International Appalachian Trail - East Branch
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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 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 (see Trail Manager information) that indicates additional required information for anyone wishing to complete the trail.
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.
Visit the Maine Chapter of the International Appalachian Trail online for more information and printable maps or contact:
International Appalachian Trail, Maine Chapter
PO Box 916
Gardiner, ME 04345
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Leave No Trace Principle
Plan Ahead and Prepare
Be prepared for extreme weather. Bring rain/wind gear, warm clothing, and matches/fire starters.