Baxter State Park | Maine is considered a major park located in Northern Maine offering trails up Mt. Katahdin to the Appalachian Trail, camping, fishing, hiking, canoeing, climbing and wildlife such as moose and deer. Offering the best in Maine recreation, Baxter State Park is known for the state’s highest peak, Mt. Katahdin. Baxter State Park Headquarters, approximately 25 miles from Baxter Park, is located in Millinocket.
Baxter State Park… Brief History
The Park exists today due to the perseverance of one mans’ vision. Percival P. Baxter wanted to guarantee the people of Maine access to Maine’s wilderness and resources while preserving the unspoiled natural state. In 1930, he made his first purchase of 5,960 acres of land that included Mt. Katahdin. In 1931, the land was presented as a gift to the State of Maine. Over the next 32 years, he would also donate 28 separate gifts with his final contribution 200,000 acres of mountains, lakes, streams and forest were all given in trust to the people of Maine. Finally, to ensure his vision would continue for many generations to come, he also left a trust fund of approximately $7 million to maintain and keep the Park forever wild.
In order to appreciate what lies within the borders of Baxter State Park, the journey needs to be experienced first-hand. Words will never capture the magnificent view of Mt. Katahdin or the unmatched beauty of wild life found within the confines of the Park. For this reason, to feel true serenity, hike the trails, fish the ponds and enjoy the overnight stay at a campground… priceless! The Park is a haven for the explorer, photographer, naturalist, mountain climber or hiker.
The Park is open from May 15 to October 15; however, several of the campgrounds do not open until June 1st. Within the Park, you will not find paved roads. Also, be aware there is no electricity, running water or gasoline available in the Park.
A plaque placed on a boulder by Katahdin Stream has inscribed Percival Baxter’s dream…
“Man is born to die. His works are short-lived. Buildings crumble,
monuments decay, and wealth vanishes, but Katahdin in all
its’ glory forever shall remain the mountain of the people of Maine.”
In his lifetime, Baxter was elected three times to the Maine House of Representatives. He served two terms as state senator and held the position as president of the senate and its’ chief executive. Shortly after his election as president of the senate, the governor died and Baxter automatically succeeded him. In 1922, he successfully ran for re-election.
On June 12, 1969, Baxter died in Portland, Maine. His ashes were scattered throughout Baxter State Park, across the land that he embraced and loved. Percival Baxter would be proud to see his legacy carried on, as he so desired… preserving the unspoiled and natural state of Baxter State Park while providing access for all to enjoy.
The Baxter State Park Authority website provides information on Camping and Reservations, Rules and Regulations, Hiking and climbing Trails, Weather Conditions and Map of Baxter State Park. Should you like to learn about the Natural Setting and Scientific Forest Management Area—what is it?… you will find this information here.
Baxter State Park Authority
About Mt. Katahdin
Mt. Katahdin in Maine
Mt. Katahdin Peakware
Baxter State Park & Mt. Katahdin
Maine Appalachian Trail Club
Appalachian Trail Conservancy
Katahdin Area Chamber of Commerce