9 CLIMB EVERY MOUNTAIN.
Peakbaggers sure do love a challenge. Good thing, because there are enough hiking lists in the Northeast to keep hikers busy for years. But while many of them include Maine peaks, the land of Katahdin hasn’t had a list of its own—until now. The recently unveiled Moosehead Pinnacle Pursuit is a hiking challenge focused on six peaks around (and in) Mooshead Lake, Maine’s largest body of water. Tick them off before winter descends and get yourself a patch, a certificate, and bragging rights— or get just a taste on our favorite trips. Info mooseheadpinnaclepursuit.com
The cliffs of 1,789-foot Mt. Kineo rise sharply from the middle of Moosehead Lake. Get to the top of the island on a 3.8-mile out-and-back, where a fire tower serves up the region’s best vantage over the tangle of water and land. Note: You must take a ferry to reach the trailhead ($10; bit.do/kineo-shuttle).
A gentle, 3.4-mile hike through quintessentially dense Maine forest leads to one of the most spectacular sights in the state: 2,290foot Eagle Rock, an anomalous spire of granite jutting sharply from the trees like the prow of a ship. Take the Eagle Rock Trail up Big Moose Mountain to get there.
Appalachian Trail thruhikers pass over this 3,654foot summit before dipping to lower ground en route to Katahdin. Follow suit, taking the forested, 6.5-mile outand-back past small waterfalls to the bare summit overlooking the Longfellow Mountains.