Discover Baxter State Park

Located in the heart of Maine, Baxter State Park is a testament to the unspoiled beauty of the Northeastern United States. Spanning over 200,000 acres, this expansive wilderness offers a sanctuary for nature enthusiasts and adventurers alike. Established through the generous donation of former Maine Governor Percival P. Baxter, the park is a haven for hikers seeking the thrill of rugged landscapes, pristine lakes, and diverse wildlife.

At the center of Baxter State Park towers Mount Katahdin, Maine’s highest peak and the northern terminus of the Appalachian Trail. This iconic mountain, revered by the Penobscot Native American tribe as “The Greatest Mountain,” offers a range of hiking experiences from challenging ascents to more moderate trails, all promising breathtaking vistas and a profound sense of accomplishment.

Baxter State Park is not just about the peaks; it boasts over 200 miles of trails that wind through dense forests, along sparkling streams, and across serene meadows. Whether you’re a seasoned hiker looking for a multi-day trek or a family seeking a leisurely day hike, the park’s diverse terrain caters to all levels of outdoor enthusiasts.

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Top 3 Facts about Baxter State Park

01

Governor Percival P. Baxter’s Vision

Baxter State Park was created mainly through the vision and efforts of former Maine Governor Percival P. Baxter. He purchased the land with his own funds and donated it to the state, stipulating that it be kept “forever wild.” His dedication to preserving the area’s natural beauty has ensured that the park remains a pristine wilderness.

02

Mount Katahdin

The park is home to Mount Katahdin, the highest peak in Maine, standing at 5,267 feet. It is also the northern terminus of the Appalachian Trail, making it a significant landmark for hikers who have traversed the trail’s 2,190 miles from Georgia to Maine.

03

Diverse Ecosystems

Baxter State Park encompasses a variety of ecosystems, including dense forests, alpine tundra, and pristine lakes. This diversity supports a wide range of wildlife, such as moose, black bears, white-tailed deer, and numerous bird species, making it a prime location for wildlife observation.

Where to Sleep

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Mason Street Getaway

555 Mason St, Saugatuck, MI 49453, USA
Number of Guests 5
Bathrooms 2
Bedrooms 2
Sq Footage 1,165
Carbon monoxide detectors, Fire extinguisher, First aid kit, Generator, Smoke detectors
$475.00 / day
sparkles New

JP Rest House

V262+C5P, Manikganj, Bangladesh
Number of Guests 4
Bathrooms 2
Bedrooms 4
Sq Footage 2,400
Carbon monoxide detectors, Fire extinguisher, First aid kit, Generator, Smoke detectors
$300.00 / day
sparkles New

Juniper Cabin

3601 Monck Road,Kawartha Lakes,ON,CA,K0M 2L0
Bathrooms 1
Bedrooms 2
$198.00 / day

Hemlock Cabin

3601 Monck Road,Kawartha Lakes,ON,CA,K0M 2L0
Bathrooms 1
Bedrooms 2
$194.14 / day

Greenash Cabin

3601 Monck Road,Kawartha Lakes,ON,CA,K0M 2L0
Bathrooms 1
Bedrooms 2
$182.42 / day

Dogwood Cabin

3601 Monck Road,Kawartha Lakes,ON,CA,K0M 2L0
Bathrooms 1
Bedrooms 2
$182.42 / day

Camping and transportation in Baxter State Park

info_iconBackcountry camping permits required for wilderness camping opportunities.

How to Get to Baxter State Park

Ready to hit the road? Your adventure starts with a drive, with Millinocket being your key landmark. Here’s the lowdown:

  • From Portland: Prepare for a 200-mile drive, mostly on highways. Load up those podcasts and playlists for the journey!
  • From Bangor: You’ve got a shorter trip at roughly 71 miles to reach your destination.
  • Arriving by Air: The nearest airport is in Bangor, where you can rent a car to complete your journey.
  • Public Transportation: Options are limited, so having a car is your best bet.

Once in Millinocket, grab any last-minute items because it’s the last stop for supplies before you embrace nature’s glory.

Places to Stay Near Baxter State Park

Inside the Park

Do you cherish the sounds of nature and the starry night skies? Inside Baxter State Park, your camping desires can be met with various campgrounds that offer a mix of experiences. Here’s a quick rundown:

  • Russell Pond: A remote retreat accessible by foot or floatplane, promising tranquility.
  • Daicey Pond: Ideal for families, with easy access to scenic views and hiking trails.
  • South Branch Pond: Offers a serene atmosphere and is fantastic for kayaking.

