WHERE TO CAMP IN THE KATAHDIN REGION
Baxter State Park has eight campgrounds accessible by car, and two more backcountry camping areas that must be walked into; most are open from mid-May until mid-October. Don’t count on finding a spot if you show up without reservations in the summer; the park starts processing requests on a first-come, first-served basis the first week in January, and dozens of die-hard campers traditionally spend a cold night outside headquarters to secure the best spots. Call well in advance (as in, during the previous year) for the forms to mail in. The cost of camping inside the park ranges from $15 to $32 per site (a night in a bunkhouse is $12 per person per night), while entire cabins can be rented for from $57 to $135. Reservations can be made by mail, in person at the headquarters in Millinocket, or (sometimes) by phone, though only less than 14 days from arrival. Don’t call them about any other dates. And remember: they don’t accept credit cards inside the park, only when reserving by mail or online ahead of time.
North Maine Woods, Inc. maintains a small network of primitive campsites on its 2-million-acre holdings. While you may have to drive through massive clear-cuts to reach them, some are positioned on secluded coves or picturesque points. A map showing logging-road access and campsite locations is available for a small fee plus postage from the North Maine Woods headquarters. Daily camping fees are minimal, though you must also pay an access fee to the lands.
There are a few drive-in campsites (notice I’m not saying campgrounds) at the Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument, but they are still underdeveloped and not for the faint of heart—little more than fire pits and, at one site, a pit latrine. They’re free, though, first-come-first-served and noted on the park map.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.