Doubletop Mountain is a gorgeous peak located just west of the more well known peaks of Katahdin. Although its not even close to being the tallest peak in the park, it is in the running for the best view!
|Spectacular summits of Doubletop|
My last day in Baxter State Park was a lovely 65 degrees and sunny. Such weather always seems to be a rare blessing up in Maine and I picked a heck of a day to hike Doubletop Mountain. This is yet another gorgeous summit in the park which is often overlooked by the hoards of hikers wanting to bag Katahdin. While I have nothing against our highest peak, it would be a shame if Knife's Edge was the only thing you hiked in the park. I've found that the Traveler, the Brothers and now Doubletop are also excellent adventures. This one can be done in about 1/2 a day from the Nesowadnehunk Campground in the far west of the park.
Here is a map to give you an idea of the hike and how to get there:
The campground is really in the farthest part of the park along the tote road and will take at least an hour to get to from the entrance. From there, the trail actually begins towards the edge of the old campground past the bridge across the river. Essentially, just park by the bridge, walk across it and turn left to follow the old road until you get to the trailhead.
From here, the trail gently follows the direction of the stream will little elevation gain. After about a mile, you will descend and cross a larger creek which offers the last water source for the hike. As you might have gathered from the topo lines, the ascent gets very steep, very quickly. Its classic New England hand-over-feet hiking.
After about another mile of this ascent, you'll come up to what you will surely think is the summit but a sign will say the true summit is in another mile. But don't worry, its not nearly the ascent that the last mile was! The trail follows along what seems to be a more wooded version of the Knife's Edge before finally popping you out upon the North Summit of Doubletop. This is the true summit but the South Summit has much more expansive views.
|This is actually the first time I've seen Katahdin cleared of clouds in all my time in Baxter|
The walk over to the South Summit is not too bad- just 0.2 miles will little elevation gain and loss. Again, its the better of the two summits
|The summit block of South Doubletop|
I am a slow hiker and I hiked this one easily within half a day. Left by 7, was back by 12. Another option if you have a car shuttle available is hiking all the way over Doubletop and down into Kidney Pond which makes for a nice day hike. Either way is great.
Well that's a wrap for my time in Baxter State Park! There sure is a lot more to see here than the highest summit in Maine!
Read. Plan. Get Out There!