BDN reporter Aislinn Sarnacki hikes over Knife Edge of Katahdin on July 13, 2013. The ridge becomes just a few feet wide at some points, and the mountain drops away for thousands of feet on both sides. The trail should only be hiked in good weather. Credit: Courtesy of Derek Runnells

When it comes to Maine hiking, summiting Katahdin is the ultimate achievement.

Maine’s tallest mountain stands at 5,269 feet, and there are a number of different trails hikers can take to get up and down Katahdin. And while some are harder than others, none are easy.

But the views are incredible.

Whether it’s the rugged terrain of the Knife Edge or the vast landscape of the 200,000 acres that compose Baxter State Park below, here’s a look at what it’s like to climb Katahdin.

Hunt Trail

Hunt Trail traces the edge of a ridge on the west side of Katahdin known as Hunt Spur. Credit: Aislinn Sarnacki / BDN
Sara Clark (front) navigates a steep section of Katahdin’s Hunt Trail, while Sam Schipani takes a break on a boulder. Credit: Aislinn Sarnacki / BDN
Katahdin Stream Falls is one of the many scenic highlights of Katahdin’s Hunt Trail. It’s located about a mile from the trailhead at Katahdin Stream Campground. Credit: Aislinn Sarnacki / BDN

Abol Trail

A group of friends and family hiking down Abol Trail, Katahdin. (From top to bottom) Jeff McBurnie, Janet Jordan, Eve Jordan, Kerry Jordan (far right), Bruce Jordan, Joyce Sarnacki, Aislinn Sarnacki (far left), and Gary Robinson, in 2010. Credit: Photo courtesy of Derek Runnells
Hikers climb and enjoy the open views along the Abol Trail on Katahdin, the tallest mountain in Maine, on Sept. 10, 2016, in Baxter State Park. Credit: Aislinn Sarnacki / BDN

Chimney Pond Trail

Bright fall foliage surrounds Derek Runnells of Dedham as he walks along a boardwalk on the Chimney Pond Trail in Baxter State Park. Credit: Aislinn Sarnacki / BDN

Cathedral Trail

A rock formation on Katahdin called the Second Cathedral is seen from above on the Cathedral Trail on Sept. 27, 2014, in Baxter State Park. Peaking out behind the Cathedral is Chimney Pond, a pristine tarn at 2, 914 feet above sea level. The closest ridge on the right leads to Pamola Peak and is traversed via Dudley Trail. And the mountain range at the center of the view is South Turner, North Turner and East Turner mountains. Credit: Aislinn Sarnacki / BDN
Hikers approach the first Cathedral on the Cathedral Trail on Katahdin. Credit: Aislinn Sarnacki / BDN

Saddle Trail

Members of the 2015 Beyond Limits Katahdin Expedition make their way down the Saddle Trail after reaching the summit of Katahdin. Six men took ten-minute turns carrying Jacquelyn Lowman ,63, – who is paraplegic – to the summit, assiting each other along the way. The expedition took a year of planning and involved the help of about 20 people, who helped with the planning, carryinng food, equipment and cooking. Eleven members of the group reached the summit with Lowman. Credit: Gabor Degre / BDN
Clouds settle over the upper reaches of the Saddle Trail, a route the leads to the peak of Katahdin, on Aug. 10, 2012. Credit: Aislinn Sarnacki / BDN

Northwest Basin Trail

BDN reporter Aislinn Sarnacki walks toward Hamlin Peak on Katahdin on the Northwest Basin Trail in Baxter State Park. Credit: Courtesy of Derek Runnells

Knife Edge

From Baxter Peak of Katahdin, hikers can enjoy a stunning view of Pamola Peak and a mile-long ridge known as Knife Edge. Credit: Aislinn Sarnacki / BDN
BDN reporter Aislinn Sarnacki hikes over Knife Edge of Katahdin on July 13, 2013. The ridge becomes just a few feet wide at some points, and the mountain drops away for thousands of feet on both sides. The trail should only be hiked in good weather. Credit: Courtesy of Derek Runnells
Hikers on the Knife Edge of Katahdin have few options for getting off trail to relieve themselves of human waste. Above treeline, Leave No Trace principles recommend planning ahead to avoid the necessity of going to the bathroom in fragile alpine areas, or getting off trail as far as possible to relieve themselves on rock or gravel. Credit: Courtesy of Brad Viles

Tablelands

A hiking trail winds through delicate alpine vegetation on the tablelands of Katahdin in Baxter State Park. Credit: Aislinn Sarnacki / BDN
The Tablelands of Katahdin, a relatively flat area between Baxter and Hamlin peaks, is visible from Cathedral Trail on Sept. 27, 2014, in Baxter State Park. Credit: Aislinn Sarnacki / BDN

South Peak

Hikers descend from South Peak on Katahdin in 2016. Credit: Courtesy of Brad Viles

Hamlin Peak

The rocky Hamlin Peak extends to the east, and beyond it are the Basin Ponds, South Turner Mountain, Katahdin Lake and the Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument. Credit: Aislinn Sarnacki / BDN

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Lindsay Putnam

Lindsay Putnam is a senior editor for sports and features at the Bangor Daily News. Lindsay previously worked as an editor and reporter at the New York Post. She's a York Beach native and Colby College...