Our first stop in Baxter State Park was only a 2 mile hike in, but we were weighed down with packs that were heavier than they should’ve been. We stopped at a cliff to look out over the South Branch ponds, and caught a distant glimpse of the towering Mt. Katahdin. We would be atop that summit in a week.
Upper South Branch is one of the most peaceful places in Maine. There is a sole lean-to on the upper pond, and you have to hike or canoe in to get to it. The little shelter sits on the edge of the woods about 20 feet from the pond. Looking out across the water, it’s very apparent you’re alone aside from the thriving wildlife.
We spent two days enjoying the tranquility of the site and feasting on our heavier food items – we needed the carbs for the upcoming trip. On the first night I enjoyed a fierce thunderstorm from the warm and dry safety of my sleeping bag inside my tent inside the lean-to. The cracks of thunder were some of the loudest I’ve heard, and rocked the forest around us.
The next day we hiked six miles to admire some waterfalls along Howe Brook Falls Trail, but I have to admit they didn’t compare to the falls of Pennsylvania. One of the few things Pennsylvania trumps Maine at.
Then the miles began …
|Our waterfront view, such a peaceful spot.|
|The lean-to (from my last visit here, obviously wouldn't have be able to|
carry all that stuff on my back haha)
|Austin's Gore-Tex Katahdin Hikers from L.L. Bean make their debut. They|
held up so well in the wet sections we came across later on ... may have to
get myself a pair.
|Fog lifts over some planks heading to the lean-to site. Upper South Branch|
pond to the right.