Hiking Trail Conditions Report
Peaks Katahdin Lake, Twin Ponds, Martin Ponds, ME
Trails: Katahdin Lake Trail, Martin Ponds Trail, North Katahdin Lake Trail, bushwhack
Date of Hike
Date of Hike: Friday, August 25, 2023
Parking/Access Road Notes
Parking/Access Road Notes: $16 for a days pass for non-ME residents and $42 for a season pass. Park Tote Rd can be bumpy but is kept in good enough shape for low clearance vehicles. Parking for this is at Avalanche Field about 6.5mi from the South Gate along a Roaring Brook Rd. There were a few cars when I arrived at 11am and returned around 8:15pm.  
Surface Conditions
Surface Conditions: 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: Rock hopable if not necessarily easily. The trickiest was perhaps of the outlet of Katahdin Lake as it was over a beaver dam. The trail was also very difficult to follow here but more on that below.  
Trail Maintenance Notes
Trail Maintenance Notes: There were blowdowns but nothing crazy and I don’t remember specifically where. I know there were a few over by the spur trails to Katahdin Lake and they were also more numerous on North Katahdin Lake Trail (both the abandoned and not abandoned portions). I believe all signage was intact (including a somewhat new looking sign for North Katahdin Lake Trail continuing toward Twin Ponds which I found odd). I believe all trails were blazed in blue including the (possibly) abandoned portion of North Katahdin Lake Trail. I think blazing was generally consistent and I did not find the trails difficult to follow with the exception of the crossing of the outlet of Katahdin Lake and the (possibly) abandoned portion of North Katahdin Lake Trail.  
Dog-Related Notes
Dog-Related Notes: Dogs are not allowed in BSP.  
Bugs: Too rainy.  
Lost and Found
Lost and Found: None 
Comments: A miserable rainy day hike on my first full day in Houlton. I redlined Katahdin Lakes Trail, Martin Ponds Trail, and North Katahdin Lake Trail. The spur trails needed for redlining too are all well signed and obvious. My understanding was that North Katahdin Lake Trail beyond the shelter had been abandoned but upon seeing signage and blazing, I decided I ought to do it just in case it was added to the next guidebook. The trail is definitely obscure in places but blazing continued the entire way and blowdowns were generally not crazy numerous although they certainly obscured the trail at times. The first tricky place was as the trail comes to a road. This road is just west of the logging road shown on Gaia north of Katahdin Lake over what’s called “Elliotsville Plantation”. The trail does not cross the road but follows it north briefly, then turns right back into the woods. In fact, the trail seems to parallel the road in the brush so that may be the easiest way to try and find where it enters/exits the road. On the south side, watch out for a rock piles obscured by the negation though. Easy fall risk.

The next very tricky spot is where the trail appears to end at the eastern and smaller of the two ponds. According to Gaia and the map I didn’t have with me, the trail follows the eastern edge of the pond to the north, then swings NW to the western of the two ponds. No sign of a trail here. I bushwhacked along the course shown on Gaia though, at times through dense woods, to the western pond. Again, it was a delightfully miserable adventure sort of a day. I found exactly two pieces of orange flagging through here and what almost felt like a very faint herd path once or twice but this last 1/3mi or so between the two ponds was definitely a bushwhack.

The crossing of the outlet of Katahdin Lake along Martin Ponds Trail was also very difficult to follow. You come out of the woods and into shrubbery; the trail is very overgrown. There’s no blazing or markings. You need to cross the beaver dam then bear right and stick to the shore of the pond. Not much of an evident path here. Once across I found a sign on a tree with directions telling you which way to go which would’ve been helpful coming from the other direction. It said there was a tree on the other side of the outlet with the same directions but I never saw one and I definitely turned around and looked behind me plenty!

It rained the entire time at various degrees of intensity but with or without the rain there were clearly some spots along these trails that are VERY muddy and wet. Gaia had me at 21.6mi, 1600ft of gain, 9hr12min. Keep in mind this was with the possibly abandoned portion of North Katahdin Lake Trail which included a whack at the end as well.  
Name: Liam Cooney  
Date Submitted
Date Submitted: 2023-08-30 
Link: https:// 
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