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The Hundred Mile Wilderness

Hundred Mile Wilderness

I've spent the past two weeks, heads down, planning my section hikes for this year starting in late April and running through November. This year, I'll be shooting to finish the remaining 400 miles of the Appalachian Trail (AT) that I have left in Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine. 

For you married folks, the first phase of my annual trip planning ritual is to make sure that my proposed trip dates are acceptable to my spouse. I avoid proposing multiday trips during national holidays or more than one trip a month because they're usually turned down. 

Backpacking Trip Planning

Now that my wife has approved my trip dates, I'm working on more detailed trip plans, contingencies, and shuttle options. It's funny, I plan out how to get to the trail and how to get back in enormous detail, but when I'm hiking, I mostly wing the day-to-day logistics except for hitting my minimum mileage goals.

I'm particularly excited about one of my trips this year which will be 9 days long and a 130 miles in length. I'll be hiking through an extremely remote section of the AT called The Hundred Mile Wilderness. This area is heavily wooded and full of lakes, ponds, and streams. It is considered to be one of the most beautiful stretches of the Appalachian Trail, but there are no maintained roads that cross its path, so you need to carry all of your food with you.

Once I complete this section, I'll come to the border of Baxter State Park, home of Mt. Katahdin (5,267 ft), the highest mountain in the state of Maine. It's a 15 mile hike including a very steep climb up to the summit of Katahdin, which is the northern terminus of the 2,175 mile Appalachian Trail. After that, I'll hike back to the park border where I plan to stash a car, so I can drive the 300 miles home. I have a feeling that this hike is going to be an incredible experience.

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  1. Massive jealousy coming your way!

  2. I can't believe it's been nine years now since my A.T. hike, and I remember the 100-Mile Wilderness (and the rest of the trail) so vividly. That's an awesome section; I know you'll love it.

  3. hey, I too will be hiking the maine section of the AT. I'm rather new to extended trips and was wondering if you had any tips for me, especially the 100 mile wilderness as this part seems rather daunting.



  4. This will be my longest section hike ever, but I've been thinking a lot about how my preparation will be different – particularly in terms of food, fuel, and footwear. I'll be writing about this in a week or so to cement my thoughts and to get feedback, since a lot of my readers have done longer marathon hikes. May sure you come back and participate in the discussion.

  5. Thanks, I look forward to reading!

  6. is the 100 mile wilderness a good section for my hammock?

  7. Im thinking of doing it in June,…after the

    Belmont.Have to check on the Bus schedule at

    North Station.See if I can get to Caratunk,ME.

    That would be my preferd start-point.I plan on

    20 day's to get to Baxter Park,then on to Mill-

    -inocket to Medway,then 9:30A.M. Cyr Buss to

    Bangor,on to Boston.

  8. Im aware of the black-fly season,and fully pre-

    pared for it with bug juice,head-net,gloves,and

    an old surplus Army Mosquitoe bar-net, it was

    used over a Army cot. Alot my gear is surplus,

    my pack is a large ALICE,being ex-Army Im used

    to this gear,and trust it to hold up. My tent,

    will be a tarp set-up,I prefer to see whats going on around my site.Ive a light weight hammock that will give me my afternoon siesta's

    on the 100 mile hike. Oh,…yes Im a survivalist

    at heart, so my Bush knife is a 10" blade,with a

    few small folder's in my equipment.My bear-bag

    is an overnight awol-bag,light weight semi-water

    -proof. This will carry all my food/cook-gear.

    The need for more paracord to string it up,is all I need get. My sleep gear,..wool army blanket, poncho,mylar blanket,light-summer sleep

    bag, 1/2 foam-pad.This will be used in multiple

    way's. PolyPro first layer top's/bottoms will

    be in a waterproof ruck/liner bag (heavy-duty

    trash-bag).Nalgene 32oz bottle(bpafree)will serve as a Hot water-bottle/woolsock covering

    it to warm my toes chest area.

    The forest sounds in the morn,will make me rise to the day.

  9. Your stuff sounds a lot like mine (tarp, hammock, etc.) It's going to be wet up there. What kind of boots are you planning on using?

  10. Does anyone know if one can hike the 100 mile wilderness in early November? would you advise this..



  11. Depends when in November I guess and your winter backpacking skills. Ask about this on Whiteblaze.net which is a big AT hiker bboard. There are people who hike the AT year round.

    In addition, you should check out the book Appalachian Pages<img src="http://www.assoc-amazon.com/e/ir?t=ultrarevie-20&l=as2&o=1&a=0979708133&quot; width="1" height="1" border="0" alt="" style="border:none !important; margin:0px !important;" />. I'm writing a review of it tonight and it contains a lot of info I wish I had before my hike, especially about shuttles and people who will drop supplies.

    Also, be aware that Baxter State Park closes on October 15th. So while you'll be able to complete the 100 mile at Abol bridge, you won't be allowed in the park to climb Mt Katahdin.

  12. Did you do the 100 mile wilderness yet? And if so how many days did it take you, not include the hike up Mt.K?

    I have been planning a similar hike heading south from Katahdin Springs Campground to Monson as I started my section hike adventure last year and climbed Mt.K. I head up to Monson this laborday weekend, '09, park my car and get a shuttle to Millinocket. There I will stay at the AT HIkers Lodge for the night and get a ride to the trail head on Sunday morning.

    I have packed enough of everything for 9 days (close to 40lbs, ouch) but hope to hike thru it in 5-6. Just wondering how long it really takes as it would be nice to lighten the pack load.

  13. I pulled off after 74 miles in 6 days due to a very sore knee exacerbated by 6 days of heavy rains. Truth is, I could have finished in 7 days if the weather had been better. Regarding food load – on hindsight there is no need to carry 9 days of food if you are willing to go to White house landing to resupply. I hear the prices are extortionist, but it is an option worth considering. WH is about 5-6 days in from Monson. Of course, now you have less daylight, too.

  14. What did you end up using for a shuttle service for the 100 mile wilderness?

  15. Shaw's ran a shuttle for me. It was like 50 or 60 bucks and they waived the parking fee.

  16. I'm nearing the end of AWOL's book on the AT and now I have reread some of your section hikes with more of a context. Really enjoying both. Hopefully I can move from vicarious pleasure to hiking some of the SHT but I realize its one thing to carry a 25 lb pack and another thing to carry it on uneven terrain. As a one hundred pound person I can't afford to be top heavy or I "turtle" – land on my back and can't right myself, thus the UL challenge.

  17. I hike with a tiny partner – 100 lbs – and she does ok, but she really has to keep the weight down, otherwise she bonks. Glad to hear you're enjoying David's book and my trip reports together. He's far more social than I, but I think we both appreciate the trail in our different ways.

  18. I provide a mid-wilderness resupply that enables my guests to enjoy the experience without worrying about logistics. I provide shuttle services and clean, comfortable and private accomodations at my Monson location. I am located just a 2 minute walk from the Appalachian Trail near Lake Hebron and at the “Official” beginning (end) of the 100 MIle Wilderness. Check out http://www.100milewilderness.info As a 3 time thru-hiker of the entire Appalachian Trail (’77 & ’82 & ’10) and 36 year Volunteer with the Maine Appalachian Trail Club; nobody knows more about the AT in Maine than me.

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