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Millinocket and Baxter State Park

Norwalk
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Millinocket and Baxter State Park

Planning a few nights camping in Millinocket in early August and have some questions:

- does Baxter State park have drive in camp sites (this is a Mom & 3 daughters . . . so . . . . .NO backpacking)

- if not . .. any suggestions??

- any suggestions for very light hiking / drive to swimming at Baxter State Park

- if so . . .where to park and if I make a reservation . .. the website mentions something about getting there at 7am??? not happening!! for a lite hike, swim and picnic

- any suggestion on tour operators for:

- moose safari (not on a bus . .. . a pontoon or canoe ONLY)

- white water rafting --day trip

thanks Marianna

Central Maine
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1. Re: Millinocket and Baxter State Park

Some of the campgrounds have sites where you can get your car close to your campsite -- not all are "hike-in" destinations. The Park website should have more info -- or call the Park Headquarters and talk to them about your specific concerns.

"Drive to" swimming -- "reality check" time because Baxter doesn't have developed swimming beaches with lifeguards and facilities like beach houses etc. In deeding the Park to the state, Percival Baxter, who bought the park land originally, restricted development with provisions that the Park be kept "forever wild". So, while there are places in the Park where visitors can swim, most are simply pools in one of the Park streams or at one of the pond-side campgrounds. Caution: Park waters are mountain runoff and spring-fed, which mean they tend to run from cold to very-cold. If you're thinking about a Park afternoon on a beach, you could be disappoiinted.

The early-morning arrival time suggestion is for day-use visitors. The Park monitors car traffic into the Park and matches it with available in-the-Park parking capacity and restricts access as spaces fill up. Their capacity checks plan on parking spots for folks with confirmed camping reservations - so as long as you have one of those, you should be okay.

Don't think you'll find any "moose tours" operating in the Park -- that would be "commercial use", which Gov. Baxter prohibited in his deed to the State. For an easy hike and moose viewing combination, take the Chimney Pond Trail from the Roaring Brook Campground and hike to Sandy Stream Pond -- where moose sightings are very frequent (although nothing is guaranteed where wild animals are concerned).

millinocket maine
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2. Re: Millinocket and Baxter State Park

Hi! South Turner Mountain in the park is a MUST for light hiking/climbing w/a family - 2.2 miles one way - about a 4-5 hour round trip hike with INCREDIBLE views at the top - then just outside the park I strongly suggest the Nature Conservancy Ice Caves hike - 1.1 miles one way - bring flashlights or headlamps - and for swimming inside the park? TOGUE POND TOGUE POND TOGUE POND! Seriously - AMAZING views of the mountain when you go 20-30 feet into the water - smooth sandy beaches - picnic tables - fire/BQ stands - really nice clean outhouse - changing cabana too. Clean clear water w/no leeches - cheap buck an hour park canoe rentals. It is without question (in our opinion......) the FINEST swimming in the Katahdin Region! Its that nice! Be careful swimming in other ponds/lakes inside the park - LOTS of leeches to beware of at most ponds! Any more ?? post away - any more places/thoughts I will offer later - 4 kids up already here so off to breakfast bowls I go!

Bar Harbor, Maine
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3. Re: Millinocket and Baxter State Park

If you didn't see it in the other post, here is the recommendation for a moose tour:

neoc.com/moose-and-wildlife-tours-in-maine/#

Norwalk
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4. Re: Millinocket and Baxter State Park

thanks this is very very helpful . . .

.I could not find which tent sites would be drive in --- on the park internet site

does anyone know ???

a drive in near an area mentioned - - ex) South Turner Mt - - do I assume this equates to what the site calls ???South Branch?? ex) Roaring Brook

Chimney Pond already lists no sites available during my targeted nights.

Thanks Marianna

Norwalk
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5. Re: Millinocket and Baxter State Park

I will be posting about the coastal part of our trip

may I ask that you all provide some of your valuable advice???

Central Maine
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6. Re: Millinocket and Baxter State Park

Haven't tented in the Park for a while -- move to lean-to's as we got older. Last I knew, you could drive to, or park near to, tent sites at Roaring Brook Campground, Abol Campground, Katahdin Stream Campground and South Branch Campground.

Don't be concerned that Chimney Pond is already "sold out" -- it's a very popular staging area for climbers wanting some of the more challenging/techniical climbs in the Park, is closer to the summit of Katahdin than any other campground in the Park, is one of only two "back counnntry" campgrounds in the Park (and attracts a particular clientele for that reason alone) and is a 3-plus-miles hike from the nearest parking area at Roaring Brook.

Philadelphia...
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7. Re: Millinocket and Baxter State Park

Can't recommend a place to camp in the park, but for white water rafting (and on site camping) check out - http://jumpandraft.com/

Warning - It is up to Class V rapids so must be at least 16 to do it.

They offer camping at their base in tents, cabins or yurts. We had a blast when we went a few years back. Found the staff very knowledgeable and friendly. Went right as the season began so it wasn't that crowed (only a few rafts on the river.)

Pretty nice bar & grill on site as well. Seemed to fill up with locals the nights we were there (which in my opinion is a good thing.)

As a bonus, they also offer skydiving. Which is how we found them in the first place. We rafted the first day and jumped the next. Some folks did both on the same day.

Edited: 12:38 pm, April 24, 2014
Maine
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8. Re: Millinocket and Baxter State Park

Most campground sites are drive-up unless they specifically say they are walk-in.

There are several companies that offer white water rafting on the Penobscot River not far from the park.

9. Re: Millinocket and Baxter State Park

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