Grand Pitch Trail

This trail follows part of the International Appalachian Trail to 4 different waterfall-like pitches along the East Branch Penobscot River.
Trail Activity
Length
8.4 miles, Round Trip
Difficulty
Advanced
Town
T5 R8 WELS
Surface
Dirt/Forest Floor, Gravel/Crushed Stone, Rock/Ledge, Grass
Pets
Permitted
Fees
No

Description

The Grand Pitch Trail follows part of the International Appalachian Trail along the East Branch Penobscot River in the Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument. The trail is a great summer hike for anyone looking to catch fish, spot a moose, or just experience a piece of the Maine woods. The whole trail can be completed in a long day, or hikers can choose to stay overnight at a tent site, lean-to, or Haskell Hut.

Departing from the trailhead, the trail follows a double-track road toward the river for about a mile, passing an old rock pit. From here, a half-mile side trail takes hikers to Stair Falls and an isolated campsite. The main trail continues for a couple hundred yards to another short side trail to Haskell Hut. At this point the trail narrows, continuing on to the river's edge at Haskell Rock Pitch, 2 miles from the trailhead. There is a riverside campsite just upriver from the pitch.

From Haskell Rock Pitch, the trail follows along the river closely for another mile to Pond Pitch, which also has a riverside campsite, just downriver. Two side trails (not shown on map) head uphill from here towards Little Messer Pond and the Lookout Trail. The trail can be looped by returning to the trailhead via the Lookout Trail. Another half mile past Pond Pitch (3.5 miles from the trailhead) the trail reaches the Grand Pitch Lean-to. From here a short path accesses Grand Pitch, the highest and most dramatic falls on this section of the East Branch.

Other Information

 

Currently, there is one camping hut along this trail that is community- and user-maintained: Haskell Hut (5.5 miles from the trailhead) and Big Spring Brook Hut (9.8 miles from the trailhead). To reserve bunk space, contact lunksoos@gmail.com as you prepare for your trip. There is no charge for staying at the huts; both huts have basic accommodations to comfortably sleep 8, with wood-burning stoves, outdoor pit toilets, and gas stove tops.

The Maine Section of the IAT also maintains lean-tos for thru-hikers and others to share on a first-come, first-served basis. 

All campsites, cabins, and lean-tos on Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument lands currently require a Maine Forest Service campfire permit for any outside campfires. Contact the Maine Forest Service at 87 Airport Rd, Old Town or (207) 827-1800.

Find out about other Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument trails on Maine Trail Finder.

Trail Manager

Visit Katahdin Woods and Waters online for more information and a printable map, or contact:

Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument

Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument
P.O. Box 662
Patten, Maine 04765
Phone: 207-456-6001
lunksoos@gmail.com
View website

Nearby Events

VIEW EVENTS CALENDAR

Trail Tips

Plan Ahead and Prepare
Be prepared for extreme weather. Bring rain/wind gear, warm clothing, and matches/fire starters.
Legend
Hide All

Trailhead Information

From I-95 take Exit 264; turn west onto ME-158 which shortly joins ME-11. Bear right on ME-11 and travel 9 miles to Patten. Leaving Patten, turn left on ME-159, the Shin Pond Road. Continue 26 miles on this road to the Matagamon Wilderness Store and Camps. Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument can be accessed just beyond the camps on the left. Follow this road about 4 miles south where the road ends at the trailhead (note: these last 4 miles are not open to vehicles during the winter).

Click on a parking icon to get custom directions
Please Log In or Create Account to add comments.
These awesome businesses support our goal of connecting people to outdoor adventures in Maine!
Hang Tight!
Nearby services are loading
No Results
No Services Found
SHARE THIS TRAIL

Add Trail Log

Please wait…
Join In on the Fun!
Log in or create an account below to unlock all the great features of Maine trail finder: keep track of trails you want to do, preserve memories of trails you’ve done, earn badges, and more!
Your log in attempt was not successful. Please try again.
    Lost your password? Reset your password
    Don't yet have an account?
    There was an issue with your submission. Please try again.
      * Indicates required field
      Please check the box below before submitting.
      Already have an account? Login here
      Enter your username, and we will send you a new, randomly generated password to your email account.
      There was an issue with your submission. Please try again.

        Success! A new password has been emailed to you.

        Log in now

        Please wait…