Katahdin & Baxter State Park
Baxter State Park and Katahdin are only minutes from the Big Moose Inn. Staying at Big Moose Inn leaves you with a short early morning drive to Baxter State Park. Ascend Katahdin from either Roaring Brook, Abol or Katahdin Stream campgrounds. If you want to do the Knife Edge trail you should start your hike from Roaring Brook Campground. Temperatures can be twenty to thirty degrees cooler near the usmmit and weather conditions can deteriorate rapidly, so please dress appropriately. Of course, there are lots of other trails and hikes throughout the park that don't require one to summit Katahdin. More information about hiking or climbing in Baxter State Park can be found at www.baxterstateparkauthority.com. After a day of hiking Katahdin you will come to appreciate the dining and accommodations that are available at Big Moose Inn.
River Pond hiking trails are located six miles north of Big Moose Inn on the Golden Road. These trails are maintained by Katahdin Timberlands and feature marked trails with signs that identify the different plants and trees along the trail. The terrain is relatively flat and the trail, though narrow, is easy to walk. While following the trail along the shore of River Pond keep a lookout for moose, your chances of seeing one are good.
Gulf Hagus is about 45 minutes from us on Route 11 and is known as the, "Grand Canyon of the East." The scenic canyon stretches 3 miles, has several major waterfalls, and there are some nearly vertical walls with 100 foot drops. The first part of the trip consists of crossing a river and walking along an old tote road. The trail near the canyon becomes rocky and undulates. Several waterfalls are along the trail with Screw Auger Falls being the most popular.
This location is a short 15 minute drive from Big Moose Inn along the scenic Golden Road. Right before Abol Bridge Campground Store take a right onto the dirt road that leads to the trailhead parking lot. Blueberry Ledges is reached by following the Appalachian Trail after it crosses the Penobscot River and heads into Baxter State Park. This is a relatively smooth trail with a few medium sized hills. If it is the right time of year, blueberries will be plentiful. At other times, deer, bear and moose might be spotted in the area. About 1.4 miles in, the trail leads to an open stream valley where you'll find smooth granite ledges that form a series of beautiful stepped water slices.
Debsconeag Ice Caves
From Big Moose Inn drive on the Golden Road for about 10 miles until you come to Abol Bridge. Take the first left past the bridge onto Hurd Pond Road and go 4 miles until you come to the trailhead. The trail is a scenic mix of hardwood and softwood forest with slight elevation gain. You'll pass numerous huge fern covered boulders along the way. To the caves is about 1.5 miles. The ice caves are a talus type which means it was formed by a pile of heavy boulders that were plowed together by glaciers during the Ice Age to form a cave. Steel rungs provide access into the caves, which can be cold and icy so use caution and be sure to have a headlamp or flashlight.