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How to Hike the 100 Mile Wilderness

Chairback Mountain, 100 Mile Wilderness
Chairback Mountain, 100 Mile Wilderness

The 100 mile Wilderness is a bucket list hike if there ever was one. The route is arduous but extremely beautiful, running over mountain ranges and past beautiful Maine lakes along the northern most section of the Appalachian Trail. However, it’s quite a remote and unforgiving hike if you haven’t trained and prepared for it in advance.

Here are some tips for hiking the 100 Mile Wilderness that will help you complete all 100 miles in one trip and that I learned the hard way. While useful for thru-hikers, this post is really intended to prepare section hikers or backpackers, who only get to hike a few weeks a year,  for a successful and complete journey.

When To Go

The best time to hike the Wilderness is late June thru July. Early June is black fly season and not fun. In August, the trail is crowded with other hikers and kids from summer camps. The shelters are packed and campsites are hard to find near shelter areas. September and early October are good, but the trail can also be crowded with Appalachian Trail thru-hikers racing through to finish their hikes on Mt Katahdin in Baxter State Park. Factor that in if you plan on sleeping in the shelters. The rest of the year is too cold or wet.

If you plan to continue north and climb Mount Katahdin in Baxter State Park, you need to do so before October 15th. After that, the park is only open from sundown to sunset and the peak is often closed because snow and ice make it too dangerous to climb.

Some of the mountains are strenuous climbs
Some of the mountains are strenuous climbs

Physical Training

If you can’t hike 10 miles or more per day, up and down 3500 foot mountains with a fully loaded backpack, you’re not gong to make to through the 100 mile wilderness in one go. Don’t try to train on the trail, it doesn’t work. There’s only one way to prepare for a 100 mile hike and that is to day hike every weekend and backpack on as many 2-3 day trips as possible earlier in the season.

When I hiked north along the AT from Monson (southern end of the Wilderness) this summer, I was dismayed by the number of backpackers who’d bailed within the first 1o miles of their hikes because they weren’t physically prepared. It was absolute carnage. I can’t imagine scheduling a 2 week vacation to hike the Wilderness, only to discover that you’re not physically fit to complete it on the first day.

Gym training is not going to cut it.  One hour workouts will not prepare you to carry a 30-40 pound pack for 8-12 hours a day up and down mountains. You need to carry a loaded pack when you train. It doesn’t matter if you go ultralight. You can’t skimp on food, which is where most of your pack weight will be at the start of your hike.

Bail Out Plan

Before you start your hike, make sure you have the phone number of someone who can pick you up at one of the logging roads that cross the trail if you decide to bail early. It happens far more frequently than you might expect. While it used to be hard to get cell phone access in the Wilderness, it’s much easier now. Shaw’s Hiker Hostel in Monson is a reliable source of rides or shuttles if you need them, but there are others.

Get used to tree roots
Get used to walking over tree roots


The weather will be your biggest challenge in the Wilderness. Hot and humid weather, buckets of rain, or drought are all potential issues. If you’ve never been on a 8-10 day hike, the impact of bad weather can have a cascading effect long after you experience it. For example, wet boots can chew up your feet for days after they get wet. The same goes for a wet sleeping bag, inner tent, and so on.

The best hedge for bad weather is to build some padding into your schedule. If it rains for a few days in a row and you start thinking about bailing out because you’re miserable, take a zero day in a shelter and give yourself a chance to recover. Dry out, eat a lot, sleep, socialize and you may recover enough to continue the next day.

It will rain during your hike. Make sure you know how to hike in continuous rain. Practice it even.


The best maps for the Wilderness are published by the Appalachian Trail Conservancy and available for purchase from the Maine Appalachian Trail Club (you need Maine maps 1,2 and 3). I think they’re worth carrying, but if you want something a bit lighter weight, tear out the pages of David Miller’s AT Guide that correspond with this section of trail. Don’t bring the whole book.

Although the 100 Mile Wilderness/Katahdin Map published by the Appalachian Mountain Club has excellent detail for Baxter State park, the detail for the trail is insufficient. Don’t rely on this map alone for your hike.

