Maine has an abundance of mountains and peaks to conquer, some of which are globally recognized as the best in the business.
National Geographic recently featured the best summit hikes in the world, and coming in at No. 2 was Maine’s own Mount Katahdin.
Because there are a large number of marvelous mountaintops throughout the world, National Geographic explained that to choose the top 10 required both an aesthetic aspect, as well as an historical one.
The Appalachian Trail and transcendentalist Henry David Thoreau have both played a role in crafting Mount Katahdin’s lore.
National Geographic described it as potentially being “the most inspiring peak in all of eastern North America.” It recounted how Henry David Thoreau helped immortalize Mount Katahdin when, after scaling it in 1846, he wrote, “This was the Earth of which we have heard, made out of Chaos and Old Night.”
The peak of the mountain — 5,270 feet above sea level — marks the northern terminus of the 2,200-mile Appalachian Trail, where grizzled AT thru-hikers and men like Scott Jurek mix with tourists and native Mainers.
National Geographic, when describing the top 10, wrote, “beyond the thrill of making it to the top, each of these summit hikes offers a deeper connection to the surrounding landscape and people.”
From the thrill of Knife’s Edge, to its rich Maine history, Percival B. Baxter, (think Baxter State Park), the governor of Maine from 1921-1924, summed up that connection when he wrote the following lines:
But Katahdin in all its glory,
Forever shall remain
The Mountain of
The People of Maine