Day 4 at Baxter state Park- Wassataquoik Stream Trail

Frigid cold greeted our exit out of the park today.

The loud drops of rain that I heard falling on the bunkhouse last night had turned the upper elevations white, with the snow line starting at 2,900 feet. I’m not sure there would be many hikers who would be heading unto the top today in these conditions.
We decided to head back on an alternate route, the Wassataquoik Stream Trail, where there are actually two fords. The color was still holding up, with much of it painting the ground below our boots.

20121013-140430.jpgLooking up, the northern peaks of Baxter were mantled with snow.

The first stream crossing is obvious and less treacherous than the crossing on the Russell Pond Trail up stream. It has slower moving water, and the bottom is smoother. I went across first and went up to my crotch. The others aimed for a grassy hummock a bit downstream and didn’t get as wet.

20121013-140810.jpgWe put our boots back on and then headed down the trail, only to find a second ford that could not be avoided right close to the lean tos.

20121013-140922.jpgDamn! Off with the boots, on with the Crocs, off with the Crocks, on with the boots again!
This route used to be called the Tracy Horse Trail and is usually a faster route than the Russel Pond trail as it is almost entirely an old logging road that used to transport sports from Roaring Brook to the old Russell Pond fishing cabins.

To our west was the snow capped vistas of the double cirques of Katahdin.

20121013-141038.jpgThe sun was bright and low as we moved along to the sound of water until we rejoined the Russell Pond Trail for the final section out. At this point Pat and I diverted to the Sandy Stream Pond Trail where we were successful in spotting a moose of the far shore.
We reached the cars at Russell Pond in the early afternoon when we dove to Millinocket where we all had an excellent home- cooked meal at the Appalachian Station Cafe.
Katahdin never fails to deliver.
Next- checking out the hiking and night time accommodations at and around the Park’s newest acquisition- Katahdin Lake.

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