About Us

To start your adventures in Baxter State Park, I would like to provide some information about this gift of nature. 

Percival Proctor Baxter is the founder of Baxter State Park, and he has started to create this Park for over thirty years. 

When you come to Baxter State Park, you will be conquered by Rangers’ enthusiastic and dedicated staff and backing workforce. They are focused on ensuring and saving the Park’s precious resources and giving a protected and pleasant sporting experience for our guests.

Moreover, our staffs are amicable, educated and willing to help you whenever you want. I hope you will have a memorable experience with our green facilities and natural beauty like the masterpiece in Baxter State Park.

General Info

Area

Baxter State Park has more than 200.000 sections containing wilderness and public forest. 

Water

In Baxter State Park, the water resources are untreated and, for the most part, unprotected. Also, there is no accessible running water there. Thus, you have to prepare your drinking water or refine water. 

To have clean water, you could use some methods such as bubbling for at least five minutes or the utilization of seven drops of iodine (from your emergency treatment pack) per gallon of water. If you do not have iodine, you can use bleach (Clorox) as an alternative. 

In case you utilize a filter, you have to ensure that the maximum pore size is 3 microns.  

Facilities

Our facilities are environmentally friendly and rustic. There is no electricity or paved roads. However, you do not need to worry too much. You could still find essential facilities like toilets, bathrooms through the Park. 

Besides, there are available food, suppliers, and fuel in Millinocket or private campsites for visitors. 

Firewood

One thing you should notice that you could not bring firewood into Baxter State Park. Instead, you might spend a small fee to buy firewood in roadside campsites in the Park. 

Maps

If you prefer to hike or climb in the Park, you should not use maps offered on this website. There are many hiking trails in this Park, serving both short day hikes and long day hikes. 

You have to keep in mind that hiking without maps is hazardous. Thus, you should not leave Park Tote road if you do not have a definite map of the area to be navigated. 

You could buy maps (money or check only) at Park Headquarters in Millinocket, the Park Visitor Center at Togue Pond, side of the road camping areas in the Park, and the Matagamon Gatehouse.

Access Routes

You could find Baxter State Park’s road map on this site quickly. On tight roads, large trailers are not allowed to travel. You could search the information on vehicle size limitations on the rule pages. 

To choose the most suitable routes, you could refer to the distance between the key destinations of the Park: 

Millinocket to Togue Pond Gatehouse – 18 miles. 

Togue Pond Gatehouse to Matagamon Gatehouse – 46 miles. 

Matagamon Gatehouse to Patten using Shin Pond and Route 159 – 26 miles. 

To ensure the wild asset, as far as possible admittance to Trailhead Day Use Parking.

Campgrounds

For camping, you could choose one of ten campgrounds in Baxter State Park, such as Roaring Brook, Abol, Katahdin Stream, Daisy Pond, Kidney Pond, Nesowadnehunk Field, South Branch Pond, Trout Brook Farm. 

Picnic

For a picnic, you could come to the roadside and Hike-in Picnic Shelters in the Park. There are many excellent picnic shelters there. You could find their location by accessing the Picnic Map section on this site. 

Bears 

Bears are essential for the natural life that live in Baxter State Park. However, you would probably see bears very rarely since they could become a risk in the campground. For more information, you could go to the Bears section on this site. 

User Fees

The Park operates without tax dollars or other assets from the State of Maine. Instead, Baxter Park is worked exclusively through client expenses and interest from trust reserves given by Percival Baxter.  

The Park has the Non-resident Motor Vehicle Fee (Payable just at the Matagamon and Togue entryway) in terms of vehicle fee. If you travel to Baxter State Park by a non-resident vehicle, you will need a day pass or season pass.

Park History

Park Founder

The Park was a dream long cherished by Percival P. Baxter, the legislative head of Maine during 1921-1924. 

He appreciated fishing and traveling in the Maine woods all through adolescence. His friendship for the land and Maine’s untamed life were instrumental in making a recreation center for individuals of the State of Maine.