Section Hiking and Slackpacking

If hiking the entire 100 mile wilderness end-to-end is beyond you, section hiking a part of it or slackpacking are viable alternatives. You just need to find a shuttle service to drop you off and pick you up along the lumber roads that cross the trail.


There’s usually quite a lot of water along the trail except when there is a drought and you need to carry extra water with you. I recommend that you bring 5 liters of carrying capacity with you although you’ll probably only want to carry two liters at a time.

You do need to chemically treat or filter water from natural sources in the Wilderness. Make sure you know how to do this before you embark on your trip. I recommend bringing Aqua Mira drops or the Sawyer Squeeze water filter because they are effective and light weight.

Olive Oil has 240 Calories per ounce - Add it to dinner
Olive Oil has 240 Calories per ounce – Add it to dinner


Figure on 1.75 to 2 pounds of food per day and carry 1-2 days of food more than you need in case you are delayed. The food should be calorically dense and average 100 calories or more per ounce.

If you estimate that it will take more than 10 days for you to hike the 100 miles, I recommend you hike part of the trail and come back the following year to finish it or arrange for a shuttle driver to bring you a food drop. Food is heavy and if you have to carry more than 10 days worth, in addition to fuel, water and gear, it’s going to really slow you down.

I recommend hanging a bear bag during your hike, even if you stay in a shelter. There are lots of bears in Maine and hanging a bear bag is necessary to protect them for becoming interested in human food. If this happens and they become “problem bears” they will be hunted down and exterminated. The mice in Maine shelters are also ferocious and hanging food in a shelter rarely deters them from eating your food even if you hang your bag under a can. Hang it in a tree. If you don’t know how to, learn before you get to the Wilderness.

Whitehouse Landing

There is a hiker hostel in the Wilderness called Whitehouse Landing. It’s expensive but you can get a roof over your head, food, and drink – about two-thirds of the way north. Some people have a good time there and some people have issues with the management. I’ve steered clear of the place. Your mileage may vary.

Bad blisters can take you off the trail
Bad blisters can take you off the trail


Your shoes are going to get soaking wet in the Wilderness. I guarantee it regardless of how careful you are. If you wear leather boots, you will regret it because your boots will never dry and it will feel like you are wearing cinderblocks when you hike. The same goes for Gore-tex lined footwear which has a hard time drying out when water comes in over the top.  Instead, wear a shoe or mid that drains well and will dry at night.

Don’t wear tight-fitting shoes. Your feet will start to swell after a few days of hiking especially if it’s hot and you may get very bad blisters. Make sure your toes have a lot of room to expand into when they swell up.

I also recommend that you wash your feet every night before bed and wear a dry pair of socks to sleep. This will help your feet recover at night.


There are lots of bugs in Maine. I recommend wearing long pants, a long-sleeve shirt and a hat when you hike. If you don’t, bring lots a DEET. You’ll need it.

Backpacking Gear

Bring the lightest weight gear you can afford and make sure you break it in well before bringing it on your hike. You don’t want to discover that your backpack doesn’t fit you at the trailhead, that your water filter doesn’t work, or that can’t pitch your tent in the dark.  Seriously, practice before you arrive in the Wilderness. If you don’t know what you’re doing, you not going to have a fun time.

Any Questions?

There are many more things I could say about getting ready to hike the 100 mile Wilderness, but those are some basic things you need to know. Preparation really is everything and I don’t mean amassing a lot of gear. You need to get out and backpack before you arrive at the beginning of the Wilderness and try to hike to the other side. It’s just not the kind of place where you can learn on the job. Practice and train for this hike and you’ll have a fun and successful journey.


  1. Thank you for writing this! Just had a quick clarification question regarding the mapset. Were maps 1 – 3, published by the Maine Appalachian Trail Club enough detail? Or are there others one should have in addition?

