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Katahdin Lake Trail

Hike over level terrain on the historic Katahdin Lake Tote Road to the sand beaches and unparalleled views of Katahdin on the shores of Katahdin Lake.
Trail Activity
7.50 miles, Loop
Mount Katahdin Twp, T3 R8 WELS
Dirt/Forest Floor, Grass
Not Permitted


The trail to Katahdin Lake traverses relatively level terrain for just over 3 miles from its beginning on the Roaring Brook Road to its terminus on the lake. The trail follows the old Katahdin Lake Tote Road, a logging era buckboard route. Bog bridging has been added in several wet spots. 

Katahdin Lake Wilderness Camps (KLWC) is located on the southeast shore of Katahdin Lake. KLWC operates a commercial lodge and cabins on land leased from the Baxter State Park Authority. The facility is open to the public. Day hikers are welcome, but please respect the privacy of camp guests. On good days the swimming is excellent along the lake’s several wilderness sand beaches. The views from the lake of Katahdin’s east side and glacial cirque are possibly the best in the Park.

Other Information

Katahdin Lake and its surrounding lands were added to the Baxter State Park in 2006 after protracted negotiations.  It is a very significant addition to the Park as it was an important goal of Percival Baxter’s plans for the Park and it was a part of many early routes up Katahdin.

Historically, Katahdin Lake was the “jumping-off place” for explorers and adventurers approaching Katahdin from the East Branch of the Penobscot River during the late 1800's. Rough trails from the lake then led west to Roaring Brook and on to Chimney Pond, as well as trails leading to Keep Ridge, now utilized by the Helon Taylor Trail. It was first used as an approach to Katahdin as early as the 1840's when the Reverend Marcus Keep established a camp near the lake’s outlet.

Park Fees: See website for entrance and camping fee schedule. [No entrance fee for Maine residents.]

Park Rules: See a more complete list here.

  • All persons entering the Park by road or trail must register their entrance at a gatehouse or self-registration station
  • The maximum size of hiking groups is 12 persons
  • All groups of five or more persons under 16 years of age must be accompanied by at least one adult, responsible for the supervision of a maximum of five youths
  • For all trash: Carry-in; carry-out
  • Where toilets are not available, human waste must be buried at least 200' from water or carried out
  • Pets or other domestic animals are not allowed in the Park
  • Camping is permitted by reservation only
  • Fires or other cooking or heating devices are permitted only in designated campsites or picnic areas
  • Hunting and trapping are prohibited within the Park (with some exceptions)
  • Maine fishing laws apply within the Park
  • No person may feed, bait, or disturb any animal within the Park
  • Power equipment is prohibited (including generators)
  • All vehicles must display an entrance permit while in the Park

Trail Manager

This trail is within Baxter State Park. For more information and detailed trail maps, please visit Baxter State Park Authority's website.

Baxter State Park Authority

Baxter State Park Authority
64 Balsam Drive
Millinocket, ME 04462
Phone: (207) 723-5140
View website

Nearby Events


Trail Tips

Travel and Camp on Durable Surfaces
Make a small campsite, preferably where there is no vegetation.
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Trailhead Information

The Katahdin Lake Trail trailhead is located along Roaring Brook Road which is accessed from the Togue Pond Gatehouse (South Gate) of Baxter State Park. 

From downtown Millinocket: Travel 16 miles northwest on the paved Baxter Park Road to the Togue Pond Gatehouse, passing buildings and Northwoods Trading Post on the right after eight miles. After entering the park at Togue Pond Gate, bear right and continue onto the Roaring Brook Road for 6.3 miles to the Avalanche Parking Area on the left. The trailhead for Katahdin Lake Trail is across the road to the east.

Click on a parking icon to get custom directions
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