike when you are in your 70's (use trekking poles!).
7. Always leave a note or tell someone which mountain and trails you will be hiking (too many people get lost and/or injured in these mountains).
8. Don't leave anything valuable in your car (too many break-ins have been occurring, unfortunately).
9. Learn the value of hitch-hiking, using a car-spot, and/or mountain biking between trailheads (a traverse is always more interesting than an out-and-back hike!).
10. Most people avoid backpacking in Maine from November through May (the conditions are usually not favorable).
11. Start your hikes early (i.e. before 6:30-7:00am) to beat most of the crowds and have a better shot of grabbing a space within a shelter or at an established tent site.
12. Study hiking maps and be creative in the routes you take (you don't always have to take the easiest or most-straightforward trails).
13. Mid-week September hiking is amazing. Hike at least once during this time-frame (call out sick from work if you have to).
14. Carry the appropriate food based on the season you are hiking in (some foods will melt in summer, and some foods become rock-solid in winter).
15. Attack some burgers and beers after at least some of the hikes (or all of them). You've earned it.
16. Get that $20 REI membership to save 8-10% on all full-price REI purchases for the rest of your life (you have no idea how much time you'll probably spend at their stores and on rei.com). Also, strongly consider getting the REI credit card (you can earn hundreds of dollars in dividends each year if you use this credit card as your primary card for your non-REI purchases!).
17. Do the great mountains on the bluebird days, and the less interesting mountains on the overcast or lousy-weather days.
18. Don't miss backpacking in the Berkshires during peak fall foliage.
19. Enjoy that Gatorade (or some other drink that has electrolytes).
20. Ibuprofen can be extremely helpful in controlling pain and/or reducing swelling.
21. Be safe out there - these mountains can be nasty (even deadly) in adverse weather conditions. Snow and ice can also be very problematic.
22. If you are short on hiking friends, consider joining a Meetup hiking group (there are several groups and they always have good hikes planned).
23. Spend time perusing at least a few gear stores that focus on hiking & backpacking equipment.
24. Take a wilderness first aid course.
25. Try to read the weather frequently while hiking, and react quickly to changes in clouds.
26. Don't be afraid to turn back if your energy levels are low or the weather is deteriorating (most hikers will be turned back at some point).
27. Catch a sunset or sunrise from a mountain top (bring at least one headlamp).
28. Always treat water before drinking it (use iodine, boil, or use a filter)
29. Try to limit your first backpacking trip to no more than 6-8 miles a day (some will want to do even less miles than this)
30. Don't forget your camera, and remember to label the pictures after you are done with each hike (you'll want to capture these moments).

BACKPACKING IN THE OTHER NEW ENGLAND STATES



Newenglandwaterfalls.com has also created backpacking guides to some of the other New England states. Those pages can be found here:

BACKPACKING CHECKLIST



Here is a quick packing list for your next backpacking trip. You probably won't want or need to bring all these items, but I have listed them here anyway for your consideration.
  • FOOD & WATER
    • Food and snacks
    • Water
    • Electrolytes drink (i.e. Gatorade, Powerade, etc.)
    • Coffee
  • BACKPACKING GEAR
    • Hiking shoes or hiking boots
    • Backpack
    • Backpack cover or bag liner
    • Tent, tarp-tent, bivy, or hammock
    • Sleeping bag or quilt
    • Sleeping pad
    • Headlamp and batteries
    • Guidebook or route description
    • Permits (if applicable)
    • Trail Map
    • Water bottles and/or water bladder/hydration reservoir
    • Water filter
    • Trash bag
    • Stuff sack
    • Pillow
    • Trekking poles
    • Sunglasses / contacts
    • Camp shoes, down booties, sandals or crocs
    • Gaiters
    • Tent footprint, tarp or ground cloth
    • Fishing gear
    • Sanitation shovel
    • Camp chair
  • CLOTHING
    • Shirts-quick drying
    • Socks
    • Hiking pants, hiking shorts or kilts
    • Waterproof jacket
    • Camp clothing
    • Underwear-quick drying
    • Waterproof hiking pants
    • Fleece jacket, softshell jacket and/or down jacket
    • Bandana and/or face towel
    • Towel
    • Hat
    • Winter hat
    • Winter gloves or mittens
    • Winter facemask or balaclava
  • COOKING & EATING
    • Stove and fuel
    • Cooking utensils
    • Cooking pot and/or cooking bowl
    • Bowls and/or plates
    • Cups
  • COMFORT & TIOLETRIES
    • Tiolet paper
    • Hand sanitizer
    • Baby wipes
    • Toothbrush/toothpaste
    • Earplugs
    • Bug spray
    • Bug net
    • Deodorant
    • Sun-screen lotion
    • Lip balm
    • Aloe Vera
    • Bio-degradeable soap
  • SAFETY & SECURITY
    • Matches or lighter
    • Safety whistle
    • Medical kit
    • Knife, Razor-blade or multi-tool
    • Identification
    • Money/Cash
    • Compass
    • Duct tape or superglue
    • Rope or nylon cord
    • First-aid Handbook
    • GPS
    • Altimeter
    • Signaling mirror
    • Phone
    • Bear bag or canister
    • Watch
    • Personal location beacon ('PLB')
    • Foot traction
    • Ice axe
    • Bear spray
  • FUN STUFF
    • Camera
    • Alcohol/booze
    • Plastic wine glasses
    • Tripod or mini-tripod
    • Playing cards
    • Book/magazine/e-reader
    • Pet supplies
    • Pencil/pen/paper
    • Mini-speakers
    • Miniature lantern
    • Binoculars / monoculars
Click here for a more comprehensive backpacking checklist, including some recommended brands for gear.

GUIDEBOOKS TO GET YOU THERE



The following guidebooks are trusted resources to help on backpacking trips in Maine. Click on any book to read reviews and/or purchase on Amazon.com. I personally own (and love) each of these guidebooks.








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Hiking and backpacking can be extremely dangerous. Many people have been injured and killed while hiking and backpacking in New England over the years. Use of this website and all of its information is at your own risk! Newenglandwaterfalls.com will not be held liable for your actions. Be safe out there - and always use common sense!