  2. Those are the ones you want. The map published by the AMC is junk.

  3. Timothy Dannenhoffer

    I am going on 48 and LOVE backpacking in wilderness. But through the years I haven’t personally known too many other backpackers – and so I haven’t gone often enough – and so I have gotten out of shape. I have to find a way to get back into it – my spirit NEEDS to be “recharged” in wilderness every so often. I love it so much I get depressed when it’s been too long since the last trip.

    • Tim,
      Sorry if this response is cliche’, but just get out there and do it, dude! My brother and I will be out there this July, 2022. I will be 60, and he will be 68. Positive Covid aspects made me commit, (so Covid was not all bad)…..and we got this plan together in 2020. There are a trillion reasons to NOT do something, but only one reason to do something: because 1a) It’s there, 1b) You need to, or 1c) You’ll be happier when you do! (ok, so three parts of one answer….sorry). Start slow, 5-8 miles per day, then do more each day as you recover and feel better. If you immerse yourself in the experience, you won’t even notice your weight loss and better attitude, etc. See you out there, getting that spirit re-charged!

    • I am 71 years old and I am a many year thru hiker or myth hiker. I just did 106 miles of the AT which included 30 miles of the 100 mile wilderness. I arrange in advance to use my car as a resupply and refuge point every 35 to 50 miles by parking my car ahead of me using a shuttle service to drive me back. So basically I am always hiking to my car hopscotching forwardly. There are small parking spaces in the wilderness section but due make your arrangements in advance. I also train all year by carrying 40 lbs up and down steps which seems to prepare myself enough for this Maines sections. My last day I did 15 miles in the rain so using my car was a great refuge at the end of the last 30 miles in the wilderness heading north stopping at KI road with 70 left of the wilderness.
      Eagle Trail Dancer

  4. What is the best way ti get from wi to main. Where is the best place to start the 100 mile going north and do you have a contact number of someone that can transport me to the start and bring me back at the end. Thanks. Underdog

  5. I had planned doing the 100 mile wilderness late July but life has gone and made it so that I can’t go until early Sept. How crowded is the trail then? I am going to be a slower hiker so a bit worried that I might spend all day letting people pass. Also, do you know how much the bugs will have died down by then?

    • That the best time to go. There will be fewer bugs.

    • I section hiked SOBO last September. Had to leave the trail after four days due to a hurricane arrival. Bugs were not a problem. I encountered 20 to 30 NOBO hikers each day. I’m slow (70 years old), they wizzed by me hardly missing a step. Didnt slow me down at all. YMMV

    • I Hiked the entire AT 3 years ago. Did the 100 mile wilderness in early September. Weather was great. There were people on the trail, but it was not too crowded. Took me 4 days

    • David “Duct Tape” Macelvaine

      I’ll be hiking it this year (2022) the first week in Sept. doing a SoBo, 59 this year, shooting for an 8 day trip.

  6. I thought the 100 Mile Wilderness meant you couldn’t section hike it — I mean like a long weekend. Not so. Did the 30 mile Monson to Gulf Hagas section. Parked a car in Monson at the RT16 AT crossing and another at the Gulf Hagas parking lot on the KI “haul road”. The Gulf Hagas parking lot is a skip and a jump from the AT at the West Branch of the Pleasant River crossing. This section isn’t a walk in the park but nothing you haven’t experienced in the Whtles. In fact, we only made a little better than 1 mile per hour. We are in our sixties, experienced and in good shape but I also had a bum knee. Views were very nice but not like the expansive granite tops like Saddleback. Degree of difficulty: comparable to the Bigelow Range, as I remember. Avery Peak in the Bigelows is still my favorite CT to ME. Other questions I had before the trip but now answered: there is a fee collected on the KI at the KIW checkpoint. It was $12 per person per day so $24 for the two of us. We were told we’d have to pay another $24 when we picked up the car. When we did returned for the care they said no charge. Regarding the “per day” — we just paid the $24 just once. In summary, the charge seems to depend on who is manning the desk. The gravel road is fine but it is gravelly. I’m glad I don’t have a $50k BMW. Also water – this is 2016 the year of the drought. There is good water but often not at the lean-to. The guide claimed number of fords. There is one definite one (sorry can’t remember exactly where but it’s the one that says you can hike 1.5 miles to a bridge if necessary. Despite the drought this one was knee high on a six footer. On one hand after some rain you are in deep yogurt. On the other had a rope was strung. So short story made long by me, you can do short section hikes in the 100 Mile Wilderness. Happy hiking!

