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Baxter State Park Day Use Hiking Guide

Wilderness Considerations

Those of us who work for Baxter State Park cherish the land we manage and hope you will strive to respect both the land and its inhabitants during your visit here.
Carry in/Carry out - All trash and garbage including cigarette butts, plastic wrappings, disposable diapers, orange peels, banana peels, etc.
Groups - Please be sure the sound levels and activities of your group are suitable in a wilderness park where the majority seek solitude and quiet.
Photography - Wildlife should be enjoyed but remember, you are the visitor - the Park is the animals' home. Do not leave the trail and chase animals into the woods. Rangers can help you learn more about the best places and times to see animals. Used with respect and care, this knowledge can enable you to take photos without unnecessarily disturbing species during critical times (i.e., egg incubating, birthing, etc.)
"If a Koyukon Indian wrote a book about bears, maybe half the volume would be the rules of keeping yourself in a state of respect toward the animal."
Richard Nelson,
Alaska anthropologist

Daypack Essentials

Water - Always carry water. Trailside springs are unreliable.
Flashlight - Plan hikes with the intention of finishing before dark, always carry a flashlight as precaution.
SEE BSP Regulation #14.
Extra food and clothing - Candies, nuts or dried fruit in addition to your lunch and liquids. Also wool/pile shirt and/or sweater, hat, extra socks, and raingear.
Sturdy footwear - Trails are rocky, footing is difficult. For your safety be sure footwear is adequate. Tennis shoes are not suitable for mountain climbing.
First Aid - Supplies to take care of you and those hiking in your group. Most common First Aid problem: Blisters!
Map/Guide Book: Know your route; plan alternatives for bad weather.
Other suggestions - Compass, matches, foil emergency blanket, whistle, parachute cord, knife, pack repair kit.

SOUTH BRANCH REGION - Free enlarged map of area available. 1 HORSE MTN TRAIL - A fine 1/2 day hike offering views of Matagamon Lake, Traveler, the East Branch, and the cliffs of Trout Branch Mtn. Round trip from perimeter road to fire tower (elevation 1589') is 2.8 miles.

2 TROUT BROOK MTN TRAIL - Views of Fowler ponds, Traveler Range and Matagamon Lake. Nice 1/2 day hike. Combine with Littlefield trail for round trip loop, 3.6 miles.

3 MIDDLE FOWLER TRAIL - Loop connecting five ponds, South Branch Campground and Trout Brook Campground. From South Branch to Trout Brook it is 8.7 miles. Spur trail leads up Barrell ridge to summit.

4 HOWE BROOK TRAIL - Valley trail skirts many falls and pools. Round trip from South Branch Campground 6 miles.

5 SOUTH TURNER (3122') 4 mile round trip from Roaring Brook Campground 3-4 hours. Full views of the cirques: South Basin, Great Basin and North Basin.

6 SANDY STREAM - 2.8 mile trail around pond. Moose sightings are frequent. Well worn trail with no ascent - great for an early evening/morning walk to Big Rock.

7 HELON TAYLOR-6.4 mile round trip from Roaring Brook ending at Pamola Peak. Exposed trail above treeline, should not be attempted in bad weather. Carry water.

8 CHIMNEY POND - 6.6 mile, 4-5 hours round trip from Roaring Brook Campground. Strenuous and rocky but sheltered in inclement weather. Basin Ponds is halfway and has nice views of mountain.

9 DUDLEY-1.3 miles one way from Chimney Pond Campground to Pamola Peak. Over large boulders, short but steep. Most of trail is above treeline. Cairns mark trail, above tree line.

10 SADDLE - 4.4 mile round trip from Chimney Pond Camp ground. One way time 3-3.5 hours. Most of trail is above treeline and exposed. Nice descent if attempting Knife Edge.

11 CATHEDRAL - 1.7 mile one way trip from Chimney Pond Campground to Baxter Peak, joins Saddle trail near Baxter Peak. Very steep, climbing over large boulders, most of trail is above treeline and exposed. One way time 2.5-3 hours.

12 KNIFE EDGE - 1.1 mile exposed ridge between Baxter Peak and Pamola Peak. Never attempt in bad weather. All rock and narrow.

