BEST AREAS FOR WILDERNESS CAMPING
BAXTER STATE PARK
Located in north-central Maine, Baxter is one of the finest state parks in the entire country. It’s home to massive and spectacular 5,267-foot Mount Katahdin, which is the northern terminus of the Appalachian Trail. Views from above timberline are magnificent.
There’s a host of lesser mountains here as well, with steep cirques and valleys, numerous small lakes and ponds, and many streams. The park is maintained in a wilderness condition, minimally developed for tourism. The few roads here are unpaved.
The area includes dense forests of spruce and fir, pine and hemlock, with arctic flora found at higher elevations. Among the wildlife are whitetailed deer, black bear, lynx, and coyote.
Activities: Baxter is primarily a park for backpackers and hikers, with close to 180 miles of trails. Some routes on Mount Katahdin are extremely rugged and steep. Much easier trails can also be found here.
Cross-country skiing and snowshoeing are possible on some trails during the winter. Canoeing is mainly limited to several lakes, with canoes available for rental in the park. Bike use is restricted to roads. Fishing is permitted, but hunting is not.
Camping Regulations: Camping is allowed only at designated campsites and lean-tos, and a fee must be paid for camping each night. Among a number of camping areas are two backcountry campgrounds. Campfires are permitted only at authorized sites.
Advance reservations for campsites may be made by mail, and these are essential for the summer months. Overall demand is very high, and some sites are booked up many months ahead of time. Radios, cassette players, and pets are not allowed in the park.
For Further Information: Baxter State Park, 64 Balsam Drive, Millenocket, ME 04462; (207)723-5140.
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