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Baxter State Park is a pristine wilderness area that occupies more than 200,000 acres and protects a patchwork of shimmering lakes, lush forests, and rugged mountain peaks. The park was pioneered by Percival P. Baxter, former governor of Maine and passionate wilderness lover who harbored a "magnificent obsession" with nature. Today, his legacy lives on at Baxter State Park, where you'll find scenic nature trails, serene paddling routes, and picturesque picnic spots. Adventure buffs can sink their teeth into the park's notoriously challenging hikes, rock climbing routes, and scrambles.
Dreaming of fresh mountain air and stunning scenery? Book an RV in Piscataquis County and you can sleep under the stars at Baxter State Park. Whether you're traveling with the family or planning to tick off some of the park's most challenging hikes, you'll love exploring this pristine pocket of New England at your own pace. A mere 130 miles south, Acadia National Park beckons with rocky headlands, glacier-carved peaks, and magnificent sandy beaches.
More than 220 miles of hiking trails wind through Baxter State Park, ranging from leisurely strolls to adrenaline-fueled scrambles. The one-mile trail to Katahdin Stream Falls is a great option for families and showcases the park's beautiful woodlands and waterscapes. The two-mile nature trail that loops around Daicey Pond is another family favorite. Why not rent a canoe and enjoy a leisurely paddle? For a longer hike, try a section of the legendary Appalachian Trail.
Serious hikers can summit Mt. Katahdin, the tallest mountain in Maine. It sits at an elevation of 5,267 feet and can be accessed via the strenuous Knife Edge trail that takes around eight to 12 hours to complete. Another option to reach the summit of Mt. Katahdin is the five-mile Hunt Trail that takes you past Katahdin Stream Falls and demands more than 4,000 feet of elevation gain. Things don't slow down in the winter, when Baxter State Park transforms into a snow-dusted playground. Hit the trails on a snowmobile or throw on a pair of snowshoes or cross-country skis.
Sheer cliffs make Baxter State Park a paradise for rock climbers. There's excellent fly fishing in the rivers and ponds, which are teeming with brook trout, salmon, yellow perch, bullhead, and cusk. The wildlife watching opportunities are fantastic, with the chance to spot moose grazing in the wetlands, beavers building dams in the waterways, white-tailed deer roaming in the forest, and bald eagles soaring overhead. Baxter State Park is also home to black bears, though sightings are rare.
RV camping at Baxter State Park immerses you in the natural beauty of the Pine Tree State. While the park is geared towards tent campers, some of the largest sites can accommodate smaller RV rentals. In total, Baxter State Park maintains more than 330 campsites and 10 campgrounds. Eight of the campgrounds are classed as "frontcountry" and welcome RVs of up to 22 feet in length. If you're towing a trailer, the total combined length of your unit is capped at 44 feet.
Roaring Brook is one of the most popular campgrounds at Baxter State Park and features 10 tent sites that can accommodate small campers. South Branch Pond is the largest campground and features 21 sites and easy access to popular hiking trails. All campgrounds have natural water sources, which means you'll need to bring your own filters or sterilization equipment. There are outhouses but no showers, making Baxter State Park a good option for off-the-grid campers. Remember, Baxter State Park is black bear country, so be sure to keep your campsite clean and crumb-free.
RV camping at Baxter State Park offers a remote wilderness experience in New England. That said, if you're looking for a change of scene, check out the scenic hiking trails and secret fishing spots at the Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument. Adventure seekers should head southwest to The Forks, a lively city set at the confluence of the Dead and Kennebec Rivers in Somerset County. It's a hub for whitewater rafting, as well as other outdoor adventures like ATV safaris, mountain biking tours, and snowshoeing trips.
Fuel, food, and other motorhome camping necessities can be found in Millinocket, a small town located 30 minutes from the park. The state capital of Augusta is two and a half hours south and promises plenty of New England charm. It's set on the Kennebec River and is home to attractions like the Maine State Museum and Old Fort Western historic site. Augusta also offers a good selection of RV rentals near Baxter State Park. Visit the nearby town of Hallowell to browse antique stores and dine at cozy cafes. Gardiner is another local gem, with a handful of independent galleries housed in its historic buildings.