13 HAMLIN RIDGE - 4.4 mile round trip to Hamlin Peak (elevation 4756') from Chimney Pond Campground. Great views into North Basin and Great Basin.

14 LITTLE ABOL FALLS - A small falls worth the 1.6 mile round trip from Abol campground.

15 ABOL TRAIL - 7.6 mile round trip, very steep but shortest trip to Baxter Peak. Trail goes up a slide-loose gravel and stones; difficult to descend. Combined with a descent of Hunt Trail, a 9 mile round trip.

16 HUNT TRAIL (AT) - 10.4 mile round trip from Katahdin Stream Campground. Challenging from tree line to Thoreau Spring. Marked with white paint blazes to signify Appalachian Trail.

17 OWL TRAIL (3597') 6.6 mile round trip from Katahdin Stream Campground. Fine views of Katahdin.

18 GRASSY POND TRAIL - A 1/2 day hike to the pond and along the shore with excellent views of Doubletop.

19 MT. OJI - 6 mile round trip loop. Both trails cross open slide areas. Leave from north side of road at Foster Field. Slides very slippery when wet-use caution.

20 Marston Loop-Trail leaves across from Slide Dam picnic area. Junction to trails of North and South Brothers is 3.1 miles, from that junction to summit of N. Brother .7 miles, to summit of S. Brother .8 miles. Unrestricted views, combine with Mt. Coe trail for loop, 7-8 hours, very tough.

21 DOUBLE TOP MTN. (3488') From Nesowadnehunk Campground it is 3.1 miles one way or 4.2 from Kidney Campground one way. Steep but rewarding views in all directions. (Complete trail from Nesowadnehunk to Kidney Pond is 7.3 miles.)

22 BURNT MTN TRAIL - A 2.6 mile round trip hike from the perimeter road. Unique views of the area around McCarty Field and Katahdin to the south. Round trip from perimeter road to fire tower (elevation 1793') is 2.6 miles.

Daicey Pond Region-Free enlarged map of area available.

Kidney Pond Region-Free enlarged map of area available.

Please note: this is only a partial listing. Free maps showing more details suitable for day hiking are available for Kidney Pond, Daicey Pond and the South Branch-Fowler Pond region. For extended backpacking and/or trail information, maps and trail guides can be purchased at Park Headquarters or in the campgrounds. Please be a responsible hiker; know your route and use a map.

Baxter State Park
64 Balsam Drive
Millinocket, Me. 04462
(207) 723-5140

Baxter State Park - Baxter State Park is in the heart of Maine, with Mt. Katahdin as its crown jewel. Hiking, climbing and other recreational activities await you in Baxter State Park.

Winter Rules - The Baxter State Park Authority has developed a set of procedures and guidelines for winter use in an effort to assist Park users in planning trips to Baxter State Park, to promote safety of all persons using the Park and to protect the Baxter State Park Authority and its staff from unnecessary search and rescue efforts.

Day Use Regulations - No special permission is required for day use below tree line. However, in the interest of public safety we strongly discourage people from traveling alone in the winter; party size of at least 2 is strongly recommended, 3 or 4 is better! Day users are requested to check in and out at Park gates, volunteer registration points or Park Headquarters, by phone if more convenient. This is for the safety of users in the event of an accident or emergency and helps us keep statistics on Park use.

Technical Climbing - Get the latest in rules and regulations before you head out on a climb.

Winter Camping Regulations - Camping in the winter is not for everyone, so check this page before you venture out to the Park for a winter camping adventure.

Administrative Procedures Governing Winter Activities - The Baxter State Park Authority encourages winter use of the Park; but is vitally concerned with the safety of winter visitors. Users of the Park in the winter must comply with the Rules and Regulations of the Park.

Recommendations For Winter Visitors - Food, not clothing, is the source of your heat, so a diet high in carbohydrates, along with some fats, is recommended. Dry foods, such as pasta, rice and powdered potatoes, cheeses, and freeze dried meals are good choices because of their light weight.

Alpine Skiing Regulations - Get the latest in rules and regulations before you head out on a climb.

Day Use Hiking Guide - Those of us who work for Baxter State Park cherish the land we manage and hope you will strive to respect both the land and its inhabitants during your visit here.

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