From: August 11 to August 18, 2018

Destination: Millinocket, Maine

  • Slackpacking Maine

    The Appalachian Trail truly has mythic status and for many of us, hiking it is a dream. But then we look at the reality of it and find the prospect of carrying a 40-50 pound pack on our back and sleeping on the ground rather daunting. Solution? Slackpacking! We cover the same distance as backpackers, but at the end of the day we return to a comfortable hostel with  beds and hot showers. In contrast to the Georgia section, this section is flatter but the terrain and footing makes it more challenging. And we end the trip with climbing Mt Katahdin, a more significant climb than any we do in Georgia. Maximum group size: 10

  • August 11, Saturday
    Meet at the airport and drive to Millinocket. We'll meet at the Bangor International airport at 2pm. We will be picked up by our shuttle and transported to 'hiker heaven' - the Appalachian Trail Lodge, our home for the next week. That evening we'll start getting to know each other and review everything we need to know for our upcoming adventure to keep us safe and healthy. D

    August 12, Sunday
    Kokadjo B Pond Rd to Jo Mary Rd After a hearty breakfast we begin our day with a shuttle to Crawford Pond. As we wave good bye to our shuttle driver, we can be assured that our shuttle will be waiting for us at the end of our hike to transport us back for that wonderful shower at the end of a satisfying hiking day! Our hike today is a great 'warm up' for the week and will take us through not only Crawford Pond but Cooper Brook Falls, a great swimming hole and an Appalachian trail shelter. Today's terrain is mostly level with approximately 300 feet of elevation loss, a great way to get the 'trail legs' ready and a wonderful beginning to our week. Daily stats: Mileage: 7.0 miles. Elevations: beginning: 1264 feet, ending: 624 feet, highest: 1285 feet B, L, D

    August 13, Monday
    Jo Mary Rd to Nahmakanta Lake So here’s the drill - each day we’ll get dropped off where we left our hike the day before. Today we head back to Mary Jo Road and once again put on our packs, grab our poles, and head into the wilderness. As with much AT hiking in northern New England, the trails are challenging with many rocks and roots and require a "mind-full" approach to the day's hiking. Our hike today is definitely longer, with slightly rolling terrain and more lakes, streams, and picturesque footbridges. Northern Maine at it's best and we'll be enjoying it as it was meant to be enjoyed -- by foot! Daily stats: Mileage: 14.9 miles. Elevations: beginning: 624 feet. ending: 636 feet highest: 624 feet B, L, D

    August 14, Tuesday
    Nahmakanta Lake to Pollywog Stream The high point of today's hike will be Nesuntabunt Mountain complete with the first sighting of our goal – Katahdin! Known first by Native Americans as 'Kette-Adene' or the 'greatest mountain', that is exactly what it looks like, particularly from this perspective: a gray, granite monolith rising from the green Maine forest. After enjoying this spectacular view of not only Katahdin but of the land below us, we'll descend thru a beautiful stand of old growth red spruce and white pine trees (some at +140 years!) and pass by the Pollywog Gorge. A short side trail will give us great views of the Pollywog Gorge before we finish our day at the Pollywog Stream with more beautiful scenery! Daily stats: Mileage: 8.5 miles. Elevations: beginning: 636 feet. Ending: 684 feet Highest: 1520 feet B, L, D

    August 15, Wednesday
    Pollywog Stream to Abol Bridge Yes, today is our longest mileage day and we're glad it's not all up! Our terrain will include some flat and slightly ascending trail as well as more of the rolling terrain that the AT does so well! The Maine terrain has been described as appearing as though 'a mirror has been broken and scattered over the mantle of dark green spruce and fir forest cover, producing myriad lakes reflecting the sun’s light' and we will see many of those lakes today. We'll hike past Murphy Lake outlet, continuing past Rainbow Lake and Rainbow Lake Dam as we make our way toward Abol Bridge over the west branch of the Penobscot River – a beautiful river that figured significantly in Maine's logging history. Our shuttle will indeed be a welcome sight and that end of the day shower will be calling. Tonight we leave open for you to explore the culinary opportunities available in town, and our lodge host will be happy to make suggestions (there aren't that many choices so if your stomach is set on fine French cuisine, tell it to wait). Daily stats: Mileage: 17.2 miles. Elevations: beginning: 684 feet. ending: 578 feet highest: 1144 feet B, L

