Hiking Trail Conditions Report
Peaks Barnard Mountain , ME
Trails: International Appalachian Trail, Barnard Mountain Trail, Orin Falls Trail
Date of Hike
Date of Hike: Monday, August 14, 2023
Parking/Access Road Notes
Parking/Access Road Notes: From Millinocket, we drove 95N and came in from Sherman. Looooong drive in on dirt roads but not terribly remote as there are others out there for sure and occasional cell service. The road could definitely be rough at times but is generally wide and kept in decent enough shape that low clearance cars could travel it with care. The sketchiest thing I saw was the bridge over the East Branch of the Penobscot. Many cars were traveling over it but it did have some small holes. Probably small enough that even if you hit them with your wheels, it wouldn’t be a problem but it certainly made it look a bit sketchy! Note that Katahdin Loop Rd was not recognized on my GPS or on my phone’s GPS so couldn’t give me directions the whole way there. It does sound and look like you could to Katahdin Loop Rd from Millinocket more quickly via either Staceyville Rd or Robert’s Rd (and Huber are forther south) shown on Gaia and there were signs for KWWNM in Millinocket. That being said, Swift Brook which is shown as Staceyville Rd further south on Gaia, was signed as being recommended for high clearance vehicles only. Perhaps Huber and Roberts Rd was the start of the signed route in Millinocket. My folks spotted my car with me at the end of Orin Falls Rd (shown as Wassataquoik Rd on Gaia). I believe that road was a little rougher so maybe I’d suggest mid-clearance but then again we saw a Corolla or something of a similar nature at the end of the road. Plenty of parking at both trailheads and just one other car at each.  
Surface Conditions
Surface Conditions: Dry Trail, Wet Trail, Wet/Slippery Rock, Standing/Running Water on Trail, Mud - Minor/Avoidable, Mud - Significant 
Recommended Equipment
Recommended Equipment:  
Water Crossing Notes
Water Crossing Notes: None but do note that there is flooding in the trail about 5min west of Orin Falls Trail along the IAT. The beavers seem to be setting up camp there.  
Trail Maintenance Notes
Trail Maintenance Notes: One small blowdown that’s easily ducked under on the IAT about 15-20min east of the Barnard Mtn Trail. The only other one I recall I think was on Orin Falls Trail and had been cut but may have still been sticking out into the trail or something…? The IAT was trivial to follow as it followed a road the entire way but was well signed and is generally marked with white rectangle stacked to posts and trees outlined in blue and with blue lettering. I believe there may have been the occasional blue blaze as well. Barnard Mtn Trail was blazed in blue and I believe the blazing was quite regular. The very start of it could be trimmed way back but it is signed so would be hard to miss.  
Dog-Related Notes
Dog-Related Notes: A couple seen that were not leashed at first and came up aggressively barking. Owners were apologetic and soon leashed/carried them. These are good trails for dogs.  
Bugs: Other than some annoying “in your face” bugs around the summit, I didn’t notice them. Ticks don’t seem to exist much this far north.  
Lost and Found
Lost and Found: None 
Comments: After a day of rest during the rain, we began our 4th and final day in Millinocket which brought us to Barnard Mtn. Some people had arrived before us and were waiting to begin their hike as a moose stood on or next to the road the IAT starts down! We got to watch the big bull moose (13 points we think) with them for an additional 30min. I believe they’d said that they’d arrived almost an hr before us and had been watching it all that time! Pretty incredible!!

The IAT was essentially a road walk. Was hilly but still easy walking with decent footing. The Katahdin Brook Lean-To appeared to be in good shape. The turn off the main road was easy to see and you got some views toward the Travelers and Bald Mtn in BSP along the way. This second road actually descended slightly to the jct with Barnard Mtn Trail. The jct was signed but the start of it was very overgrown. This immediately changed though and the trail was pleasant and switchbacking at moderate grades and decent footing. Fantastic view of Katahdin from the summit and a great little picnic table to sit down and eat lunch on. It was also great to hike with and get to know Dave and Mary (Diane?) who spotted the moose earlier and we talked with.

From the jct of the IAT with Barnard Mtn Trail, my parents continued back down to the car whereas I continued east on the IAT to redline that section of it and Orin Falls Trail. All east road walking. The road was not very overgrown which was quite nice. About 1/3mi west of where the IAT meets Orin Falls Trail you’ll see a small pond on Gaia to the north of the trail. The trail south of it is becoming flooded by beavers. With very careful foot placement my feet somehow managed to remain dry even with trail runners but I’d expect this to be an issue going forward. Orin Falls Trail was more easy road walking. Met a few people along it. The falls were not a waterfall by any means but just a scenic spot along the river. The short spur from the road to the falls is signed. Gaia shows the trail continuing beyond this but the road is grown in beyond this although a herd path did seem to exist. I did not explore it.

Other than the flooding on that small section of the IAT and some wet and slick rock along Barnard Mtn Trail I believe the trails/roads were pretty dry. I Gaia stats are way off because I forgot to start it after we’d seen the moose, sorry. The hike should be something like 10.5mi with 725ft of gain.  
Name: Liam Cooney 
Date Submitted
Date Submitted: 2023-08-22 
Link: https:// 
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