Are you preparing for a trip to Baxter State Park? Have you grasped all the rules and regulations within the Park? You need to make sure nothing is left to chance in this wonderful experience. Do not let any mistake ruin the whole thing.
Click here right away to learn all the rules within Baxter State Park!
Reservations and Registrations for Camping
During the processing of reservations, the Baxter State Park Authority, or the Authority for short, and Director may set up some administrative policies and procedures, so you should pay close attention to the reservations.
Only those who reserve authorized campsites and campgrounds can go camping in the Park. Note that camping is only allowed from May 15 through October 15, and December 1 to March 31.
The check-in time and check-out time at all campgrounds are 1:00pm and 11:00 am respectively.
Campers must show up at the gatehouse on time, or at least before 8:30pm. Those who arrive at the Park later than 8:30pm will not be allowed to enter the campsite for the sake of other campers.
Any group that consists of more than 12 people can only camp at group areas at Foster Field, Nesowadnehunk Field, Troutbrook Farm, and Bear Brook. Tents are permitted only at lean-to sites only, which means you cannot put up a tent outside the area.
All campers who enter the Baxter State Park by trail or road must complete the registration as soon as possible. They can do it at a self-registration station or a staffed gatehouse.
On the other hand, those who visit the Park on foot or by aircraft on permitted waters must inform the Park Headquarters or a staffed gatehouse in advance.
Campers who want to enter or leave the Park by the Appalachian Trail require a registration from the Katahdin Stream Campground.
Hiking and Day Use
A hiking group cannot include more than 12 persons. Note that if the distance between two groups that hike on the same trail is less than one mile, it will be considered one group.
All visitors in the Park must prepare essential equipment for the activity they will join, and they must be careful not to put themselves and others in danger. Hikers need to bring along a flashlight, and make sure it is still working well.
The Authority can ask for reimbursements in case there are any search and rescue expeditions for reckless hikers.
Children aged below six cannot go above the treeline. Technical rock and ice climbers must register at the gatehouse first.
Last but not least, the Director can restrict the hiking or mountain climbing activities at his discretion.
Hunting, Trapping and Fishing
Trapping and hunting is strictly prohibited in Baxter State Park, and the same case applies for releasing or introducing animals to the Park, except for some authorized areas.
Firearms and bows may be transported through the Park as long as they are enclosed in a case, or kept in a car trunk, or otherwise inaccessible. Use or possession of firearms, bows, pistols, air rifles is not allowed.
Note that this rule is not applicable to north of Wadleigh Brook and Trout Brook in T2 R9, in T6 R10, T6 R9, and in T2 R10 to the north and west of the West Branch of the Penobscot River, east to the Abol Stream.
In these areas (where hunting and trapping is permitted), the general laws of the State still apply. Warning: baiting any animals for hunting and hunting moose is forbidden.
Hunting along with dogs is not allowed.
The rules of the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, especially the Maine Fishing laws still take effect within Baxter State Park. To go fishing here, you need to present Maine fishing licenses.
Protection and Preservation
Domestic animals including pets are not permitted in the Park, and you cannot feed, bait, or disturb any animals that live in the Park. More specifically, it means the use of any device that can disturb wildlife is forbidden.
Nonetheless, baiting for trapping purposes is allowed north of Wadleigh Brook and Trout Brook in T2 R9, in T6 R10, T6 R9, and in T2 R10 to the north and west of the West Branch of the Penobscot River, east to the Abol Stream.
Campers can only light fires or use heating equipment in designated areas. Open fires are forbidden at Davis Pond and Chimney Pond, and only backpack-type stoves are allowed.
Similarly, cutting, defacing, or removing bark from trees are strictly prohibited, whether they are live or dead.
Everyone must extinguish any fire before leaving the area. It is not allowed to discard any burning material within the Park such as burning cigars and matches. If you see any fire outside the designated fireplace, please report to the Ranger as soon as possible.
Campers must take out all the stuff they carry into the Park, including camping gear, equipment, materials, and trash. Do not throw any trash or litter in any un-vaulted or vaulted toilet.
