Baxter State Park is located at 64 Balsam Drive, Millinocket, Maine 04462. The telephone number to reach park staff is 207-723-5140. Baxter State Park has an official website as well, which is www.baxterstateparkauthority.com.
Baxter State Park is made up of over 200 miles of hiking trails. A few of these trails are mover than 100 years old. The trails range in difficulty from very easy to very strenuous. There are trails leading from Big Niagara Falls to Little Niagara Falls as well as trails that lead one on a climb to Baxter Peak. None of the trails in the park are paved. The intention is to keep it as close to natural as possible. In many cases, even over streams one will not find bridges.
Baxter State Park also supports off trail hiking. This type of hiking gives visitors the opportunity to explorer areas that are less traveled. Through hiking is another popular activity that occurs at the park. Because Baxter State Park covers over 200,000 acres of land including the Appalachian Trail and Baxter’s Peak, many hikers enter the park from outside trails to travel through to other areas.
Baxter State Park is one of the few self sufficient state parks in existence. Percival Baxter devoted his life to the preservation of the land. Trust funds were set up to finance the park as well as using fees collected from visitors to continue maintaining the land. Baxter State Park is considered a wilderness sanctuary and forest preserve.
Fishing is allowed on the waterways in Baxter State Park. However, motorized boats are not allowed on the majority of the waterways to prevent the lakes and streams from becoming populated by gasoline and oil. Canoes are available for rent at the park. Live bait is also prohibited in the park to prevent the spread of invasive species that may destroy the ecosystem of the native species. Park staff can help one determine which waterways to fish.
Hunting and trapping is also allowed in designated areas of the park. Most of the areas that are huntable are accessible only by foot or with small ATVs, although there are approximately two miles of roadway leading to the hunting areas. Moose cannot be hunted within the park. Trapping is also limited to designated areas of the park.
There are many different species of wildlife in Baxter State Park including deer, black bear and moose. Occasionally a rarely seen marten is photographed in the park as well. Also many species of birds call the park home. The park provides lists to those who request them of all the different species that are known to reside in the park. Wildflowers are also abundant in Baxter State Park. Handouts for the wildflowers found in the park are also available in the park office or can be downloaded from the official park website.
Snowmobiling is allowed on the main park road, although fuel and food is not available within the park. Snowmobile riders wishing to travel through Baxter State Park should be prepared for the nearly 50 miles of trail and ensure they have plenty of food and fuel to complete the trip. Another common activity that takes place in Baxter State Park is the use of GPS systems for Geocaching. While Baxter understands the importance of Geocaching in getting people outdoors and teaching navigation skills, Geocaching is not encouraged within the park due to the rough terrain and extreme wilderness setting. Inexperienced geocachers can easily become lost or injured in this type of terrain.
Collecting artifacts within the park is also prohibited. The intention of the park is to provide cultural history to those that visit. The artifacts found within the park are intended to help tell the story of the park and therefore are to be left where they are found. The intention is to help visitors reflect on the past using the artifacts that may be found including remnants of old lumber camps and things such as that. The unspoiled beauty of Baxter State Park is hard to find today.