Baxter State Park does not have electricity, running water, or cell service. Only designated areas are allowed for camping. No pets, RVs, or motorcycles, and no ATVs are permitted. It is a carry-in/carry-out park with no services or stores. It is remote. Baxter Park can be reached from Moosehead Lake by a 2.5-hour ride along a dedicated logging track called the Golden Road. Despite these difficulties, Baxter State Park is the best place to go for authentic Maine wilderness experiences.
Visit the Park
Although the drive from Lodge at Moosehead Lake to Baxter Park can take up to two hours, it is usually a pleasant experience filled with wildlife and beautiful scenery. You’re on the right track if wild moose are on your wish list.
The Golden Road is a dirt road that runs much of the route. It was primarily used by logging companies but can also be used for recreation. The best part is that if you travel north on Lily Bay Road (the street where our Moosehead Lake bed & breakfast is located), it becomes the Golden Road leading into Baxter Park.
Visitors from this direction will enter Baxter Park via Togue Pond Gatehouse. Togue Pond Visitor Centre is great for getting a park map and checking out current weather conditions.
Baxter Park is open to all Maine residents. Non-residents will need to pay $15 per vehicle. Camping is best done four months in advance.
Hiking Baxter State Park
Baxter Park has more than 220 miles of hiking trails, 46 mountain peaks, and numerous streams, lakes, and waterfalls. There is also a wide variety of wildlife.
The Appalachian Trail offers a 2.3-mile round-trip trail to Big and Little Niagara Falls. This is a popular trail within the park. You can enjoy a picnic lunch and swim in the beautiful waterfalls as you walk through an old-growth forest.
The Sandy Stream Pond Trail is a great way to spot moose. The 1.5-mile round trip along Sandy Stream Pond is flat and easy. It offers stunning views of Mount Katahdin and, more often, moose.
Another great trail to spot Moses is the Grassy Pond Trail. The loop is flat and consists of 3.1 miles. It mostly follows the Appalachian Trail. This trail starts at the Daisey Pond camping area.
For more information about the many hiking opportunities in the park, consult the park trail guide.
Baxter State Park has 46 mountain peaks that are above 3,000 feet (914.4m), but none of them reach the heights of Mount Katahdin.
Baxter State Park is a popular destination for many because of Mount Katahdin’s majestic summit. This majestic mountain, Maine’s highest peak, is the “end” of the Appalachian Trail. This is the park’s ultimate goal for hikers. This hike can be done as a one-day hike, with multiple trails leading to the top.
Although many trails lead to the summit, it is a challenging hike for anyone who has ever hiked. The summit trails of Katahdin have an elevation gain of more than 4,000 feet (1219.2m) and require 8-10 hours of hiking.
The park prohibits you from trying the hike without a permit. For the summit, hikers should have at least two quarts of water.