History of Land Transaction

In 1930, he started to gain his dream by purchasing around 6,000 sections of land, including Katahdin, Maine’s most noteworthy pinnacle. In 1931, Baxter officially gave this Park to the State of Maine with the condition that the Authority always maintains it wild.

Since then, Baxter had made many transactions to buy land and expand the area of the Park. He made the last purchase in 1962. So far, the total size of Baxter State Park is 209.644 acres. 

Around 75% of the Park (156,874 acres) becomes a wildlife sanctuary, about 14% (29,537 acres) in the northwest corner is used as the Scientific Forest Management Area and is right now Stewardship Certified showplace for good ranger service.

Along with that, about 25% of the Park (52.628 acres) is available for chasing and catching. However, Moose chasing is precluded in the Park.

Not only is Governor Percival Baxter a generous man, but he also has an admirable vision. He left a trust of almost 7 million dollars for the Park supervisors to maintain the Park. 

In this way, the Park manager could keep up this Baxter’s gift while never seeking Maine citizens’ dollars from the overall asset account. 

Official Establishment

Baxter also specified three public officials to become the sole governing Authority regarding the Park and management, including the Attorney General, the Commissioner of Maine Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, and the Maine State Forest Service Director. 

Park managers standing firm on these three positions in Maine take responsibility for keeping regular assets and maintaining the conditions set out in Governor Baxter’s Deeds of Trust. 

They also cooperate with the BSP Advisory, including 15 citizens committed to looking at issues and supporting the Stewardship of the Authority.

Trail System

Along with Katahdin, you could discover more than 40 pinnacles and edges in the Park. Hikers, mountain climbers, and naturalists are similar, with over 215 miles of trails in the trail system. 

Campgrounds

There are eight roadside campsites and two campsites in the countryside in the ten campsites of the Park. For backpackers, there are additionally various individual backwoods locales. 

Human Resources

Recently, Baxter State Park is one of the most outstanding destinations for outdoor lovers. 

In the summer, the Park needs many employees, about 61, including resource specialists, office administration and reservation personnel, and field and law enforcement rangers. 

Around 60,000 visitors come to the recreation center in the summer months. Some of them stay for ten evenings, others visit just for one day. 

Nowadays, Park supervisors face new difficulties every day that could be a danger to the heavenly blessing that Baxter left for all ages of Maine residents to appreciate when the quantity of guests increases and the world turns out to be more intricate.

Purpose

Our Mission

There are six primary missions of Baxter State Park that include: 

To secure the Park’s characteristic assets for their inborn worth and the delight in the present and people in the future.

To offer unforgettable experiences and good entertaining opportunities to Park guests.

To lead commendable sustainable woodland, the executive’s activities inside the 29,537 acre Scientific Forest Management Area of Baxter State Park.

To keep up the offices, data system, and infrastructure of Baxter State Park.

To ensure the security of visitors and staff of the Park. 

To oversee and secure the financial honesty and autonomy of the Park for present and futures generations.  

Our Purpose

Maintaining the core value that Governor Percival Baxter chased is the primary purpose of the Baxter State Park Authority. 

More importantly, the Authority has to conserve the wildlife, fauna, and vegetation inside the Park to satisfy current and future citizens; to work and keep up different camping areas, camping areas, and rural log lodges cabins inside the 209,501 section of land Park.  

The Authority is also responsible for getting and using dollars from the trusts and other income for support and activity of the Park. 

The BSP Authority aims to procure additional land for the Park as approved by law; set up rules and guidelines for the public’s insurance and well-being if necessary; and practice police supervision over the Park.

Park Organization

Nowadays, Baxter State Park has a size of 209.644 acres. Also, the Park could be run independently with the state funding thanks to two considerable trust funds from its founder. 

Park Authority

Even though this Park is called Baxter State Park, it has no relation with the more extensive State Park system (Bureau of Parks and Lands/Dept. of Conservation). 

The Authority of the Park involves the Director of the Maine Forest Service, the Attorney General, and the Inland Fisheries and Wildlife Commissioner. They have full force in controlling and managing the Park and in the activity of all Trust commitments.

