100 Mile Wilderness

The infamous 100-mile stretch of pure wilderness as the Appalachian Trail nears its northern terminus.

Trail Running Severe

Distance
148 km
Ascent
4.5 km
Descent
4.6 km
Duration
1 day +
Low Point
147 m
High Point
1.1 km
Gradient
10˚
100 Mile Wilderness Map

The Hundred Mile Wilderness on the Appalachian Trail is one of the most challenging and rugged backcountry stretches of singletrack you can find in New England. According to this source, it's "generally considered the wildest section of the Appalachian Trail, and one of the most challenging to navigate and traverse," despite its status as a National Recreation Trail. Endless summits and backcountry waterways define the landscape, and remote logging roads are about the only way to gain access to the route other than its start and finish.

Description

For trail runners eyeing this section of the AT for a long adventure run, its difficulty cannot be understated. According to FastestKnownTime.com, elite runners have clocked times around 30-hours, while others could range anywhere from 40 to 60 hours. As such, distance trail runners, thru-hikers, and fast-packers frequent the trail during the warmer months.

The official Hundred-Mile Wilderness begins at Abol Bridge and extends to the entrance of Baxter State Park. A visit to the AT's northern terminus at Mount Katahdin is often paired with this run, but make sure to call the state park first for the most up-to-date information on trails and operating hours. Those simply visiting the area will likely want to check out this route to the summit of Katahdin during their visit.

For runners and hikers alike, there are virtually no crew access points for the entire stretch, though this source notes how "in 2000, a series of new logging roads and a marked side-trail offered hikers re-supply and lodging opportunities between miles 55 and 65 heading northbound from Monson." Between ridgelines, water can be treated or filtered from most of the ponds and lakes, though always be mindful of any active logging activities that may be happening in the vicinity.

Sources: https://fastestknowntime.com/route/hundred-mile-wilderness-me https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hundred-MileWilderness

Difficulty

Severe

Medium Exposure

2 out of 4

The trail contains some obstacles such as outcroppings and rock which could cause injury.

Remoteness

4 out of 4

In the high mountains or remote conditions, all individuals must be completely autonomous in every situation.

Best time to visit

July, August, September

Guidebooks in this area