All these campgrounds provide rustic cabins and tent sites. Reservations are usually required, so plan ahead!

Nearby Accommodations

Maybe camping isn’t your thing, or perhaps you appreciate a good night’s sleep in a comfy bed after a long day of hiking. Here are some options just outside the park:

  • Hotels and Motels: Millinocket is the go-to hub, with various accommodations.
  • Resorts and Lodges: For a unique touch of Maine’s hospitality, consider staying at a nearby resort or lodge, where you can enjoy the rustic feel with modern amenities.
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Best Time to Go to Baxter State Park

Summer

Summer

Hello, sunshine! Summer brings longer days and lusciously warm weather, perfect for exploring. Average temperatures dance around 70°F to 80°F, ideal for outdoor activities.

  • Access: All park gates are open, offering full access to its splendors.
  • Recreation: The season for summiting Mount Katahdin is in full swing!

Activities:

  • Camping under starlit skies
  • Canoeing on serene lake waters
Winter

Winter

Embrace the chill of winter with temperatures from -10°F to 20°F. This season is all about the snowy blanket that covers the park:

  • Winter Sports: Cross-country skiing and snowshoeing become the stars.
  • Quietude: Experience the peaceful solitude unique to this frosty season.

Activities:

  • Snowmobiling along designated trails
  • Cozying up in cabins after a day in the snow
Spring

Spring

With the snow melting, spring whispers of renewal and offers moderate temperatures ranging from 30°F to 60°F. While the weather can be unpredictable, it’s a prime time for witnessing the park wake up:

  • Trail Conditions: Watch for muddy or soggy trails as snow melts.
  • Wildlife: Watch for emerging wildlife, a real treat for your camera!

Activities:

  • Hiking on drier trails
  • Photography of blossoming flora and fauna
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Fall

Fall in love with the kaleidoscope of fall colors painting the park’s vast wilderness. The chillier air, with temperatures between 30°F and 50°F, sets the stage for the fall spectacle:

  • Scenery: The foliage offers a breathtaking backdrop for your hikes.
  • Crowds: Fewer visitors mean more tranquility during your exploration.

Activities:

  • Photography of vibrant fall foliage
  • Hiking among the picturesque landscapes

Must-See Attractions

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Mount Katahdin

Mount Katahdin, the highest peak in Maine at 5,267 feet, is the centerpiece of Baxter State Park.

Chimney Pond

The pond offers picturesque views of the surrounding cliffs and is a popular starting point for hikes up Mount Katahdin. The Chimney Pond Campground is a great spot for an overnight stay.

South Branch Pond

Located in the park’s northern section, South Branch Pond offers serene beauty and excellent opportunities for outdoor activities.

Helpful Tips: Making the Most of Your Adventure to Baxter State Park

Plan Ahead

Plan Ahead

Make reservations for camping and day-use parking, especially if you plan to hike popular trails like those leading to Mount Katahdin. Reservations can be made through the Baxter State Park website.

Pack Appropriately

Pack Appropriately

Bring enough food and water for your trip. There are no stores or restaurants within the park.

Respect Wildlife

Respect Wildlife

Observe wildlife from a safe distance. Do not approach or feed animals.

Stay Informed

Prepare for the Elements

Weather in the park can be unpredictable, especially at higher elevations. Check the forecast before you go, and be prepared for sudden changes.

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Frequently Asked Questions about Baxter State Park

You’re in for a treat! With over 220 miles of hiking trails, Baxter State Park is a playground for adventure-seekers like you. Hike, fish, and camp under the stars or snowshoe in winter’s hush. Maine’s majestic wilderness awaits!

Whether you’re a newbie or a pro trekker, Baxter’s got your back. Take the easy route through peaceful woods or challenge yourself to the summit of Mount Katahdin, Maine’s highest peak. Every trail promises awe-inspiring views and that sweet sense of achievement.

Yes, it’s a smart move! Especially if you’re eyeing those popular campgrounds or planning a feast with Mount Katahdin views. Book ahead to snag your spot and avoid the last-minute scramble.

No, pets are not allowed in Baxter State Park. This rule helps to protect the park’s wildlife and maintain its natural environment.

Yes, fishing is allowed in Baxter State Park, and the park’s lakes and streams are home to various fish species, including brook trout. However, you must have a valid Maine fishing license and adhere to state fishing regulations.

Maintain a safe distance from all wildlife. Do not approach or feed animals. If you encounter a bear, make noise to alert it to your presence and slowly back away. For moose, keep a safe distance and avoid getting between a cow and her calf.

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