The Owl is a dome of broken rock and cliffs separated from Katahdin by Witherle Ravine. To its west is Barren Mountain and the Klondike. The views from the summit are expansive and inspiring: a panorama that includes Katahdin, the Klondike, Mount Coe, the Brothers, the mountains around Russell Pond, and the woods and ponds to the south that reminded Thoreau of a broken mirror in the lawn.
The hike is 7.0 miles out and back from Katahdin Stream campground (for more information check out hike 25 of Hiking Maine’s Baxter State Park).
The first section on the Hunt Trail climbs very little. Just before Katahdin Stream Falls (the highest in Maine), you turn left onto The Owl Trail. You climb steadily to a high plateau. The trail skirts around a huge erratic boulder (that you can see from the summit). You climb again through a section of moss, broken rock, and thick spruce.
The trail opens up as you reach the base of a high cliff. Across Witherle Ravine, Katahdin rises
From here the trail gets very rocky and steep. Sections are almost vertical. It’s a very steep and uneven staircase. My daughter—ten at the time—loved it. Far above you a boulder appears to be balanced atop the pile of rocks you’re climbing. The trail goes right by it. You can climb out onto it for a photo op and great view of the Maine woods.
The trail flattens out again near more cliffs before climbing the final dome to the summit. It’s the step sections between the cliffs that earn The Owl its place on the WW25 list.
The summit itself is a large rocky dome with lots of boulders to sit on and contemplate the spectacular scenery.