International Appalachian Trail (IAT): Katahdin Lake East to Matagamon

Heading north from the Katahdin Lake East Access of Baxter State Park, this route passes through boreal forest and along trails and old logging roads as it follows the East Branch of the Penobscot River to Grand Lake Matagamon.
Trail Activity
Length
31.5 miles, One Way
Difficulty
Strenuous
Towns
T3 R7 WELS, T3 R8 WELS, T4 R7 WELS, T4 R8 WELS, T5 R8 WELS
Surface
Dirt/Forest Floor, Gravel/Crushed Stone, Rock/Ledge
Pets
Permitted
Fees
No

Description

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 through the Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument. The trail passes by many natural and historic attractions including glacial erratics, the Katahdin Esker, historic backcountry camps, and nationally 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 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 the 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.

This section of the IAT passes through the Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument. Find out about other KWWA trails on Maine Trail Finder.

Trail Manager

Visit the Maine Chapter of the International Appalachian Trail online for more information and printable maps or contact:

International Appalachian Trail, Maine Chapter

International Appalachian Trail, Maine Chapter
PO Box 916
Gardiner, ME 04345
info@internationalatmaine.org
View website

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Trail Tips

Be Considerate of Other Visitors
Respect other trail users and be courteous when passing.
Legend
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Trailhead Information

The International Appalachian Trail (IAT) begins at the Katahdin Lake East (KLE) Access of Baxter State Park on the Katahdin Loop Road within the Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument. Suggested access to the trailhead is via the Katahndin Loop Road. Note that overnight vehicle parking within the national monument requires prior notification of park management.

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.

Click on a parking icon to get custom directions
Please Log In or Create Account to add comments.
Julia Daly
June 04, 2018
If your vehicle can travel to the Wassataquoik trailhead and the ford is possible, hiking to the summit of Deasey and back is a nice dayhike. The walk includes sections through old stands of hemlock, stretches of long-abandoned woods roads, and a steep climb from the former site of the fire warden's cabin to the summit.
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