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Baxter State Park, Millinocket
(4.6/5 based on 280+ reviews on the web)
Baxter State Park is a large wilderness area permanently preserved as a state park, located in Piscataquis County in north-central Maine. The park was established by 28 donations of land, in trust, from park donor Percival P. Baxter between the years of 1931 and 1962, eventually creating a park of over 200000acre in size. Baxter Park is not part of the Maine State Park system. Sole governance is provided by the Baxter State Park Authority, consisting of the Maine Attorney General, the Maine Commissioner of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife and the Director of the Maine Forest Service. The park is independently funded through a combination of revenues from trusts, user fees and the sale of forest products from the park's Scientific Forest Management Area. The park is home to the state's highest peak, Katahdin. The number of visitors to the park declined from 75,000 in 2000 to 55,000 in 2005, but since 2005 visitor use has been slowly increasing.Geography and climateMount Katahdin consists of a cluster of mountains. The highest peak, Baxter Peak, is named after park donor and former Maine Governor Percival P. Baxter and rises up to 5267ft. The mountain is the northern terminus of the Appalachian Trail.There are many bodies of water in the park. The three largest bodies of water are Grand Lake Matagamon, Webster Lake, and Nesowadnehunk Lake. There are also several smaller ponds, such as Hudson, Draper, Russell, Center and the South Branch ponds. Numerous streams and rivers connect these water bodies, most prominently Trout Brook (between Grand Lake Matagamon and Nesowadnehunk Lake) and Nesowadnehunk Stream (connecting Nesowadnehunk Lake and the small collection of ponds near Sentinel Mountain). Some of these have waterfalls; Nesowadnehunk Stream has Big and Little Niagara Falls, as well as Ledge Falls. Wassataquoik Stream has two waterfalls, Grand and Norway; another popular waterfall is Green Falls, tucked between Bald Mt. and South Pogy Mt. None of this water is potable, and the park advises that visitors bring or treat their water.
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Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • The Baxter State Park was, so there we were, barely visited, what was very pleasant compared to the completely overcrowded Arcadia NP. The many small lakes and the mountains are extremely picturesque. Canoes can be hired for very little money are available in many places.
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  • Katahdin, amazing lakes, and true wilderness. You could spend a long time exploring Baxter! They take their camping rules very seriously so make sure you look them up and abide by them before you go. 
  • Wish we had known the north entrance was so far out of the way and the road once you enter is not paved. wanted to enter the state park but was not taking a rental car on those roads. we did find a fe...  more »
Google
  • Fantastic wilderness area. Many great day hikes and areas to camp or picnic. I love the scenery. This is a very highly respected park. Mount Katahdin is it's most famous peak for hikers but there are lots of other hikes with varying degrees of difficulty. I recommend making a weekend trip. This gives you time to hike more than one trail or just soak in the views of the mountains.
  • Incredible wilderness. Katahdin is the finest alpine experience East of the rockies. Park can be difficult to get reservations but worth it. A land of inspiration with hidden gems all over the park. World class rock and ice climbing as well as hiking.
  • This is one of the greatest parks in Maine. It is also the end of the Appalachian trail. It features mount Katadin the tallest peak in maine at one mile high. The park has lots of easy nature trails also or just cruise the roughly 50 mile dirt road around the mountains and stop at many small ponds along the way. Early summer is the best time to see moose grazing in these ponds.
  • I was amazed by the beautiful foilage and the Katahdin Mount view by the ponds! :)
  • I hiked to Katahdin's Peak as a Boy Scout, and fell in love with the majesty of that mountain, and the rugged wilderness that surrounds it. Each time I climbed by a different trail, gaining new perspectives in the adventure. Lots of river travel, fishing and hiking throughout BSP in my youth, instilling a love and awe of nature that I carry with me four decades later. Find 'Lost on a Mountain in Maine' by Donn Fendler for the captivating story of another Scout's ordeal in Baxter State Park. Also, pairs of Maine black flies have been known to carry off cats, dogs and even the occasional small child tourist, so take care between Mother's Day and Father's Day. Otherwise, it's a wicked sweet place to be and well worth the trip!