Doubletop Mountain is located in Baxter State Park in Maine. Depending on the route the hike, the mileage is around 13.5 miles (22km) to go in & out, or closer to 6.5 miles (10km) to take the same entrance and exit. If you’re looking for a good day trip in Baxter and something less strenuous than Mount Katahdin, this is a perfect option. The trail is very low-trafficked, and includes a little stream, slight scrambling, and stellar views at the end.
Check out this article to prepare for Baxter State Park ahead of time. Day parking passes and campgrounds can run out days in advance!
QUICK NOTES ON HIKING DOUBLETOP MOUNTAIN
- Hiking Route: 6mi (10 km) out and back
- Hiking Duration: 4-7 hours
- Parking: There’s a $15 gate pass for non-residents, which can be purchased here or at the gate (cash only). All trailheads outside Mount Katahdin are on a first come, first serve basis.
- Starting from the North – park at Nesowadnehunk campground
- Starting from the South – park at Kidney Pond campground
- Best Time to Hike: March to October
MY EXPERIENCE HIKING DOUBLETOP MOUNTAIN
This was day 1 of my 10-day Northeast hiking trip with my friend Katie, and our 1st day in Baxter State Park. We left Boston around 3AM, and arrived for check-in at the park around 10AM. It took us about an hour to go through the park to our campground because we came through the wrong entrance, but we eventually made it to our lean-to campsite at Nesowadnehuk Field campground. (If you’ve never tried camping in a lean-to, I would highly recommend it!)
START OF TRAIL
The northern start of the trail starts at the Nesowadnehunk campground. There’s a compost bathroom, ranger station, and check-in post at the bridge before the trail starts.
The start of the trail was pretty easy with minimal elevation, but it can be a bit muddy depending on the weather. Eventually, you’ll reach Little Nesowadnehunk stream – a perfect place to take a nice snack break or enjoy a dip in the water if you bring your bathing suit! After that, the elevation starts to pick up a bit. The rocks were a bit slippery, so be extra cautious when climbing up. There’s some scrambling involved before reaching the northern summit, but it’s nothing too difficult or technical.
REACHING THE SUMMIT AND OVERALL REVIEW
The northern peak has some pretty sweet outlook views, but it’s still mostly in the treeline. It’s not far off from the southern peak which has more 360 views, but there is a little bit of cliffside before getting there. As someone who really doesn’t enjoy cliffs a lot, I would definitely say it’s tolerable as long as you take it slow and don’t look down too much! Reaching the southern peak, you finally get to take in the amazing views of the rolling mountains for miles. There’s lots of place to sit and soak in the views alongside a nice snack or lunch break.
Instead of continuing on towards the southern end of the trail, we turned around and headed back to the Nesowadnehunk campground. If you have 2 cars available, taking the entire route north to south would be a great option. During the entire day, we only spotted 3 other groups along the trail. Overall, I would definitely recommend this hike if you have enough time and want something a bit less intense than Mount Katahdin.
Be prepared for lots of swarming flies back at the end of the trail, and don’t forget to check-out at the end of the trail back at the bridge. There’s also firewood for $3 across from the ranger station if you’re staying overnight at that campground. If you go on this hike, be sure to leave a comment below and let me know what you thought of it! Don’t forget, Always Embrace the Adventure
ARE YOU PLANNING YOUR OWN HIKING ROAD TRIP THROUGH NEW ENGLAND?
There’s plenty of articles and resources on the site to help you best prepare for your own adventure! Check out the 1-2 Weeks Ultimate New England Hiking Road Trip Guide to get a comprehensive look at the region, or read some article highlights below:
Want to make your own epic road trip adventure but don’t know where to start? Check out these
8 Simple Steps to Planning a Hiking Road Trip that will bring you from a basic concept all the way to your final checks before heading out.