I've communicated with the ATC's Laurie Potteiger and Baxter State Park's Jean Hoekwater about a new program that will benefit all visitors and especially A.T. hikers. Here's what we think you need to know:
This year Baxter Park is testing a new reservation system that will allow visitors to reserve regular campground sites (not the Birches Long Distance Hiker Site) by phone with a credit card 10 days or fewer prior to their stay. Hikers will need to call Park Headquarters during business hours at 1-207-723-5140 with their credit card number handy. Important - Ranger Stations inside the Park do not accept credit cards! This program will be tested in the 2004 season with the new Rolling Reservation system trial beginning in 2005.
Southbounders can now wait until they hear weather and trail updates, and then finalize their start dates over the phone.
Northbounders can call ahead from Monson or from the new pay cell phone at Abol Bridge to reserve at Katahdin Stream or Abol Campgrounds. If northbounders plan on going over the Knife Edge, they will be able to find out if sites are available at Chimney Pond or Roaring Brook Campgrounds. A reminder: capacity at the Birches continues to be limited to twelve and groups of thirteen or more people will be assigned to BSP group areas when requesting reservations-Foster Field is the one closest to Katahdin Stream.
ALDHA Companion volunteer, Caratunk > Katahdin