    August 16, Thursday
    Abol Bridge to Katahdin Stream Campground By now we have a great routine going - good night's sleep, great breakfast, and then out the door and shuttle to the trail! This morning we’ll once again put in where we left off yesterday - at the Abol Bridge and head - which way? North of course, toward Katahdin. The beautiful northern spruce and fir forest continues to impress and our forward progress toward Katahdin is exciting. Several highlights of our hike today will include, yes! water features! This time not only ponds and streams but a couple of spectacular water falls as well – Big and Little Niagara Falls. Both of the falls are located on the Nesowadnehunk Stream, originally used extensively by the logging industry in Maine. The forest has long since recovered from that era and there are few, if any traces of that endeavor now. Our destination for the day is a much-anticipated spot, Katahdin Stream Campground. Here is the place where you realize that the end of your hike is near! Tomorrow, 'the greatest mountain' awaits! Daily stats: Mileage: 10.2 miles. Elevations: beginning: 578 feet. ending: 1106 feet highest: 1119 feet B, L, D

    August 17, Friday
    Climb Katahdin! Yes! The day has arrived and the summit bid is at hand! After checking in at the Ranger Station to ascertain the weather conditions, our guides will determine the best route to hike up the mountain. We have had some strenuous hikes to prepare us for this day, but today will be our most strenuous with the ascent just as challenging as the descent - which means we have a long and challenging day ahead of us. While there are several options for our climb, we most likely will not take the AT on this final stretch; instead our likely approach starts with a 3.3 mile hike up Roaring Brook Trail to Chimney Pond. At Chimney Pond we will re-group to hydrate and eat a snack. From there we take the Saddle Trail which is a very steep 1.2 mile boulder scramble followed by another mile to the Katahdin summit. This is the most challenging part of our hike today and people with a fear of heights may choose to make Chimney Pond their final destination. For those that continue to the summit, we will take pictures at the famous Katahdin sign and then begin our long, careful descent down the mountain. Our chariot (OK, our shuttle) will be a welcome sight and will take us to the Lodge for our last dinner and a festive celebration of our week together. Daily stats: Mileage: 10.4 miles. Elevations: beginning: 1106 feet. ending: 1106 feet highest: 5268 feet B, L, D

    August 18, Saturday
    Sadly, it's time to go home. You are free to leave anytime after breakfast. If you are flying out, we will have you back to the Bangor International airport by 11am. You can plan on flying out anytime after 12:00pm B
  • Price: $1725  (see this page for discounts). Deposit $300. Other than the loft rooms (see description in accommodations), no other singles are available; if you want one in the loft, please indicate a single preference when you sign up. Please make sure you understand our cancellation policies.


    Trip Includes

    • Two experienced AGC guides
    • Seven nights lodging
    • All meals from dinner on 8/13 through breakfast on 8/20 with the exception of one dinner
    • All transportation within Maine including round trip transport from the Bangor airport and daily shuttles
    • Park entry fees
    Not included:Transportation to and from Bangor ME, alcoholic beverages, guide gratuities, one dinner and travel insurance.
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  • Common Questions

    If you’ve never traveled with us before, you may have some questions about how we do things and what you can expect. We’ve answered the most common ones below and are always available by phone or email to answer any others.

    How do I pay for my trip?

    You can make the deposit by submitting a secure form with your credit card information after filling out the registration form or calling us with your card information. We will send you an invoice for the balance due with your Predeparture Information 4 months before an International trip and 3 months before a domestic trip. You can get a 3% discount for paying the balance by check.

    What if I’m coming alone?

    The majority of women who travel with us come by themselves. If you want to pay a single supplement to guarantee your own room, or if you want to share a room with someone with whom you are traveling, you can indicate that on the registration form. Otherwise we randomly assign roommates and rotate every time we change lodging – it’s a great way to get to know different women on the trip.

