North Brother, a 4,000 footer in Baxter State Park
Hiking in Baxter State Park
Willow has done a great job of peak bagging New England – she’s well through her 4Ker list of Maine and New England. IN fact, she’s bagged the 4kers in Maine more than once, and many times in the winter! DD is slowly working on her list – she’s got a ways to go in Maine. We had a weekend open up, and decided to check a box off of her list by summiting North Brother, a 4,000 footer in Baxter State Park!
Hiking the Marston Trail up North Brother
This hike can be done as a summit pursuit, or as a series of summits. We met a dude on the trail (Hey Jeff!) that was hiking up Coe, to South Brother, then to North Brother, and then bushwhacking over to Fort. We were not really interested in that much mileage on this particular day, plus the trail was super super wet, and Willow didn’t want to make DD climb the Coe slide in the slippery conditions. She’s a good friend.
Camping in Baxter State Park
We camped at the Nesowadnehunk Field, in a lean to, so we were already up and ready to go with the sunrise. The Brothers have their own parking lot, so you don’t need to beat the gate crowd to get a good parking spot at the trailhead. We got started about 8 am and we saw about 3 other cars in the lot. The trail itself is great – you walk a ways through the woods and cover a bit of ground before climbing. On this particular day, we encountered a TON of water. SO much so that DD finally gave up rock hopping and just began wading through the water. At one point, it became almost swamp like. We certainly suggest checking trail conditions before heading out, and to be prepared to encounter a lot of water if you’re hiking in the summer. Waterproof shoes and wool socks are a must! I love my Salomons. If you’d like to learn more about picking hiking socks, you can read my post on it here.
About the Hike
This hike is a slow and steady climb to the top. It’s mostly under treeline, but the forest feels a bit magical. The views up at the top are truly magical – once you approach the summit, it feels wide open with epic 360 views. It was very windy the day we were up there, so make sure that you bring your rain/wind gear. We spend a long time up at the summit, eating lunch and enjoying the views after the grueling hike. It was worth it!
Trail Stats for Marston Trail, North Brother Mountain
Trail Stats for the Marston Trail according to the AMC’s Maine Mountain Guide
From Park Tote Road to North Brother Summit – 4.6 miles, making this 9.2 RT
Height: 4,151 feet, approximately 3,000 feet in elevation gain
Time: Plan for about 8 hours. Start early!
Dogs: Not allowed in Baxter State Park
Kids: experienced, older. This is a long day!
We love the Maine Mountain Guide and we use it to plan our trips! It’s a must have for hiking in Maine – it breaks down all of the trails by section and it gives you many details for planning your hikes. It’s now in it’s 11th edition! The most recent author and editor is Carey Kish – a super cool guy, also. Get your copy today!