Roaming Rob: Katahdin Stream Falls

Updated 3 years ago

When it came to searching for the best waterfalls in the state, I was told no list would be complete without Katahdin Stream Falls. Getting to the trailhead, located in the beautiful wilderness of Baxter State Park, was easy this time around. We started at Katahdin Stream campground and found the beginnings of the Hunt Trail.”We’re here at the trailhead, actually part of the Appalachian Trail. I’m joined now by Andy Vietze. He is a Park Ranger here at Baxter State Park. Andy, what can we expect on this trail as we make our way to Katahdin Stream Falls?” “A steady upward climb for about a mile.” “Okay. And we’re just going to follow the white trailblazes.”The trail meandered through the forest with a slight uphill incline. We were offered beautiful views of Katahdin Stream, which was parallel to the trail, along the way.”So Andy, it looks like the trail is about to get steeper.” “This is where you earn your paycheck.” “This is where we earn our paycheck. So, we’re going to go up this. How high are we going to go?” “Katahdin Stream Falls is about 1500 feet.” The trail was steeper but still easy to navigate, continuing to offer gorgeous views of the stream and an abundance of pines and moss-covered rocks.”All right Andy. So we’re walking up the trail and I see this. This looks like a boulder.” “It’s actually called a glacial erratic.” “Glacial erratic?” “Behaving erratically.” “So, that means a glacier just dropped this off on the mountainside?” “Exactly.” “And we might see a couple more of these on our way to the falls, right?” “Several, yes.” “Alright, we’ll just make our way there.”Up to this point on the Hunt Trail, I found it hard to believe that this actually lead to Baxter Peak at the top of Maine’s tallest mountain, Mt. Katahdin. The trail wasn’t as steep as I expected…yet.”So we’ve continued up the steep incline and it’s about to get a lot steeper, Andy. We’re looking at some of the rocks and a lot of boulders and erratics kind of scattered about as well, huh?” “Yeah, it does. It picks up here for most of the way, the rest of the way.” “Okay.”After meandering away from Katahdin Stream for short distance, the trail got closer and closer before it was time to cross. A foot bridge over the stream provided a sampling of things to come, with the biggest water drop-off visible in the distance. Once we crossed the bridge, it was time for a steep trek up a smooth rock slope.”So this is a place I recommend to people who might not have the time or might not be physically prepared for an all-day hike like Katahdin. You can start to see some really spectacular views up here of some of the peaks and some of the ponds.” “Yeah, just an absolutely beautiful viewpoint from up here.” Not too much farther along and we found a sign indicating we had reached our destination. Katahdin Stream Falls, a spectacular waterfall comprised of cold mountain water runoff. Another captivating view with a thunderous roar tucked along the Appalachian Trail.”Well Andy, we made the steep trek up to Katahdin Stream Falls and here we are, rewarded with this beautiful vista. How tall is this drop-off?” “About 81 feet.” “So that makes this probably one of the tallest waterfalls in Baxter State Park?” “Yes. It’s one of the tallest in the park and probably one of the top ten or fifteen in the state of Maine.” “Icy cold water, a little misty here today but just a beautiful viewpoint. Beautiful. Well, thanks so much for joining me today Andy. I really appreciate it.” “My pleasure.”


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