Katahdin seen from Hamlin Ridge trail.

Hamlin Peak is the second highest point in the state of Maine at 4,756 feet and is part of the Katahdin complex located in Baxter State Park. The hike started from the Roaring Brooke camp site along the Chimney Pond trail. Soon after going pass the Basin Ponds, the trail comes to a fork; I took a right on what is called the North Basin Cut-Off which is a 0.6 mile stretch up to the North Basin trail. Once I reached the North Basin trail, I took a left and it was a very short distance to the Hamlin Ridge trail. Up to that point, climbing is gradual but once on the Hamlin Ridge trail, the grade increases sharply and the view over the Katahdin massif increases as well as the view on the cirque known as the North Basin. Opposite the ridge along Hamlin Ridge trail, one can see the Howes which are two peaks known as South Howes and North Howes.

Hamlin Peak from Hamlin Ridge trail
View on the North Basin.

Pass Hamlin peak, I decide to go over the Howes. There is no significant climb and the flat terrain is rocky. One will get great views of Baxter, the Knife Edge and Pamola. Once over the Howes, I head back towards Hamlin peak but bypass it by a cut-off towards the Saddle trail. Looking over in the opposite direction, one can see the Brothers, which I had hiked the day before. The Saddle trail is somewhat steep but is relatively easy and leads to the Chimney Pond camp site. From there on, I head back to Roaring Brooke campground. The overall hike is time consuming but not very demanding. The climb up Hamlin Ridge trail is moderate. The weather started out with light rain but it cleared up by noon to give way to sunshine. Under those conditions, the landscape was breathtaking and this is one very rewarding hike.

Baxter peak (right hand side) and Pamola peak (left) seen from the top of Saddle trail. Chimney pond is visible at the far left at the base of Pamola peak.