International Appalachian Trail (IAT): Matagamon to Houlton

Trail Overview

This section of the International Appalachian Trail follows graveled and paved rural roads through the woods and pastoral countryside of northern Maine, emerging near the US/Canada border town of Houlton.
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Trail Activity
55.70 miles, One Way
Dyer Brook, Houlton, Ludlow, Merrill, Smyrna, T6 R8 WELS, T6 R7 WELS, T5 R8 WELS, T5 R7 WELS, Mount Chase, Hersey
Dirt/Forest Floor, Gravel/Crushed Stone
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The following description is not intended for navigational purposes. Detailed route descriptions are available in the free trip guide provided by the Maine Chapter of the International Appalachian Trail (IAT). For the most up-to-date information and maps please visit the IAT Maine Chapter website.

This hiking route travels just under 56 miles from the intersection of the East Branch section of the International Appalachian Trail and the Grand Lake Road, to the town of Houlton, Maine. Consisting primarily of paved and graveled roads, and many miles of ATV trail, this section of the IAT has little in the way of steep or technical hiking. However, great distances between resupply points and the remoteness of the terrain make this a hike that should be attempted only by those with significant backcountry experience.

From the intersection of the Grand Lake Road and the IAT, the IAT follows Grand Lake Road for 14.5 miles to Shin Pond Village, a full-service commercial, lodging, retail, and dining complex. Just south of Shin Pond Village the IAT turns east off of the road and enters the woods on a marked ATV/IAT trail. From here, the IAT traverses gravel woods roads, ATV trails, and minor public roads for 24 miles before emerging onto ME-2 just outside the towns of Smyrna Mills and Oakfield. The IAT follows a ME-2 and a combination of minor public roads for another 17 miles eastward before reaching the major town of Houlton.

Other Information

Water is available along or adjacent to the trail and campsites. Hikers should not assume that it is always safe to drink without treating with a disinfectant, filtering, or boiling for at least 5 minutes.

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
View website

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Trail Tips

Dispose of Waste Properly
Wash your dishes at least 200 feet away from water sources, use biodegradable soap sparingly, and scatter the dishwater.
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Trailhead Information

There are multiple access points to this section of the International Appalachian Trail. For detailed access, parking, and planning information, please refer to the maps and trail guides provided on the IAT Maine Chapter website.

Click on a parking icon to get custom directions
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