Posted on August 17, 2021 and last updated on August 17, 2021

The Owl, Baxter State Park


  • Preserve Size: 209,644 acres
  • Trail Mileage: ~3.7 miles one way
  • Pets: no
  • Difficulty: challenging
  • Sights: Katahdin, Katahdin Stream Falls, views!

For great views of Katahdin, including distant silhouettes of tiny hikers on the Hunt Trail, check out the wonderful Owl mountain, neighbor to Katahdin. The hike begins at Katahdin Stream Campround, where you can park in the day-use area. Be warned that this lot can fill early since it is shared with Katahdin hikers going up the Hunt Trail/Appalachian Trail.

The trail begins in the campground, taking you by the bucolic lean-tos that dot Katahdin Stream before reaching the trailhead kiosk. The first mile after that is a fairly leisurely stroll along the stream, with a gradual incline. The trail reaches the junction with the Owl trail around 1.1 miles. Go left to continue to The Owl, elevation 3,670 feet. The summit is another 2.6 miles from here. The trail gets quite steep, with some rock scrambles, closer to the top. There’s a brilliant outlook around 3.4 miles, with the first great views of Katahdin. From here, it’s an easy tenth of a mile or so to the small open summit, with panoramic views.

On the way down, check out Katahdin Stream Falls, a great waterfall with freezing cold pools for swimming on hot hiking days. We found a good dipping spot a bit above the falls, but there are a few more that looked enticing above and below the waterfall. People have made small herd paths off the main path to check out the stream and waterfall. The falls are about a quarter mile or so after you turn onto the Hunt Trail. Cross the bridge, pass the outhouse, and keep hiking a bit on the AT until you see a sign for them.

Directions: You can park at the day-use parking area of Katahdin Stream Campground. Best to get there early, since it can fill up quickly with Katahdin hikers. Walk through the campground, along the stream, to reach the trailhead kiosk.


Let me know if you have any trail updates or corrections!