    Can you accommodate special diets?

    It depends on both the trip and on your specific needs. With advance notice, we can accommodate most dietary restrictions or allergies on our domestic trips, including vegetarian, vegan, and gluten intolerant. This is not always true on international trips, so please contact us in advance if you have specific dietary needs. We've found that if you are willing to bring some of your own snacks and a couple of items to supplement what is on the menu (peanut butter is always good!) and possibly have less variety than you are used to at home, then dietary needs usually are no obstacle. If in doubt about your specific dietary needs, especially if you have Celiac disease, please give us a call (877/439-4042) or send us an email.

    What if I have to cancel my trip?

    The amount of your refund depends on how close to the trip you cancel and whether it is a domestic or an international trip. You can read our cancellation policies here. We highly recommend travel insurance because cancellations are always unexpected; we will send you additional information about insurance when you register.

    Will my family be able to get in touch with me in case of an emergency?

    Yes, we always send out emergency contact information. On a few trips, because of limitations in communication, the best approach is to give them the office number and let us make the contact.

    What other information will you send me?

    When you register, we’ll send you a Trip Summary that includes the itinerary, travel information, and a packing list. Three to four months before your trip we’ll send you Pre-Departure information that includes detailed information on how to get to the trip starting point, pre- or post-trip lodging suggestions, suggested books and websites etc. Four to six weeks before the trip, we’ll send you a list of everyone who is registered along with their travel plans; and a Pre-Trip letter with the name of your guide(s) and how to contact them if your arrival is delayed as well as any other important updates.

    Do you help with pre-trip and/or post-trip hotel reservations?

    For international trips, if you want to stay at the hotel where we’re staying the first night before the trip, or at the hotel we’re staying the last night after the trip, we’re happy to make a reservation for you. Otherwise our PreDeparture Information will have hotel suggestions. Our travel agent is also happy to help you with this.

    How does the waitlist process work and how often do people cancel?

    If you are interested in a trip that is full, you should sign up here. If there is a cancellation, we send out an email to everyone who has expressed interest and ask them to respond within 24 hours. If more than one person is interested, we give the space to the person who has traveled with us before or in the order of being put on the waitlist. Frequently, even when we have a long wait list, it is the last person to sign up who is still available to go. Whether or not there will be a cancellation is completely unpredictable, although not uncommon.

    What is the role of the guide(s)?

    On every trip, the primary roles of the guide(s) are to ensure your safety and to make sure that, to the extent possible, you are having the trip you want. The guide(s) will also make sure that you know what is happening each day and what you need to bring to be prepared. On domestic trips the guide(s) will also likely be driving, preparing picnic lunches and sometimes other meals, providing skills instruction, and giving you information about the natural history of the area. On any trip where we partner with another company (which is most international trips and some trips that require special equipment), the AGC guide will work with the local guide to make sure that the trip is conducted in accordance with the AGC philosophy.

    What if I have more questions?

    Give us a call (877/439-4042) or send us an email. A Program Manager is assigned to each trip. Once you have registered, she will send you a registration confirmation letter that includes her name and email, and she will be your primary contact. Her job is to make sure that you get all your questions answered and that you feel completely prepared for your adventure.

    What if I'm the oldest/youngest/heaviest/least in shape/only single woman/only mom on the trip?

    You might be. Someone has to be the oldest/youngest/heaviest/least in shape person on the trip. And while the great majority of our trips have both single and non-single women, and moms and non-moms, sometimes they don't. But it doesn't matter if you're "different" in any of those ways - what you will share with everyone else is a desire to experience adventure in your life, and an appreciation of the joy and camaraderie of being in an all women's group.

Trip highlights

  • Hiking part of the 100 mile wilderness in Maine, the last stretch of the Appalachian trail
  • Returning to a comfortable bed and hot shower at the end of every day
  • Summiting the majestic peak of Katahdin in Baxter Park, the northern terminus of the AT
  • Carrying only what you need for the day on your back

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