Baxter State Park Overview
|Sunset on Mount Katahdin at Baxter State Park (Jeremy Woodhouse/Photodisc/Getty)|
Baxter State Park, a wilderness area of more than 200,000 acres, was former Governor Percival P. Baxter's gift to the State of Maine. In 1930, he made his first land purchase of 5,960 acres, which included Katahdin, Maine's tallest mountain. He donated this land to the State in 1931. By resolve of the Maine Legislature in 1933, the area was officially designated as Baxter State Park, and the summit of Katahdin was named "Baxter Peak" in his honor. He made his final gift of 7,764 acres in 1962.
The Park is a paradise for the naturalist, mountain climber, hiker, and photographer. Many orchids, ferns, alpine, and other plants grow in abundance. Geologists will find interest in Baxter's rhyolite, Katahdin granite, and many fossil types. Bird-watchers, wildlife enthusiasts, and winter trackers will find a variety of wildlife to pursue. Gov. Baxter expressed the spirit of the park in the following verse:
Man is born to Die, His Works are Short-lived
Buildings Crumble, Monuments Decay, Wealth Vanishes
But Katahdin in All Its Glory
Forever Shall Remain the Mountain of the
People of Maine
There are 46 mountain peaks and ridges, 18 of which exceed an elevation of 3,000 feet. The highest is Baxter Peak at 5,267 feet. The park is intersected by some 200 miles of trails. The information contained in this brief introduction to the Park is not adequate for extended hiking or climbing. For your own safety, do not leave the Park Tote Road without a detailed map of the area you plan to traverse. You may obtain maps at campgrounds, Millinocket Headquarters, or the Visitor’s Center at Togue Pond.
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication