Worth a Visit: Baxter State Park in Maine

Millinocket, Maine Few governors have been more generous to their constituents than Percival P. Baxter. Between 1930 and 1962 he

Baxter State Park, Maine
Sandy Stream Pond mirrors the autumn-tinged forest of the North Basin. In the background is Mount Katahdin, the highest mountain in Maine.

Millinocket, Maine

Few governors have been more generous to their constituents than Percival P. Baxter. Between 1930 and 1962 he bought and gave to the people of the state of Maine some 200,000 acres of wilderness and set up trust funds to defray the costs of development and maintenance.

The state has kept faith with the intent of the gift, and it strictly enforces the rules that sustain the spirit of wilderness here. No pets or other domestic animals are allowed, and no motorcycles, trail bikes, or other all-terrain vehicles are permitted in the park. Snow-mobiles are strictly limited to specific areas. Hunting, trapping, and the use of weapons are prohibited except in certain areas during the hunting season. For anyone seeking the peace and quiet that the wilderness can offer, these are all welcome regulations.

Vehicles more than 9 feet high, 7 feet wide, and 22 feet long are not allowed in the park. Maximum length for a car and trailer is 44 feet.

At South Branch Pond, in a tranquil woodland setting, you can rent a canoe, enjoy one of the inviting picnic spots that offer fireplaces, or spend the night in a lean-to shelter or tent site (available by reservation) in a grove of white birches. Hiking trails range from less than half a mile to almost 10 miles. Tours about forestry are offered.

Park open for daytime use year-round; camping mid-May–mid-Oct. and Dec.–Mar. Admission charged. Reservations suggested.

www.baxterstateparkauthority.com

(207) 723-5140

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Originally Published in Reader's Digest