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Maine > Maine State Parks, Historic Sites & Public Reserved Lands > Baxter State Park
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Baxter State Park

Appalachian Trail - Maine- The Appalachian Trail is a footpath of more than 2,150 miles with 276 miles lying in Maine. The renowned Hundred Mile Wilderness falls within Maine.

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General Information

Description - This fabulous wilderness was set aside by benefactor Percival Baxter who bought the glaciated logging land with the goal of preserving the territory from human destruction. Today, the 314 square miles of what is often called Maine's Yellowstone offers majestic nature and desolate grandeur with limited human comforts. Recreation falls second to preservation at Baxter State Park.

Attractions - Baxter State Park offers limited facilities on over 200,000 acres of gorgeous wilderness. The park boasts 47 mountain peaks and ridges, 18 exceeding 3,000 feet above sea level. It is managed by a separate division from Maine Bureau of Parks. The administering agency is known as Baxter State Park Authority.

The former Governor, Percival Baxter, is quoted "where nature rules and where the creatures of the forest hold undisputed dominion." The benefit of his wisdom, insight and finances resulted in this remote and protected area in the upper region of America's East Coast.

The thousands of miles within the dense boreal forest offers an unsurpassed passed habitat for wildlife including large game such as moose, deer and black bear. It has only been within the last decade that reported sightings of mountain lion have come to exist since the early 20th century.

The remote splendor of Baxter State Park offers numerous fishing lakes and cold mountain streams. Mountain peaks, deciduous and pine forests, spectacular vistas, cascading waterfalls, fern and wildflower covered forest floors are characteristic of Baxter State Park. Man's recreational use is secondary to preserving the glaciated habitat of the northern Maine park.

Recreation - Baxter State Park offers over 185 miles of hiking trails throughout the park. Mountain bikes are permitted on Park Tote Road only. Ten campgrounds are open fall to spring. Overnight reservations are necessary and should be made very early in the year. Native brook trout are found in the lakes and ponds and may be caught by wading, fishing from shore or canoe. A number of picnic groves are open for day use. Baxter State Park is the terminus for the 2,200 mile Appalachian Trail. Hunting is permitted in the far northern and far southern regions. Strict regulations apply. Snowshoeing, cross-country skiing and ice fishing are enjoyed during the winter months. There are number of brave and hardy soles who camp and hike during the winter months as well.

Climate - Baxter State Park is known to experience sudden weather changes. Higher elevations are typically cooler and wetter. Rain gear and layered clothing are recommended for the unpredictable weather. The region in general has daytime winter temperatures in the northern area averaging 10 - 14 degrees Fahrenheit (-12 to -10 Celsius). In the southern area, winter temperatures average 14 - 18 degrees Fahrenheit (-10 to -8 Celsius). Summer brings cool, pleasant breezes with temperatures in the northern area averaging 66 degrees Fahrenheit (19 Celsius) and in the southern area averaging around 68 degrees Fahrenheit (20 Celsius). The region receives an average of 38 - 44 inches (97 - 112 centimeters) of precipitation each year.

Location - From Millinocket, travel approximately 15 miles north on SR 11 to reach the Togue Pond Gate. There is an $8 entrance fee. No motorhomes, motorcycles or pets are permitted. There is a second entrance into Baxter State Park located in the northeastern corner of the park. From the remote burg of Shin Pond (above SR 159) travel Grand Lake Road northwest approximately 18 miles to the Matagamon Gate located on the western side of Grand Lake Matagamon.

Current Conditions & Trip Reports

Trip Reports:
Add your own trip Report! Newly re-released feature. One of the most popular features on Wildernet, trip reports allow you to share your experiences with others. This is an invaluable resource for determining what to expect on your outdoor adventure, so please participate! To prevent spamming, you must be a registered user of Wildernet in order to submit a trip report

Filed By: Glenn (westbrook, ME)
Number of People Encountered: 25-50 ppl
Recommend to a Friend: Highly
Report: One of my favorite trips in the pask. June 18-21 2008, party of 4. First night in Roaring brook carbing up on pasta, the up to Chimney pond the following morning. Had a nice leisurely walk as we had a first timer with us. Lean-to #8, great view of the pond. Next morning, myself and my friend started up cathederal. We wore bright red shirts so the rest of our party can monitor our progress with binoculard the entire way. Clouds started to roll in after we passed the first cathederal, could barely see the pond by the time we reached the peak, which was crowded. Knife edge was uneventful, asside from getting a little too confident and startled myself on a loose rock. The descent from Chimney peak was suprisingly easy this time, but had a strong empathic reaction watching the poor woman behind us really struggle with it. I still get startled by the steepness of the climb up from the saddle to Pamola peak. Then the dull part, Dudley trail, with my toes getting bunched up in the front of my boots. Nothing a refreshing soak in the basin cant cure; water was so cold I was suprised it was still liquid.

Number of People Encountered: 0-10 ppl
Recommend to a Friend: Highly
Report: On July 24th my wife and I hiked/climbed Katahadin when the weather was marginal. We started out from the Roaring Brook campground at 7am. We reached the first summit at 10am climbing the last 500ft. in the clouds. Deciding to proceed with the knife edge traverse I was shocked the climbing required of a foot path. Shortly after we got underway the wind became so strong in gusts that you had to be careful not to be blown off of the very exposed ridge. We made our way accross to the Katahdin summit but it was quite the hike. The decent was very slow because of the rain that followed. We got off of the summit just before a real downpour and an hour before a thunderstorm. Don't take this mountain lightly. I have in the past climbed in the Tetons, Selkirks, Yosemetie and the White Mountains. This is easily the most impressive mounatin in the eastern US

More Information

Contact Information:
Baxter State Park, Reservations Clerk, 64 Balsam Drive , Millinocket, ME, 04462, Phone: 207-723-5140

Additional Information:
Appalachian Trail - Maine - The Appalachian Trail is a footpath of more than 2,150 miles with 276 miles lying in Maine. The renowned Hundred Mile Wilderness falls within Maine.
Katahdin / Moosehead / Penquis Region - This gorgeous area of Maine is the last stronghold of wilderness in the Eastern United States. Studded with beautiful lakes, wild running rivers and gorgeous forests are characteristic of this region where Baxter State Park makes its home.
Maine Lakes and Ponds - Maine's wilderness environment includes over 3,000 sprawling lakes and ponds. In addition, there are over 32,000 miles of rushing streams and rivers. Visitors and residents enjoy some of the best fishing, whitewater boating and paddleboating opportunities on the East Coast.
Maine State Parks & Public Reserved Lands - Maine's State Parks and Public Reserved Lands are managed for recreation, wildlife and timber. State Historic Sites preserve the rich heritage of the American Revolution and Civil War.

Maine State Parks - Official Agency Website


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