Expenses of Park Operations

There are about 40% financed from camping, entrance fees, and wood products revenues regarding the expenses of Park operations. 

The remaining 60% of the Park operations’ costs are from trusts set up by Percival Baxter in 1945 and through his will after his passing in 1969.

Also, donations from free trusts, associations, and individuals have assisted in the operation of Baxter State Park. 

Park Operations

Park Authority runs the Park through a Park Naturalist, Resource Manager, Business Manager, and Park Director, and administrative staff consisting of a Chief Ranger. 

Recently, there are 22 all-year employees and 39 occasional employees in the Park. Their tasks are running, maintaining, and protecting the Park. 

Also, Maine Conservation Corps, Student Conservation Association, and other contracted facilities support the Park operations. 

Numerous committees are backing the Park’s advancement of strategy and operational strategies. 

These include the Scientific Forest Management Area Advisory Committee, the Baxter Park Investment Committee, the Baxter State Park Advisory Committee, and the Baxter Park Research Committee. 

These committees have many dedicated, knowledgeable volunteers who are keen on helping the Park. Also, they work to the delight of the Authority and give helpful advice for the Park operations.

BSP Authority

Baxter State Park Authority involves the Maine Attorney General, the Commissioner of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, and the Director of the Maine Forest Service. 

Here are the backgrounds of members of the BSP Authority:

Janet Trafton Mills – Maine Attorney General

Attorney General Janet Trafton Mills was brought up in Farmington. She is the daughter of Sumner Peter Mills and Katherine Coffin Mills. She used to study at Farmington High School. 

Janet Trafton Mills has a B.A. degree from the University of Massachusetts Boston and a J.D. degree from the University of Maine School of Law.

From 1976 to 1980, Ms. Mills had worked as an Assistant Attorney General. She arraigned murders and other significant violations. In the Attorney General’s office, she is the first lady in the Criminal Division. 

She had been elected District Attorney for Androscoggin, Franklin, and Oxford Counties three times since 1980. In New England particularly and in the country generally, she was the first woman District Attorney.

From 1995 to 2008, she provided legal counsel in Skowhegan with her brother. In 2002, Ms.Mills became the representative of the towns of Farmington and Industry. She was also chosen to be a member of the House of Representatives.

She also worked for the Appropriations Committee, the Judiciary Committee, and the Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee. 

Thanks to choosing the Joint Convention in December 2008, Ms.Mills became Maine’s 55th Attorney General and ran effectively for her fourth term in the House in November 2008. 

In this way, Janet Trafton Mills was the primary lady to hold the Attorney General’s workplace in Maine.

From 2011 to 2012, she was of counsel in the Litigation Group of PretiFlaherty, LLP. Ms.Mills also took part in teaching activities at the University of Maine Augusta and worked in the Maine Democratic Party as Vice-Chair for two years.

In December 2012, Janet Trafton Mills was re-elected to be the 57th Attorney General of Maine. 

Chandler Woodcock – Commissioner of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife

Chandler Woodcock is an individual of “Brook Trout Maine” and a previous enlisted Maine guide. Before being the Executive Director of the Maine Harness Horsemen’s Association, he taught English for 27 years. 

Woodcock served two terms on the Inland Fisheries and Wildlife Committee and three terms in the Maine Senate. Also, he used to lobby for Governor in 2006. 

Doug Denico – Director of the Maine Forest Service and Authority Chair

Doug Denice is a local of Vassalboro. At the University of Maine School of Forestry, he acquired his Master of Science in forest economics matters and Bachelor of Science in forestry.

In the past, he used to be the president of the Maine Forest Products Council. Currently, he has become chair of the Maine Landowners and Sportsmen Relations Advisory Board. 

Doug Denico is an authorized professional forester. He managed several forests such as Plum Creek, Sappi, International Paper, S.D Warren, and Scott Paper in his career. 

Additionally, he is the owner and manager of a large area of working forest (1300 acres) in central Maine from Vassalboro to Township 7, Range 11, Piscataquis County.

