Baxter Park expects later opening

Posted May 02, 2011, at 11:07 a.m.

MILLINOCKET, Maine — Although winter has now departed from most of Maine, snow and ice is still plentiful around Mount Katahdin, and that may delay access to some roadside campgrounds until after the normal May 15 park opening date.

The Park’s highest backcountry campground, Chimney Pond at an elevation of 2,914 feet, normally opens on June 1, but deep snows may also delay that opening as well.

The Park will be continuing its Day Use Parking Reservation System this year  Visitors wishing to climb Katahdin from trailheads at Roaring Brook, Abol and Katahdin Stream Campground may secure a parking reservation for the trailhead of their choice either on-line through the Park’s website or by calling the DUPR line at 207-723-3877.

Campers wishing to camp in the Park within two weeks can now make their reservation on-line through the park’s website. During the first year trial of this system, on-line reservations are limited to one site at any roadside campground. Camping fees for backcountry campsites have been reduced to $20/site per night.

Park hiking trails are currently closed to hiking until snowmelt is complete.  Park Rangers are checking trail conditions regularly and trails will be opened as soon as conditions permit.

Park officials wish to remind campers that to protect the park from invasive destructive insects such as the Emerald Ash Borer and the European Longhorned Beetle, the transport of firewood into the Park is prohibited.

Hikers or campers headed to the Park should check the park’s website, baxterstateparkauthority.com or call Park Headquarters at 207-723-5140 for current information on camping and trail conditions.