Date of Hike: Monday, September 2, 2002 (Labor Day)

Pictures: link to Gallery - Baxter Park Trip - Album I - #37

Route: Starting at Foster Field on the Baxter Park Road we started up the OJI Trail. We then continued on the south slide portion of the loop as we gained elevation to the top of OJI. From the summit we descended to the Old OJI Rock and its vantage point. Our return from here retraced our steps.

Total Distance: 7.2 miles

Difficulty: strenuous

Conditions: good

Weather: cloudy 60s

Participants: Aaron Schoenberg, Dean Gletsos, Alex Lantino

Hike Statistics: Total elevation gain: 3,090 feet.

0.0 1070 7:10 Foster Field - Start of Hike
0.4 1140 7:25 OJI Fork
2.0 1750 8:10-8:15 foot of south slide
2.9 3220 9:30 Jct. OJI Link
3.1 3434 9:40-9:55 OJI summit
---- 3340 10:00 Jct. North Slide Trail
3.6 3100 10:15-10:55 Old OJI Rock
---- 3340 11:05 Jct. North Slide Trail
4.1 3434 11:10-11:40 OJI summit
4.3 3220 11:45 Jct. OJI Link
6.8 1140 1:30 PM OJI Fork
7.2 1070 1:40 PM Foster Field - End of Hike

Trip Report:

The weather was good with high cloudiness and good visibility, except for a short-lived rain shower where we were in the fog from 8:30-9 AM. while we were climbing the south slide. We saw no other hikers and this was especially surprising since it was Labor Day. We were also surprised at the gate that the parking lots to climb up Mt. Katahdin were not filled up. We arrived from outside the park at the Togue Pond Gate at 6:20 AM.

Going in on the OJI Trail, when we reached the fork of the two slide trails, we were disapppointed that a ribbon was placed across the North Slide Trail and a sign indicated it was closed. As I said in yesterday's Coe Circular report, we were looking forward to the challenge of the ascent of the North Slide. Furthermore, this resulted in this becoming an up and back hike. One good thing, by the trail being closed, we did not wind up on the North Slide in the rain, which might have been very treacherous.

One other note of concern was that although the North Slide Trail was closed at the bottom, there was no indication of a closure at the top. A matter of fact, the temporary trail closure sign was nailed behind the official Baxter State Park sign indicating that this is a rough trail that needs to be used only as a route of ascent. Thus, we returned the way we came and not risking a descent of the North Slide. The operator of the Togue Pond Gate when we came out seemed disinterested with why the trail was not closed at the top.