Visitors to Maine’s Baxter State Park often flock to Katahdin. But the popularity of the state’s highest peak overshadows many other great adventures that are available in Baxter. Among them is a wonderful hike up South Turner Mountain.
South Turner stands at just 3,122 feet. The hike up and back from Baxter’s Roaring Brook Campground is 4 miles round trip, with a total elevation gain of a little over 1,600 feet. The hike up winds through areas with amazing scenery, places that are popular for spotting moose and, when the weather cooperates, hikers atop South Turner’s rocky summit are treated to some of the best views there are of Katahdin.
Much of the hike up South Turner is easy, but it does become a more strenuous, challenging hike with some rock scrambling near the top.
From Roaring Brook Campground, hikers can take the Sandy Stream Pond Trail to the South Turner Mountain Trail, which will lead to the summit. The early part of the hike is rather flat, but it does have many exposed roots that, when wet, can be extremely slippery. Along the way is Sandy Stream Pond, a beautiful pond with exceptional views of Katahdin. It’s also a popular place to spot moose.
As hikers reach South Turner and begin their climb, the trail becomes quite rocky and hikers eventually navigate small boulder fields marked with cairns. After a steep climb near the top, hikers reach the summit, which offers 360-degree views of the surrounding wilderness and mountains, including Katahdin, Katahdin Lake and Traveler Mountain.
Spotting moose along the Sandy Stream Pond Trail and at Sandy Stream Pond.