    • I’m actually planning a section hike of the 100 mile next summer with my brother! We are planing to start at Katahdin and head south, taking out time and doing some fishing along the way. Take 7 days to get from Katahdin to Jo Mary Road, which gives us plenty of time for fishing, off trail exploring, and a good weather cushion. Now if only next summer would arrive already, so I can hit the trail!

  7. 2015 we did Kennebeck to Monson after a very rainy period. Two hikers were rumored to have needed an airlift after being stranded between two river crossings the week before. The worst we had was thigh high. I think there were two river crossings. Current strong, bitingly cold, rocks slippery but with two carbon tipped hiking poles felt secure. I changed into sneakers brought especially for the crossings. This year, on a Monson to Gulf Hagas hike, a drought year, only had one real ford. I used Crocks this time instead of sneakers. They worked fine and are the penultimate camp shoe. I brought some sports tape to save my beloved Crocks (i.e. to tape to my feet) but didn’t feel the need. Despite slippery rocks the back strap held fine.

  8. I’m planning to go mid July and completing the 100 mile … I want to do it alone, but everyone is telling me it’s not save for a female. Are there any groups available…

    • Ana Raquel Ayala

      Hi Celia:

      I’m planning to hike end of June , begging of July. I’m also a female and planning to do it alone. We can hike at the same time if that will make you feel more secure.

    • Celia,
      I think it’s important is to trust your own instinct and comfort level. I have seen dozens of solo female hikers on the AT and LT who had no issues. Even the 100 mile wilderness is popular enough that you’ll see people have the opportunity to make friends if you want to.
      The saying goes, “your only as alone as you want to be on the AT.”
      Don’t allow other people’s perceptions to influence you away from a great experience.

      Have a safe hike !

    • Celia. My name is Owen Brown and Im a Physical Therapist at Meadowview Hospital in Maysville, Kentucky. Im hiking the 100MW and climbing Khatadin last week in July, 1st week of August. I will be moving through the 100MW over 7-8 days. If your strong enough to do that & can make the same time, your welcome to join me.

      • Hey Owen. I’m from Maine originally and I lived in Maysville, KY for awhile. I was never a serious long range hiker, just day trips on a mountain once in a while. We spent a lot of time “up north” mostly truck and canoe camping. I know that’s nothing like hiking way out there. It’s still extremely remote country. Man do I mis it. Hope you had a good time and made it to Khatadin.

        If your a hiker from just about anywhere think about this one. There is something very special about the comradery and the soul of the North Maine Woods

    • I know this is years later but if you are still concerned about hiking by yourself – on facebook there is a group called WHAM (Women Hikers Around Maine). There is a 100 wilderness mile hike this summer you can look into.

  9. I’m planning to go mid July and completing the 100 mile … I want to do it alone, but everyone is telling me it’s not save for a female. Are there any groups available…

    • Yo! I am hiking the 100 mile with two friends, beginning July 22nd. My name is Emily. Reach out if your schedule might align!

      • Iam hiking the entire 100 MW
        -this is my plan- the second week in August. I need a shuttle from North at the end of the hike to my car probably in Monson.
        Does anyone have information?
        I’m 66 years old, strong hiker. Any tips?

        • The State (of Maine) will allow adults who obtain and receive a negative COVID-19 test from a specimen taken no longer than 72 hours prior to arrival to forgo the 14-day quarantine upon arrival in Maine. This test indicates that, even when coming from areas with a higher prevalence of the disease than Maine’s, such visitors are unlikely to have COVID-19 and to spread it to Maine residents and other visitors. Individuals may be tested in Maine, but they must quarantine while awaiting the results.

