A Hike Up South Turner

When you hear of Roaring Brook Campground, you likely think of the multiple trails that ascend Katahdin, such as Helon-Taylor, Dudley, Cathedral, and maybe even Saddle Trail. When it comes to the campground, Katahdin isn't the only accessible peak. South Turner Mountain is an often forgotten peak that can be reached from Sandy Stream Pond. It's a steep climb, but the view is well worth the effort.

The primary view of Pamola Peak.

To get to the trail, you must first walk along Sandy Stream Pond, which has a few side trails leading to views of Pamola Peak and South Turner. The sky was a bit cloudy this early in the morning, but, later in the day, they did clear up. It's also worth mentioning that South Turner is named after Charles Turner Jr, who, along with Zackery Adley, were the first white men to climb Katahdin in 1804.

South Turner from Sandy Stream Pond.

After reaching the trail to South Turner and following it, the trail climbs over a few boulders and begans a steep ascent over hundreds of stairs. The maintenance and work that went into this trail is impressive. Once it passed a side trail to a spring, the trail began to flatten, and the trees were getting thinner. Then, the trail emerged onto the slide.

Looking up the slide.

The view is incredible, but there is still a climb ahead. The slide is covered in gravel, but it's not as bad as the slide on Mt.Coe or the ones on the Tripyramids. It's not that difficult, and the steepest section includes a small rocky spot immediately before the summit. Once up there, the view is even better, even though Katahdin was cloudy.

Looking back down the slide, with Katahdin and Pamola Peak in the clouds.

From here, North Turner, Deasey Mountain, Mt.Chase, Lunksoos Mountain, Pamola Peak, Katahdin, South Branch Mountain, and Mt.Fort can be seen. There is also a good view of Sandy Stream Pond, the Whidden Ponds, Katahdin Lake, Millinocket Lake, and the Togue Ponds. Only one other person came up to the summit, on Labor Day!


A bridge on Sandy Stream Pond.
Katahdin from the bottom of the slide.
Katahdin Lake from the summit.
Looking into Baxter State Park from the summit.
The summit area.
North Turner (right) also has an exposed summit.
Barnard Mountain and Deasey Mountain can be seen in the background.
One last picture from the slide. Mullen Mountain is popping up over the ridge.

Overall, South Turner is definitely worth the trek up. Sandy Stream Pond is quite scenic and peaceful. I would also like to mention, that it is my one year anniversary after completing the New England 67. I finished last year on Hamlin Peak when I was 14 years old. Baxter State Park is an important place for me, and there's still much more to do (like Black Cat Mtn)!

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