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Rhon Bell

Rhon Bell, an outdoor enthusiast, spends his time exploring the Maine Woods and documenting his journeys. Growing up in Aroostook County, he embraced the outdoor lifestyle at a young age. Living today near Portland, he spends weekends and week-long adventures hiking New England summits, canoeing the historic Maine waterways, and ice fishing for lake trout. Follow the journey as Window to the Woods discovers new destinations, and check out his other blog, Backwoods Plaid.

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Posted: June 5, 2014

Baxter Park: Abol Trail is Closed

Written by: Rhon Bell

Baxter State Park released a notice today letting hikers know that Abol Trail, one of the most popular trails on Katahdin, is closed for the 2014 season. The Park’s website states “Landslide activity has resulted in dangerous hiking conditions.” Park officials say they will monitor conditions over time and that the closure may last even longer. With public safety and park preservation the focus of attention, it’s been made aware that anyone found hiking the trail will be fined up to $200. Their Facebook page goes further, informed the public that “Late last winter substantial debris movement occurred on most of the portion of the Abol Trail ascending the Abol Slide. The resulting debris field presents an area of exceptional hazard with a high risk of additional downslope movement of rocks, large boulders and debris.” DSC02794 Abol Trail, more of a natural slide than hiking trail was formed of loose rocks and has been considered by hikers to be a trail that requires more caution than others. One of my first ascents of Katahdin was on Abol and in multiple locations, I recall imprints in the boulders of sea creatures and sea shells. To see such history at one of the highest points in our state is nearly an out-of-body experience – realizing what the Earth looked like at one point in time. DSC02793 As someone who’s spent much time exploring the park, I’ll leave you with a favorite quote from one of the first written accounts in the park: “There was a slight murmur of wind along the towering moutainside, and no other sound in all the world. A white, silvered mist was forming over the lakes far below me, like streaks of pale snow. The moon rode high above the forest, and old Orion, a stranger since last winter, was striding up the sky. I felt a lonely atom in an immensity of wilderness.” -Account dated 1924, Abol Slide, Book: Katahdin 5

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