Advisory Committees

The BSP Advisory Committee contains 15 volunteers who the BSP Authority selects. Members of the committee are experienced and knowledgeable in the Park and other wild environments around the country and the world.

By cooperating with the Park Director and other Park Executives, the council supports the Park and offers an effective gathering to discuss, comment, review, and investigate the arrangement and correction of approaches, techniques, and operational frameworks.

A term of the BSP Advisory committee lasts for two years, and the duty of this committee’s individuals will be restricted in 3 consecutive terms. The guide of committee operation is a Statement of Purpose Get Adobe Reader document. 

Members of this council will gather month to month from November to April. They will visit the Park once or twice per summer for general plans or hike to improve emerging policy or visit areas of asset concerns. 

At the May Authority meeting, BSP Authority will choose the committee member or make the necessary changes. If you want to be a part of the Advisory committee, you should make a brief information sheet and submit it to the Park Director. 

Climate 

The typical climate in the Park is cool and moist, which is the typical climate in the Northern Forest Region of the American Continent. The yearly mean temperature in the region is 38.6°F. 

While the record high temperatures are approximately 95°F, the record low temperatures are around 45°F. The average precipitation per year is about  37″ (incorporates ∼ 100″/year snow). 

In July and August, you could enjoy the summer vibes most clearly. In early September, the fall temperature and conditions appear in deciduous trees in Baxter State Park. Then, the fall tones, for the most part, top in late September or early October.

The winter in the Park starts in late October, and you might see snowfall in the period from most of November to the end of April. Then, if you want to see leaves arise on deciduous trees, you can visit the Park in late May. 

In general, the climate in Baxter State Park is inconstant. Snowfall can happen any period of the year, and temperatures can change without the rules. However, they will generally vary around the midpoints.

Forest Ecosystem

The forest ecosystem in the Park has developed for 12.000 years. The period was long enough for ice melting toward the north out of New England. 

Boreal forest

In the following millennium, the land in the Park’s region built up a tundra nature. Researchers also found evidence of human occurrence during that time. The first forest ecosystem developed in the north of New England. 

Due to the poor herbaceous flora in the spruce and fir forests, the large herbivores gradually moved out of the region. Some species might also have died because of not having enough forage. 

“Acadian” forest

As the earth’s temperature rose over the next 8000 years, the boreal forest of northern Maine slowly changed, becoming an “Acadian” forest. 

Poor or decently depleted soils portray this forest ecosystem, over-compacted cold till, or spaces of shallow soil over bedrock. 

“Virgin” forest

In 1902, a vital landmark study demonstrated that the ecosystem of the Park in the early 19th century was the “Virgin forest” ecosystem. There are five essential species making up more than 90% area of the Park, including resin fir (2.7%), paper birch (4.1%), sugar maple (5.7%), yellow birch (14.3%), and red tidy (65.4%).  

Nature of the Park

Mountains 

There are numerous mountains in the Park. Besides the Katahdin peak and mountain systems around it, another significant cluster in the Park is Traveler Range, which lies in the north of the Park. 

On the south of Baxter State Park, we could see pink and white stones on the harsh mountains. Meanwhile, the symbol of the Traveler Range is Rhyolite with unmistakable columnar jointing. Also, sedimentary rocks appear in some places in the North of the Park.   

Landscape 

Glacial features are other parts of nature in the Park. You could contemplate the glacial features such as the Knife Edge arête, kettle ponds, eskers, moraines, erratics, and the cold cirques around the Park. 

The Park is a perfect combination of waterfalls, lakes, ponds, streams. Some famous waterfalls you could see there are the remote Green Falls, Katahdin Stream Falls. 

In this Park, Wassataquoik Stream and Nesowadnehunk Stream are the most important streams. You can have some excellent activities in ponds like fishing, canoes.

Wildlife 

The wildlife in forests is vibrant. You might have the chance to observe many feral species such as squirrels, moose, bear, and deer. There are also numerous birds in the Park, including thrushes, hawks, owls, ducks, and warblers. 

If you are interested in Creatures of land and water or reptiles in New England, there is no reason to ignore this Park. The most famous insect in our Park is the insatiable black fly. 

