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Carey Kish

Carey Kish of Mount Desert Island has been adventuring in the woods and mountains of Maine for, well, a long time. If there’s a trail—be it on dirt, rock, snow, water or pavement—he will find it, explore it, and write about it. Carey is a two-time Appalachian Trail thru-hiker, Registered Maine Guide, author of AMC’s Best Day Hikes Along the Maine Coast, editor of the AMC Maine Mountain Guide (10th ed.), and has written a hiking & camping column for the Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram since 2003. Follow his outdoor travels and musings here, and on Facebook/CareyKish. Let Carey know what you think at

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Posted: January 18, 2018

Hiking in Maine: A roundup of great adventures from 2017 (part 3)

Written by: Carey Kish

In the third part of the this series looking back at Carey’s hiking columns from 2017, get a look at the 1977 Baxter State Park forest fire that burned thousands of acres, get the lowdown on hiking several of the beautiful mountain trails in the Rangeley Lakes region, celebrate the completion of the Appalachian Trail some 80 years ago, check out AMCs new Medawisla Lodge in the heart of the 100-Mile Wilderness, hike into Chimney Pond on the north side of Katahdin for a overnight in the bunkhouse there, travel to Aroostook County for a handful of outstanding hikes, and see what all the hubbub was about surrounding the Appalachian Trail Conservancy’s big gathering in Maine. Click on the highlighted links to read each story.


You can still see and feel the 1977 Baxter fire’s impact all these years later. The news of the massive fire at Baxter State Park came at the midway point of a thru-hike on the Appalachian Trail 40 years ago.

The 1977 Baxter fire consumed 3,500 acres of forestland overall, 1,900 within the park. Forty years later, the affected park area looks a lot different under a thick green canopy of trees well on their way to maturity. But you can still find plenty of evidence of the fire if you know where to look. Carey Kish photo.


Take in sweeping views of the Rangeley Lakes region from several local peaks. Aziscohos Mountain and Bald Mountain offer some the state’s finest sights.

For many more hours and days of exploration, check out the entire 35-mile trail network of the Rangeley Lakes Heritage Trust, which has protected 13,800 acres across 28 parcels of land in the region. Combine this with the extensive menu of hikes compiled by the Rangeley Lakes Chamber of Commerce and you’ve got a hiking to-do list to last a lifetime. Carey Kish photo.


Celebrate 80 years of the Appalachian Trail. Here are half a dozen overnight hikes to give you a little taste of the AT in Maine.

One of the world’s most famous long-distance footpaths turns 80 years old this week, as good a reason as any to go for a hike.
On Aug. 14, 1937, the last section of the Appalachian Trail was cut and blazed by members of the Civilian Conservation Corps at 3,500 feet on the rugged ridgeline connecting Spaulding and Sugarloaf mountains in the jumbled high-peaks region of western Maine. Carey Kish photo.


Medawisla Lodge offers lots of trails, great views and homey comforts. AMC’s newest backcountry facility in the 100-Mile Wilderness yields is a terrific destination for not only hiking, but paddling, mountain biking, wildlife watching and in winter, cross-country skiing and snowshoeing.

From hiking and mountain biking in summer to cross-country skiing and snowshoeing in winter, there are plenty of options for human-powered recreation around the new AMC Medawisla Lodge and Cabins on Second Roach Pond. Add to that miles of canoeing and kayaking, and some pretty good fishing on four remote ponds. Carey Kish photo.


A long overdue backpacking trip into Chimney Pond doesn’t disappoint. At nearly 3,000 feet on the north side of Katahdin, the pond and campground offer unparalleled beauty in a an unbeatable setting.

Chimney Pond sits at 2,914 feet, on the north side of Mount Katahdin in Baxter State Park in one of the most dramatic natural settings anywhere in Maine. Tucked into trees just north of the pond is Chimney Pond Campground. Established in 1938, it is the oldest campground in the park and one of just two in the vast Baxter backcountry, Maine’s largest wilderness area. Carey Kish photo.


Head north to Aroostook County this fall for hiking adventures with big views. A long trip to north to the big and beautiful Crown of Maine to discover three short but scenic hiking trails is well worth the effort.

Set aside some quality time this fall to visit impossibly big and incredibly beautiful Aroostook County, for its wealth of hiking trails and sightseeing and so much more. Carey Kish photo.


The Appalachian Trail Conference’s biennial gathering is making a Maine appearance this summer. The big event will be held from Aug. 4-11 at Colby College in Waterville, and lots of outdoor and indoor activities are planned.

The weeklong Appalachian Trail funfest features more than 250 guided hikes, 50 workshops, and many special activities, field trips and tours. Carey Kish photo.


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