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  1. #1
    Registered User somers515's Avatar
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    Default visiting Baxter State park with a campervan, bicycle and a backpack - any advice?

    Once again looking for the wisdom of whiteblaze! I'm planning a trip to Maine in my campervan and want to visit Baxter State Park. I read the rules and no vehicles above 9 feet tall are allowed in the park and my campervan is slightly taller than that. I called the Park and they told me that at both the south Togue Pond Gate and the north Matagamon Gate there is parking before you get to the gate where I could park my campervan and then bicycle in to my campground (I'm picturing going for either Roaring Brook or South Branch Pond). They recommended if I were to do this that I do the north gate as there is a lot less traffic on the north side of the park. Can anyone who has been to Baxter give me advice on how practical this plan would be? Any other suggestions for me? Thanks in advance for any advice!
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  2. #2
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    Default

    You have already done what I was going to suggest - Cal BSP and ask them because of all the rules. The only other suggestion would be to call them back, and ask the same questions to another park employee. I did this for simply summitting Katahdin, and got different answers with every park employee I spoke with. Called 3-4 times I think.
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  3. #3

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    I've parked my motorcycle outside the park and walked in a few times. If you head into the north gate to go to South Branch you have two options outside the park. The closest is the boat launch area and I don't recommend parking there. A bit farther from the gate is the big parking area where the IAT heads off the road into KWW. That is where you should probably park after stopping at Matagamon Camps for an ice cream cone. If heading in from the south there is a small parking area between Togue Pond and the gate. I would check with the folks at the info center there at the pond or at the gate house before leaving a vehicle there just to be sure.
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  4. #4

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    The north gate is quite a long haul from Millinocket. The roads getting there are good but not real fast. Plan on two hours. You also drive right by Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument which has far less use and couple of campgrounds.

    Yes the north gate is far less busy. It mostly services South Branch Pond campground which is a real nice place. The roads are narrow and can be dusty with zero shoulders. The road is wide enough for two cars just barely. Most drivers run far too fast for the posted speed limit and run in the center of the road. The trees arch over the road and even if some employee allowed an over height vehicle into the park it would be breaking branches. The tote road would be best with a mountain type bike versus a road bike as it can be kind of bony.

    That said much as the hiking it nice in the North end, this is not going to get you to the Mt Katahdin trailheads. That is a couple of hour ride south and couple of hour ride back at 20 MPH. I do not know if they allow E bikes but that might make it easier if you have a spare battery or enough range with one. The Traveler loop is worth the trip even if you do not visit Katahdin and Trout Brook Mountain has some nice hikes but its not Katahdin. Therefore if you have your heart set out for Katahdin you need to go in via Togue Pond Gate and deal with the traffic. Roaring Brook road is a dead end. its gets a lot of day hiker traffic in the early AM when Togue pond gate opens and then far less traffic until the late afternoon when the dayhikers are leaving. The other branch of the road to the big four campgrounds, Abol, KSC, Daicey Pond and Kidney Pond is busy all day. Wear a dust mask and plan on eating dirt as it get steady traffic all day and the dirt on the road when dry is very fine and creates a dust cloud when vehicles pass.

    I suggest calling the Appalachian Trail Lodge in Millinocket and staying a night with them and have them shuttle you into and out of the park to hike Katahdin. Then if you want to head up to the north of the park and try the park and bike option you can visit South Branch Pond or Katahdin Woods and Waters which I think is free admission . I do not know if they go to Roaring Brook but they would know someone who might. If its nice day its hard to beat hiking from Roaring Brook to KSC but you had better be in great shape as its a workout with no good bailout points. I have done it a couple of times and its a long but spectacular day. I do not know when the lodges shuttle leaves KSC but that may limit your options. FYI you pay $18 for road pass for vehicles if you drive in the park plus campground reservations so the AT lodge deal is pretty darn good for the extra service.

    BTW last thing I knew they allowed campers to park on the old logging road north of the info center just south of the hill before the gate.

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