David Johnson's Travel Blog
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09/21  North into Real Maine
09/22  Mainely Trees
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09/24  Baxter State Park
09/25  Mainely Bear Hunters
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10/01  (pictures)
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Liverworks Productions
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Baxter State Park

2011-09-24

tl;dr: Baxter State Park is a great place to see trees, a few mountains and no moose.

I had a long day of bicycling through rain and mud ahead of me, so I packed up and hit the road before most of the other campers were stirring. Well, the epileptics were stirring.

How to describe Baxter State Park? Imagine a narrow gravel road with trees pressing in on both sides. Now add some curves and some hills and dips. Got that? Now extend that road forty miles. Ta da! You have successfully visualized Baxter State Park. Of course, it's not really a bad ride. Quite pleasant in fact. Sometimes there are breaks where it's possible to take pictures. The real value of this park from a recreation point of view is in hiking, but I am not really equipped to do that.

I drank the water. If there is one thing the Rangers in this park will tell you, it's that you have to filter, treat or boil your water! I heard this over and over. So, of course, I was distrustful. All I heard was, "we work for the government and you must learn to fear!" What ever happened to "at your own risk"? I also had no way to filter, treat or boil water. So, based on previous more balanced advice, I found a cold, fast-water stream and filled my bottles. The water tasted pretty good. Must be all the deadly stuff that adds flavor.

By the time I had reached the southern gate of the park, I still hadn't seen a moose. This despite stopping at every likely moose habitat along the road. I was told by multiple people that if I continued looping around the park to Sandy Stream Pond I'd almost certainly see a moose there. Unfortunately that road was closed because it had reached its quota of tourists for the day. It would have also added 16 miles to my route.

The Appalachian Trail ends (or starts) in Baxter State Park. I saw several emaciated thru-hikers.

I left the park and peddled to Millinocket. Along the way folks would honk and wave at me. I suspect they had seen me in the park and now felt some sort of special connection. Whatever. I was considering getting a hotel room, but none were under $70, and I just wasn't that motivated to stay. After eating a late lunch at McDonald's (mmmm raw calories) I continued south and found an actually quiet spot to camp on a snowmobile trail in a pine forest.

good morning Baxter State Park




Trout Brook


Park Tote Road






Ledge Falls


Nesowadnehunk Stream


Doubletop Mountain


somewhere under that water is a duck


no moose here


no moose here


no moose here




mushroom montage


no moose here





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