          Please help protect Maine residents by complying

      • Hi there! I can’t tell when these comments were posted. Have you completed the hike? If so, how did it go?

    • Hi just finished the 100 mw alone. 65 years old. Was out there a lot by myself but never felt in danger. Ok one time when I went to the bathroom in the middle of the night and got a little disoriented…it’s dark out there. Note to self… don’t go too far from the tent. I really don’t have very much hiking experience… did another 100 earlier on the trail.. Hiked extremely slow about 1 mile an hour the first 50 on a NOBO. Saw maybe 4-7 people on any given day. I was really nervous before I got there but once on the trail all fears were gone. Get a ‘shakedown’ before you go and a food drop.

      • I rarely average over 1 mph backpacking on any trail. My trail name should be “Buzzard Bait” because I move so slowly they suspect I’m deceased. I also learned the hard way while camping on a foggy mountaintop that it’s really easy to lose track of your campsite when paying those midnight water bills.

  10. Great post. If you go early in the year your water crossings (I think there are only 4 or 5 in the HMW) will be more hairy, of course. Late in the year water can be low, but for 48 hours of rain! Also, when you come out of the woods at Abol Bridge (on the Golden Road) you are not out of the woods! You still have a full day to the summit of Katahdin (not Mount Katahdin, btw). The maintainers in this section have a harder time getting in there, so lots of decrepit bog bridges, washouts, roots, etc. If you get the chance to stay at Antlers on Jo Mary Lake it is a stunning point of land where you’ll get sunset and sunrise.

  11. I just finished the HMW on Monday. Great trip with my teenage daughter, her friend, and my brother. Rough walking but amazing to see nothing but trees and lakes from the Vistas. Philip– your tips about nylon button-down shirt, nylon pants, and hat (all permethrin treated) were very valuable. With a headnet, I managed the whole trip relatively comforatably without DEET. The fact that it was in the mid 60s or lower during the day made staying covered much easier. We would not have faired so well if it were 80s and humid. Thanks for your advice- it was a memorable trip!

  12. Phillip, Thanks again for sharing your knowledge.
    My son is completing the AT this month or the first week of July. I’m flying to Bangor 6/26 to meet him by car and short hikes at intervals in Maine through Katahdin. Other than google maps do you have a trusted resource for road crossings and trail heads through the 100mi Wilderness?

    • That’s a tough one because all the roads in are private and often gated or washed out. I’d call the local shuttle services and B&B’s and ask them. And get the Delorme Maine gazetteer – you’ll need it.

      • Phillip, Thank you for the information last month. We had a very successful support of my son and his AT Thru tramily / micro bubble through the HMW this past week. We met near Katadhin Iron Works Road (mi 2105), Jo-Mary Road (mi 2134), White House Landing (mi 2144), and Abol Bridge Camp Ground (mi 2175). As they were in excellent trail condition, they slack packed all the HMW and summit Katahdin in 6 days.
        The mosquitoes were miserable.
        We had good Verison coverage at White House landing and that was about it.
        A note about White House Landing. Their bunkhouses and accommodations were very nice. The owners spent a lot of quality time with us. Their facility is off grid solar/LP/wind. The food was great. They have been upgrading the entire camp and it’s worth a second look.
        I learned that the HMW initially connected several logging camps and the intention was to stay at a camp each night. White House Landing was one of the original camps; pretty cool.
        They can hook you up with a seaplane right off their dock for $150/pp. Airblazing…
        What I didn’t appreciate was the $14 gate fees to enter the KIW and Jo-Mary parks. I camped off trail at both and upon leaving Jo-Mary they charged an additional $14 to leave ($28 for one overnight).
        Don’t attempt these logging roads with anything less than a small SUV and purchase the Gazzett. I got lost numerous times. These are dirt logging roads.

  13. Hi! Are there any special wilderness permits I need to get before I start my trek

  14. I hiked the hundred mile wilderness ( heading south ) in September 1972. Best hike of my entire life. Now almost 70, I do mostly 5 to 10 mile day hikes in western Colorado and an occasional 14er.

