How to Plan a Camping Trip to Baxter State Park

by Don Kress
Pets are not allowed in the Baxter State Park Campground.

Pets are not allowed in the Baxter State Park Campground.

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Adventurous camping enthusiasts love places like Baxter State Park in Millinocket, Maine. Kids don't regularly visit on spring break. It is, however, the perfect park for hiking enthusiasts and campers looking for a quiet, relaxing and stupendously beautiful retreat. Eleven different campgrounds are available to choose from, including several open only to tent camping.

Items you will need

  • Internet connection
  • Camping gear
  • First aid kit
  • State park maps
Step 1

Contact Baxter State Park to make reservations. While the park includes 11 campgrounds, that doesn't mean you can automatically settle into the one you want. Baxter State Park takes reservations in two ways. You can contact the staff by phone at 207-723-5140, or through the park's website, You can make reservations as far in advance as four months.

Step 2

Read through the park's winter or summer use information packet, depending on what time of year you will visit. Though lengthy reads, the bulletins provide critical, in-depth information on the park. Of particular interest, the winter information packet clearly explains the best travel points in the park, places to stay and expected climb times for the park's trail system.

Step 3

Research things to do while you visit the park and budget the money you'll need for the trip. For instance, plan to pay a fee for the campsite you visit, as well as any extras such as canoe rental. In addition, take into consideration your fuel costs, food costs and other forms of entertainment you'll take in.

Step 4

Pack seasonally-appropriate clothing and camping gear for your trip. Maine experiences far more snowfall and much colder temperatures during the winter than southern states. These colder temperatures present dangerous conditions for campers unprepared for extreme weather and planning to use a tent. For winter, basic camping equipment should include a cold-temperature sleeping bag, thermal heat packs, fire starting materials and appropriate clothing, regardless of whether you sleep in a tent or an RV.

Step 5

Pack an emergency kit if you intend to hike or snowmobile through the park. Include bear repellent, a butane lighter, matches, necessary medications and bandages in the kit. While bears do not commonly roam Baxter State Park due to their solitary nature, run-ins with wildlife do occur. Prepare for them.

Tips & Warnings

  • Carry bear repellent when camping or hiking anywhere in Maine.
  • Avoid tent camping in Baxter State Park through the coldest months of the year.


  • Baxter State Park: Camping Information
  • "The Best in Tent Camping: New England: A Guide for Car Campers Who Hate RVs, Concrete Slabs, and Loud Portable Stereos"; Lafe Low; 2008
  • "Wilderness Partners: Buzz Caverly and Baxter State Park"; Phyllis Austin; 2008

Photo Credits

  • Jupiterimages/Brand X Pictures/Getty Images