Plant Life 

The vegetation in the Park is hugely plentiful, changing with the terrain and weather. In summer, the most attractive plants in the Park include blackberries, blueberries, and raspberries. 

Trails

What makes Baxter State Park unique among many parks in New England is its trail system. Unlike other usual parks which offer modern facilities such as paved roads, this Park aims to keep the freshest nature and become a genuinely hiking park. 

As such, you will see the road system is rudimental and a little bit inconvenient. Instead, if you are a hiker, you will love our trail system stretching from the center of the Park to the most remote destinations like Northwest Basin Trail. 

You could experience from the pleasant trails to challenging trails in this Park. All of them are cleaned and maintained frequently by BSP’s Trail Crew, including the Trail Supervisor, volunteers from the Student Conservation Association, and two BSP Trail Crew Leaders.

Products

Besides helpful knowledge related to enjoyable outdoor activities, the website is proud of its many “TOP” products. Reading us, choosing suitable gears is no longer your problem, for sure! 

So, what do we have? All products related to hiking, camping, climbing, and fishing are available here. You can access information about product 1, product 2, and so on. Overall, let’s benefit ourselves with helpful knowledge and appropriate product picking. 

Staff and Contributors

Thierry Peter – Founder

Thiery Peter - Founder Baxter Authority

Thierry is a well-known specialist in his hometown, Texas (USA). He spent many years majoring in survival skills and held many competitions on outdoor activities for everyone. In addition, Thierry regularly speaks about the skills needed to conquer the high mountains and ensure safety when participating in outdoor activities. Thierry always camps with his wife, Melanie, and two kids, Harry and Kiera. 

Besides being a speaker, Thierry is a writer. Baxter Authority is the brainchild that Thierry has devoted a lot of effort and practical experience to build. Thierry said: “Being an expert on outdoor activities was my dream when I was a child, now it comes true, and I am pleased about that.” He creates Baxter Authority to deliver his experience and provide some potential product options for people. 

Maria Jane – Editor in Chief

Maria Jane - Editor in Chief

Maria is an expert in doing outdoor activities. She has a rich experience working in the laboratory, experiencing the importance of the outdoors to human beings and nature. She has received several offers from governments to optimize the campsites and advise how to do outdoor activities. In her home country, USA, Maria opens a training center for people to learn skills related to outdoor activities, such as hiking, climbing, hunting, etc.

In addition, Maria loves writing about nature, sharing helpful things, and helping people find their most suitable gears for trips. She is working online for the Baxter Authority project. She contributes many articles related to hiking and camping on the website. We are appreciative of what Maria devotes to Baxter Authority. 

Andy Pete – Senior Editor

Andy Pete - Senior Editor

Andy is a journalist with many years of experience writing about the outdoors. He holds a degree in Journalism from a famous university in England. He joined Baxter Authority to bring the most valuable articles to people all over the world. Despite being a journalist, Andy also has a passion for photography, especially when he goes camping. Andy now lives in Washington with his wife – Margaret, who is also a natural lover.

Also, from Texas, Andy and Thierry tried to bring Baxter Authority closer to the audience. Andy has three children, and they all inherit the genes that enjoy camping and participating in outdoor activities like Andy. Baxter Authority is lucky to have Andy – a talented journalist and nature lover.

Daniel Borer – Senior Editor

Daniel Borer - Senior Editor

Currently, Daniel is a teacher in Ohio, USA. He works and travels around the world to satisfy his love of nature. Daniel says: “I work to live, not live to work. I travel on holidays and enjoy the new places that I visit. I will not stay in one country because visiting as many as places is my dream”. Daniel is very good at fishing, camping, climbing, and particularly hiking. When he was young, he was a famous hiker in his hometown. 

Daniel contributes the most in hiking and climbing in Baxter Authority. He works for the website because he sees the potential benefits that the website will bring to the audience. Notably, he is a writing expert, having several articles posted in the local newspapers. Therefore, why don’t we read the articles and find out what helpful information Daniel gives us?