In case there are no toilets, human waste must be disposed by carry-out or burying at least 200 meters from water. Similarly, it is forbidden to use any soap or to dispose of food scraps within 200 meters of any waters.
Everyone should show respect to other campers and try not to disturb the enjoyment of others in the Park by any means. Follow the rules in campground quiet hours.
The use of power equipment, for example, chainsaws and generators, is strictly prohibited.
Campers are prohibited from collecting or removing any cultural objects within Baxter State Park. No acts of vandalism are allowed, including the possession of painting or marking materials that can tamper with the structure or sign in the Park.
Gathering berries and fiddleheads for personal use is allowed, but not for commercial purposes.
Any team who wishes to carry out studies or commercial media projects in the Park must have a special use permit issued by the Director. And the special use request must be submitted to the Director in writing, at least nine months prior to the proposed project.
Any vehicle that exceeds 9 x 7 x 22 (Height x Width x Length) or 44 feet long for combined vehicles is not allowed for entry, unless there is a special use permit issued by the Director.
The Director has the rights to limit the use of vehicles by persons without reservations.
All automobiles must park in the right designated areas within the campground. The parking space is designed to keep two vehicles at maximum. No vehicles shall hinder the parking lot or park on the traveled portion of the Park roads.
Vehicles must always display the entrance permit while parking the Park; otherwise those parking overnight may be towed away.
No vehicle may exceed the speed of 20 miles per hour, or the posted speed limit. All campers must be careful for the sake of others and property.
Types of Vehicles
Motorized trail bikes and all-terrain vehicles are prohibited in the Park, with the exception of Webster Lakes, Nesowadnehunk, and Matagamon.
Motorcycles may not be operated on unpaved roads, while bicycles can ride on maintained roads only. Word of caution: bikes are prohibited in the Scientific Forest Management Area (SFMA).
Aircrafts are prohibited from taking off and landing in the Park, except for some areas including Webster Lakes, Matagmon and Nesowadnehunk. Keep in mind that you still need to register with Park Headquarters in advance to land aircraft on permitted waters.
The term ‘Aircraft’ here includes but not limited to hot air balloons, model craft, para-sails, para-gliders, and hang gliders.
Like aircrafts, motor boats and outboard motors are prohibited in the Park except for Webster Lakes, Matagmon and Nesowadnehunk. Outboard motors that run on ten or less horsepower can run on Upper and Lower Togue Ponds.
All-terrain vehicles and snowmobiles can be used in Webster Lakes, Matagmon, Nesowadnehunk, and Lower Togue Ponds. Snowmobiles can run on these following roads within the Park:
- The spur road between Camp Phoenix and the Park Tote Road
- The trail along the east of the Penobscot River from northern boundary of Baxter State Park to Second Lake Matagamon
- The Logan Pond Road along the north shore of Lower Togue Pond
- The Park Tote Road between the Park boundary to the south of Matagamon Landing and southern Park boundary
Operators of snowmobiles must adhere to the rules of State Law.
The Authority may publish the fees for the use of the Park from time to time.
Groups of at least five persons who are all under 16 years old must be accompanied by at least one adult aged 18 or older.
During some energy conditions, the Director or Authority can close some areas or even the entire park. No person may enter the closed areas during that time.
It is forbidden to sell or offer for sale any object or merchandise within the Park.
General State Laws about alcoholic beverages and drugs are applicable in Baxter State Park.
Anyone who breaches the rules of the Authority or violates a condition of the permit issued under these rules may be subject to a fine of less than $1,000. Those violating other laws applicable in the Park may also be punished.
In addition, persons who violate the rules will be required to leave the Park immediately. The Baxter State Park Authority can remove the privilege of entry for a specified period.
The Bottom Line
Now you know all the rules and regulations that apply in Baxter State Park. Make sure you read the article carefully and try not to miss any line. If possible, jot down the important things into a pocket notebook.
Have a wonderful trip! Thank you for reading.