Fodor's Expert Review Baxter State Park

Millinocket Park (National/State/Provincial) Fodor's Choice

A gift from Governor Percival Baxter, this is the jewel in the crown of northern Maine: a 210,000-acre wilderness area that surrounds Mt. Katahdin, Maine's highest mountain and the terminus of the Appalachian Trail. Every year, the 5,267-foot Katahdin draws thousands of hikers to make the daylong summit, rewarding them with stunning views of forests, mountains, and lakes. There are three parking-lot trailheads for Katahdin. Depart from the Roaring Brook trailhead for a route that includes the hair-raising Knife Edge Trail. Reserve a day-use parking space at the trailheads June 1–October 15.

The crowds climbing Katahdin can be formidable on clear summer days and fall weekends, so if it's solitude you crave, tackle one of the park's many other mountains. Most are accessible from the extensive trail network, including 11 peaks exceeding an elevation of 3,000 feet. The Brothers and Doubletop Mountain are challenging daylong hikes; the Owl takes about six hours; and South Turner... READ MORE

A gift from Governor Percival Baxter, this is the jewel in the crown of northern Maine: a 210,000-acre wilderness area that surrounds Mt. Katahdin, Maine's highest mountain and the terminus of the Appalachian Trail. Every year, the 5,267-foot Katahdin draws thousands of hikers to make the daylong summit, rewarding them with stunning views of forests, mountains, and lakes. There are three parking-lot trailheads for Katahdin. Depart from the Roaring Brook trailhead for a route that includes the hair-raising Knife Edge Trail. Reserve a day-use parking space at the trailheads June 1–October 15.

The crowds climbing Katahdin can be formidable on clear summer days and fall weekends, so if it's solitude you crave, tackle one of the park's many other mountains. Most are accessible from the extensive trail network, including 11 peaks exceeding an elevation of 3,000 feet. The Brothers and Doubletop Mountain are challenging daylong hikes; the Owl takes about six hours; and South Turner can be climbed in a morning—its summit has a great view across the valley. A trek around Daicey Pond, or from the pond to Big and Little Niagara Falls, are good options for families with young kids. Another option if you only have a couple of hours is renting a canoe at Daicey or Togue Pond (bring cash for this honor system). Park roads are unpaved, narrow, winding, and not plowed in winter; there are no pay phones, gas stations, stores; and cell phone service is unreliable. Camping is primitive and reservations are required; there are 10 campgrounds plus backcountry sites. The park has a visitor center at its southern entrance, but you can get information, make parking and camping reservations, and watch a video at park headquarters in Millinocket (64 Balsam Drive).

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Park (National/State/Provincial) Fodor's Choice Family

Quick Facts

Baxter State Park Rd.
Millinocket, Maine  04462, USA

207-723–5140

www.baxterstateparkauthority.com

Sight Details:
Rate Includes: $15 per vehicle; Maine residents free, Mt. Katahdin trails are closed and park access is limited in Nov. and Apr.–mid-May

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