Baxter Peak on Mount Katahdin, the highest mountain in the state, serves as the northern end of the trail and is the site of many a celebratory photo.
Its 5,268-foot peak, whose name originally means “greatest mountain” in Penobscot, is the most difficult hike on the trail. Snowfall can come any time, and temperatures vary widely, which is an evil reminder that this mountain was once covered in glacial ice. The average round-trip for a day hike up ranges from 8 to 12 hours, so be sure to arrive well-prepared.
If you’re not up for that kind of effort, there are many easier options including lakes, ponds and waterfalls throughout Baxter State Park (you can try Big and Little Niagara Falls) and opportunities for rock climbing.