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Hiking the Knife’s Edge on Mount Katahdin – Saddle Trail, Knife’s Edge, Helon Taylor

Saddle Trail , Knife’s Edge, Helon Taylor on Mount Katahdin

On August 21, 2013, my wilderness babes and I did our yearly trek over Mount Katahdin, in Baxter State Park, Maine. Mount Katahdin is the highest point in Maine at the summit – 5,268 ft at the top.This mountain is magical – a yearly reminder of the greatness of the land and nature’s blessings. It’s also  great reminder to ourselves that we can do anything we put our minds to. Climbing Katahdin with challenge you mentally, and physically. We’ve done many trails on this mountain, this year we chose a particularly difficult route, because, why not. (Well, I’ll tell you why not… about half way through you’ll stop, park your butt on a flat rock on the Knife’s Edge, and you’ll say “I’M NOT LEAVING UNLESS A HELICOPTER COMES TO GET ME! see photo below…) This trail is not for the beginner, or the faint of heart. There are some SKETCHY parts on it, where if you don’t have appropriate footwear, you risk sliding down the mountain to extreme pain and danger. Which is why it’s so rewarding 🙂  My girls and I camped out at Roaring Brook, and we hiked up Chimney Pond to Saddle to the Knife’s Edge and down Helon Taylor. All  in all it was a great day! We got home a little before sunset and we had a nice campfire and BBQ before retiring for the day.

Our paces became clearly different, so Erin and I lagged behind and smelled the roses while the rest of the crew forged ahead!

The group waited for us at Chimney Pond, so we all caught up an took some more photos before going on our way. Advanced level camping is available at Chimney Pond – you do need to backpack in about 3 miles and camp, which we have yet to do!  FMI: About Chimney Pond

Erin and I needed a break, so we hung out there for a bit, then headed up Saddle Trail.

I always bring tuna and crackers for lunch. This is literally the only time of year I eat them.

Chicken of the Sea is my favorite!

We’re ready to go across the knife’s edge. It’s always a bit breezy up there, so make sure to bring an outer layer. DD brought cotton – we would not recommend cotton 🙂

Yes, that is a business card of someone that I met on the mountain. #networking

“It is not the mountain we conquer – but ourselves.” Edmund Hillary

After a night of camping and celebrating (And stretching!) we woke up early to get breakfast at our favorite place, The Appalachian Trail Cafe .



Date: Aug 13, 2013

Start time – not exactly sure, but we camped in the park the night before, so we started at sunrise. I feel like we got a later start this year, so my best guess is 7:a,.. DD and Erin were super slow, chatting it up with other hikers and taking photos, so they got back to camp right at sunset, which is pretty late this time of year, maybe 7:30?. Willow and Jess finished earlier, around 3:30 – 4:30.

Trail Route: We started at Roaring Brook – we hiked up Chimney Pond to Saddle Trail to the Knife’s Edge and down Helon Taylor. Google Earth Map

Parking Area: There’s a parking area at Roaring Brook – you can get day passes or you can get camping passes like we did. We always try and snag out favorite Lean To-s. (That secret stays with me!)

You’ll need a reservation to get in – find more about that here. IT’S VERY IMPORTANT TO PLAN AHEAD!

To get a campsite

Total miles round trip – 8.3

We rate this trail in particular –  difficult/expert.

Gear you must have:

MORE WATER THAN YOU THINK YOU NEED. We recommend a hydration bladder – so convenient  – and the park recommends 2 liters – but on a hot day – you could need 3. You can always ditch the extra water if needed.

First Aid Kid

Extra Pair of socks

TRAIL/HIKING shoes with a good grip. No sneakers!!! (You’re giving me anxiety) and please make sure that you don’t wear them for the first time up Katahdin. You’ll be very, very sorry!!

Outer, waterproof layer – in case of rain/extreme sun

Lots of snacks! You’ll need the fuel



Sweat Rag


Baby wipes/toilet paper… bc let’s be honest, when you gotta go, you gotta go!

FMI on park’s recommendations :Baxter State Park Authority

Do you have questions about hiking Mt. Katahdin in Maine? Send us a facebook message or an email –


DD + Willow


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Knife's Edge, Challenging hikes, Maine Hikes, Baxter State Park, beautiful hikes, adventures


Florida born, Maine living. Outdoor life is for me. I love adventures - hiking -photography - running - camping - reading - creating - learning - traveling - deep eddy vodka - cats and living, basically. Follow me on social - @DanielleDorrie