    • Christopher Zaleski

      Is it easier going South than North? Why did you choose to do it North to South?

      • It’s easier going north to south.

        • I can’t speak to which direction (NOBO or SOBO) is easier as a hike — but if you’re northbound, you have the anticipation throughout your hike of the goal of getting to that sweet, powerful view of Katahdin on Abol Bridge, and finally you’ll pop out there and behold it. I’ve not hiked it (yet) but have done day hikes in the area, and have stood on the bridge as through hikers come out of the woods, and go out on Abol Bridge with The Mountain looming to the north. It’s quite an emotional experience for some, and they can see their eventual destination just at hand on that summit after such a long journey.

      • Christopher Zaleski

        Thanks Philip. Good to know.

  15. Christopher Zaleski

    Regarding Footwear: “Instead, wear a shoe or mid that drains well and will dry at night.” – Do you have any recommendations? Thanks.

    • Christopher,

      Philip had a nice thread a while back on hiking shoes:

      I think Philip prefers the La Sportiva Ultra Raptors. I bought a pair and have been pleased with them. My most recent use was hiking in the Buffalo River area in northern Arkansas. One day, I forded the Buffalo 14 times. They “walked dry” or at least “walked damp” fairly quickly… just in time for the next crossing! Overnight, they were reasonably dry–still a bit damp but nothing bad. I have orthopedic inserts. They would dry quicker without the inserts. I don’t remember if I removed the inserts at night but I think I did.

      I also have some of the older Innov-8 Terroc 330 model, before they redesigned (=ruined) the shoe. I really like them also. Maybe you can still find some online. See Philip’s post:

  16. Hello, I am an amature hiker but have for the past two years wanted to do the 100 Mile Wilderness. I think I am going to start training and getting into shape to do it next July. Thank you for writing this, It has made me want to go so much more! Cant wait till next year!

  17. Yes I definitely want to hike this trail in its entirety. I’d like to bring my dog though. She’s a Belgium Malinois and can definitely hold her own. Curious if anybody has any experience with hiking with their dog on the 100 Mile?

  18. When I hiked the 100-mile in July, 2018, I brought my Fly Rod (7-piece) and the fishing was amazing – especially if you add Katahdin to the itinerary. Landlocked salmon in Baxter, too many trout to count (Browns, rainbows, brookies) and lots of small-mouth bass. Lots of small brookies in the little streams along the way. I also brought my tenkara for the small streams but next time I’d only bring my 7-section fly rod. In addition to the usual trout flies bring mini-poppers and other surface flies like frogs, crickets or hopper-dropper type flies – the woolly worms and such tended to get caught in sub-surface weeds in the lakes. I had only brought a cricket and one popper and they worked great in the lakes. But even with suboptimal fly choices I still caught the biggest small mouth I’ve ever caught in Jo-Mary Lake at the Antlers campsite.

  19. Really??: “After that, the park is only open from sundown to sunset and the peak is often closed because snow and ice make it too dangerous to climb.”

    That’s some mighty strange hours!

  20. Hi I’m from Indiana and have gone to turkey run for 20 days and go hiking a lot and I’m only 11 and am going with 2 adults. but I still have a lot of questions.For one I’m thinking about bringing ramen noodles as one of my food choices is that a good idea?If not can you give me some good suggestions

  21. Im planning on hiking the wilderness in the middle of may. Checked the weather it snowed a little last weekend. I got a 20 degree bag. A 20 degree liner. A good pad. A small cover for extra padding. Enough food foor 30 days. Raingear. Ice slip ons for my boots. Wadding shoes. I dont do any cooking so no fuel or stove. My filter has 5 gallons on it so good there. Single man tent. Figured pack is around 70 lbs yes i know it heavy but i got alot of food. And extra time for zero days. All clothes im taking sprayed so good there. Have maps. Compass. A bunch of others stuff i may not need. A very well stocked first aid. Cellphone and battery bank. Anything i may have forgot. Thanks. Leaving 5 15 2019

    • Might want a blowtorch. The lakes mays still be frozen.

