Baxter State Park
To the Abenaki Indians, it was called ”Kette-Adene” translated “greatest mountain” At 5267 feet, it is Maine’s tallest mountain. To the thru-hiker it is the Northern terminus of the Appalachian Trail, and either the end or the beginning of an epic journey. There is no other mountain like it on the entire Eastern Seaboard. Katahdin is only part and parcel of a much larger wilderness preserve; Baxter State Park.
At 209,501 acres, this is a Park unlike any other. It is a gift to the people of Maine from former Maine Governor (1921-1924), Percival Proctor Baxter. Governor Baxter made specific holdings on the Park with regards to the protection and preservation of the natural resources. Much of what follows is information available from the Baxter Park Authority.
Baxter State Park is self-supporting, in large part due to trust funds set up by Percival Baxter and fees paid by users. The rules and regulations are distinct from what may be encountered elsewhere. Anyone wishing to enter the Park system must follow and abide by the regulations.
Because the Park is heavily used, visitors are encouraged to make reservations prior to their visit to ensure they are able to enter the Park. Baxter Park has ten campgrounds located throughout the Park. These sites are available for camping from May 15-October 15. Sites are available for reservation on a first-come first-serve basis.
The campgrounds are small and have limited space available for parking. There is no long term parking available within the Park. Section hikers will have to leave their vehicles near Abol Bridge located outside of the Park boundaries and near the beginning of the 100 Mile Wilderness.
The tent sites and lean-to’s fill up fast and there are no “overflow” areas for late arrivals. You will be turned away if there is no space available.
There is no electricity in the Park and pets are not permitted.
The roads are rough and barely wide enough for a single car in some places. Restrictions are in place for oversize vehicles.
Ranger stations within the Park do not accept credit cards for payment as there is no way to verify funds. Reservations can be made by calling 207-723-5140
If you are planning a Southbound, long distance hike from Baxter Park, you will need to make your reservations to coincide with the day you plan to climb Katahdin. Options may be limited during the summer months and you may be required to camp outside the Park if no campsites are available within Park boundaries.
Learn more at the Park’s website www.baxterstateparkauthority.com There is a special section for long distance hikers on the Parks website.
MAKE SURE YOU HAVE RESERVATIONS BEFORE GOING TO BAXTER STATE PARK
LEAVE NO TRACE
PLAN AHEAD AND BE PREPARED
TRAVEL AND CAMP ONLY ON DURABLE SURFACES
DISPOSE OF WASTE PROPERLY
LEAVE WHAT YOU FIND
MINIMIZE CAMPFIRE IMPACTS
BE CONSIDERATE OF OTHERS