The International Appalachian Trail (IAT) begins at the Katahdin Lake East (KLE) Access of Baxter State Park. Suggested access to the trailhead is via the Katahdin Lake Trail, which leaves from the Avalanche Field parking area 1.5 mile south of Roaring Brook Campground on Roaring Brook Road. Follow Katahdin Lake Trail for five miles to reach the KLE Access point and the official start of the IAT. Note that pets are not allowed in Baxter State Park, reservations are required in advance to stay in the park, and a fee is required to access the park.

The East Branch section of the IAT can also be accessed from the northern end by Grand Lake Road, 15 miles past remote Shin Pond Village.


The first 30-mile section of the IAT follows a series of logging roads and foot paths that parallels the East Branch of the Penobscot River. The trail passes by many natural and historic attractions including glacial erratics, the Katahdin Esker, historic backcountry camps, and nationaly registered Deasey Mountain Firetower. The trail affords multiple scenic views of both Katahdin and the East Branch. Several lean-tos and campsites are available for overnight use.

Due to its extremely remote character, required advanced planning, and sometimes impassible stream fords, this section of the IAT should only be attempted by experienced and advanced hikers and in conjunction with the guide provided on the IAT Maine Chapter's website (see Trail Manager information) that indicates additional required information for anyone wishing to complete the trail.

Other Information

An approximately two-mile section of trail north of Little Spring Brook Fish Hatchery has not been officially designated. Following an established snowmobile-ATV route (north or south) until you see blazes and signs that mark he established IAT route.

Stream crossings on the southern end may be impassible during times of high water. In this case a nearly 10-mile detour is required to the south.

Learn more about the history and current expansion of International Appalachian Trail at,

Trail Manager

Visit the Maine Chapter of the International Appalachian Trail for more information about this section of the IAT, printable maps, and detailed route instruction, or contact:

International Appalachian Trail
Maine Chapter
PO Box 916
Gardiner, ME 04345


Trail Content

Maine Trail Finder has published the information contained in this site for informational purposes only. You may freely search, view, download, and print the documents and information contained on this site for personal and non-commercial purposes only, which is provided "as is" without any warranty of any kind. The information contained in this site is the exclusive property of Maine Trail Finder’s partner organizations and any respective copyright owners. The content, code, design, and graphics of this site may not be published, posted, reproduced, or redistributed by third-parties without the express written consent of Maine Trail Finder.

Trail Status

The map and description posted for each trail is for general information only and does not necessarily reflect the trail status at the time of use, or the actual local trail conditions you may encounter. The trail status was reviewed and approved by the land owner or manager at the time of posting on Maine Trail Finder. Trail status may vary with changing conditions such as temperature, weather, construction, type of terrain, and usage. Any noted signs or landmarks are listed only for your convenience, and there is no guarantee that they will be there at any given time. 

Trail Hazards

I understand that trail use can be a hazardous activity that has risks resulting for accident or physical exertion. I agree, as a consideration of, and in consideration for being permitted to use Maine Trail Finder and all content provide herein, to freely and expressly assume and accept any and all risks, inherent or not inherent.
Firetower on Deasey Mountain
Firetower on Deasey Mountain
Photo courtesy:Bill Duffy

Heading north from the Katahdin Lake East Access trailhead of Baxter State park, this route passes through boreal forest and follows trails and old logging roads as it follow the East Branch of the Penobscot River up to Grand Lake Road.

Quick Facts

  • Hiking / Walking
TownT3 R7 WELS, T3 R8 WELS, T4 R7 WELS, T4 R8 WELS, T5 R8 WELS
Length30.0 miles, One Way
SurfaceDirt/Forest Floor, Rocks/Ledge, Gravel
Other ActivitiesNone

Current Weather

April 24, 2014
weather icon
38°F feels like 34°F

From the NNW at 6 MPH
Dew Point:

Weather Underground
5-Day Forecast

Give today and help Maine Trail Finder make new trails available to you.

Connect on Facebook

© 2014 - All Rights Reserved.