    • I’d be interested to hear how your trip goes. I am planning to jump on the trail round Harriman NY next May 2020. Probably around the 20th then hike the rest of the way to Katahdin. It’s probably around 600 miles total by the looks of the trail map and I plan on hiking 12-15 miles per day. Optimistic for that part of the route?

      So I’ll probably hit the 100 mile wilderness around 20 June.


  22. I think that it’s all about the conditions. Step-for-step there are definitely tougher slogs —e.g., Whites and western Maine. I did it in summer 2017, late July. At the end of a LASH, NoBo from New York. It was magical for me. Warm, dry, not too crowded. SOBOs had told me of terrible conditions-rain, dangerously high water, clouds of bugs. By the time I got there though, that had all settled down. I would say, maybe listen attentively but take what you hear with a grain of salt

  23. We are looking to do a section of the 100mile wilderness. What we would like to know is, what is the easiest section to do? Roughly 20-30 miles max if possible. Thanks!

  24. Charles Macksoud

    Thanks, Philip. I’m thinking about bringing my bike, dropping it up the trail at parking spots and then hiking to it and then biking back to my car. Then driving ahead and doing it all the way up to Katahdin. It’s easy in CT, NY, MA, and VT. Wondering about HMW? What are the roads like that intersect the trail? Frequent enough? Bikable?

  25. You make this hike sound like sheer misery. I know it’s tough, but it’s like one of the two best sections on the whole AT. Guess you’re just looking out for the tenderfoots.

  26. My husband and nephew left last Friday to start the hike. Both are very experienced hikers. The last message we got from them was Sunday night. You say cell coverage is good on the trail. When should we be concerned if we don’t hear from them? Today would be day 5 of the hike.

    • I’d get worried in about a week. It’s not like the wilderness anymore. I’m sure they’ll be fine. In the future, that’s probably a discussion you should have with *them* before they leave. I always tell me wife when to contact SAR and what phone number to call.

  27. Thank you my husband did say he would try to touch base each day but was not sure of coverage. I appreciate the quick response.

  28. Philip, your write up is over four years old now and it is still providing great value. I’m doing some research because my son is considering hiking this route next year. This info will help me gauge whether he’s done his own homework or not. In fact, if he reads this post and replies, I’ll DEFINITELY know that his prep is going well.

    Any updates or changes you’d add for 2021?

  29. Having just hiked the HMW a week ago with family, I have a couple of points to add:

    (1) The maps from the Maine Appalachian Trian Club are excellent. But it’s worth noting that pretty much all AT through-hikers use and rely upon the app Guthook. This includes updates posted by hikers. It can be helpful to know where there is water or where to find “stealth” tent sites. Plus, the GPS is helpful.

    (2) Cell reception isn’t great in the HMW. With ATT, I only remember getting reception atop the largest peaks (in the south) and at one lean-to in the north. Plan on limited reception.

    (3) Shaw’s in Monoson is excellent for support, including arranging rides to the trailhead or food drops.

    (4) Bugs in August are present but tolerable. We used a little bit of DEET here and there.

    Happy trails!

  30. How long exactly is “After that, the park is only open from sundown to sunset” – is that a typo?

  31. It was so nice to read the comments. I am tackling the 100 mile starting on the Summer Solstice this year!! I am planning for 7 days. In 2016 my husband and I completed it in 6.5 days (could have gotten done in 6) but I am going to head out by myself. The last 2 years have been hideous with my job and I am looking forward to the solitude. I have solo’d before in the super cruddy sections of the AT in western Maine so I am not afraid to be by myself.

  32. It seems that the trail goes over the whitecap mountain. Is that correct? I assume its just a trail and there is no actual mountain climbing per se, needing a rope, climbing harness and such. I have not read anything that says either way. Can someone who has actually traveled the trail confirm?

  33. What sort of animals can be expected upon the trail? Bears? Wolves?

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