The Northern Maine Woods encompasses some of the most truly wild lands anywhere on earth. It’s largely undeveloped, allowing unspoiled Mother Nature to show off some of her best work. This is the home of 209,644-acre Baxter State Park.
Baxter State Park features beautiful summits, hundreds of miles of hiking and biking trails, rivers, and over 50 lakes and ponds. Here, visitors will find world-class fishing and plentiful opportunities for paddling and wildlife viewing.
For nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts, this is paradise. One of the best ways to immerse yourself in all the park has to offer is RV camping near Baxter State Park. It’s a large area to explore and fairly remote, and an RV rental allows you to take your time while having easy access to all the comforts of home.
Baxter State Park Facts
There is truly no other place like the North Maine Woods, so pristine, natural, and remote. Read these Baxter State Park fact before packing the RV and hitting the road.
- Former Maine governor Percival P. Baxter donated Baxter State Park to the public in 1931 on the sole condition that it be kept “forever wild.”
- At 5,269 feet, Mount Katahdin is the highest peak in the state.
- Many of Maine’s large mammals call the park home, including moose, deer, black bears, and lynx.
- Baxter State Park is open year-round, though accessibility becomes extremely limited in the winter months.
- Baxter State Park is remote and intentionally undeveloped, so there are no services within park boundaries. That means no gas stations, flushing toilets (pit toilets are available), running water, or trash cans. Pack it in, pack it out.
Best Baxter State Park RV Parks and Campgrounds
To keep the park in its natural state, campgrounds are limited, and there are no services such as RV hookups. Vehicles cannot exceed nine feet tall, seven feet wide, and 22 feet long (44 feet combined, if towing). Many people choose to forgo RV camping in Baxter State Park and instead stay in nearby Millinocket, which has several convenient and beautiful campgrounds.
Wilderness Edge Campground
Wilderness Edge is about 15 minutes from Baxter State Park in Millinocket. In fact, the campground is on the same road as the park’s south entrance, making it one of the most convenient places for RV camping near Baxter State Park!
All the park’s RV sites have water and electric hookups, and there’s a dump station on site. Enjoy a pool, playground, horseshoe pits, camp store, complimentary WiFi, and hot showers. The park is exceptionally pet- and ATV-friendly, plus offers canoe and kayak rentals.
More information: Wilderness Edge Campground
Abol Bridge Campground
Situated on the park border, Abol Bridge is about as close as you can get to RV campgrounds in Baxter State Park. It also sits directly on the “100 Mile Wilderness” section of the Appalachian Trail.
Enjoy staying in a Penobscot Riverfront RV campsite with Mount Katahdin looming in the background. There’s a sandy beach and boat launch, as well as hot showers and an outdoor game pavilion with cornhole and horseshoes. Hot daily breakfast is also included with all stays.
More information: Abol Bridge Campground
Pinegrove Campground and Cottages
If you’re looking to get away from it all at one of the most idyllic RV parks near Baxter State Park, look no further than Pinegrove Campground and Cottages. This picturesque 19-acre park sits directly on the Penobscot River and is conveniently located about an hour outside of Baxter State Park.
Pinegrove has complimentary WiFi, a playground, rec/game room, and a camp store. It’s also pet-friendly, and the RV sites have fire rings and picnic tables.
22 sites, including full hookup sites, water and electricity only, and two monthly sites.
More information: Pinegrove Campground and Cottages
Katahdin Shadows Campground & Cabins
Katahdin Shadows is considered the “gateway to the North Maine Woods,” ideally located near Baxter State Park and Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument. The pet-friendly campground offers Baxter State Park RV camping in a beautiful setting with plenty of amenities.
Guests can enjoy the pool, playground, basketball court, and game room. Katahdin Shadows is also well-known for its fun community events throughout the summer, including a Halloween costume party and 4th of July potluck BBQ.
105 sites, both full hookup and sites with water and electric only
More information: Katahdin Shadows Campground
Big Moose Inn Cabins & Campground
Billing itself as “the closest full service accommodations to Baxter State Park,” Big Moose Inn sits on Millinocket Lake and offers a variety of campsites. The Baxter State Park RV sites here have water and electricity hookups, and can accommodate RVs up to 33 feet long.
Big Moose Inn is pet-friendly and there are hot showers, WiFi in the lodge, a small general store selling essentials like firewood, and two restaurants onsite. Guests can also rent kayaks, canoes, and paddleboards.
More information: Big Moose Inn Cabins & Campground
Best Time to Visit Baxter State Park for RV Camping
In a state as beautiful as Maine with so much to see and do, it’s hard to imagine there ever being a bad time to visit. However, the best time to visit and stay in Baxter State Park RV campgrounds is relative and will largely be determined by the activities you want to do.
As park rangers state
, “Baxter Park in the winter is a truly wild, beautiful, challenging and at times, unforgiving landscape.” Expect daytime highs in the teens, overnight lows in the single or even negative digits, and lots of snow. Because of this extreme weather, the park attracts few winter visitors.
For those willing to brave the elements and plan their visit in advance, however, Baxter State Park is the ultimate winter playground. Park roads aren’t plowed in the winter, so most of them are closed to vehicle traffic. Visitors can use the plowed parking lot near Abol Bridge, ride snowmobiles, or snowshoe or ski in.
During the spring, Baxter State Park comes to life with wildflower blooms. It’s also an excellent time of year for trout fishing, as the rivers, lakes, and ponds thaw.
While springtime is warmer than winter, the weather remains largely unpredictable. High temperatures can swing anywhere from 20 to 60 degrees between March and May, and evening lows are often below freezing. Rain and snow are not at all uncommon well into May, so the park recommends that visitors pack plenty of layers.
Summer is hands-down the most popular season for people to visit Baxter State Park. Just about every imaginable outdoor pursuit is available and at its best in the summer, including paddling, biking, fishing, rock climbing, and wildlife viewing. This is also the best time of year to hike within the park, especially if summiting Mount Katahdin is on your bucket list.
Temperatures during the summer are very comfortable in this area, typically in the high 60s and low 70s with nights in the 40s. However, summer brings frequent rain, often with thunder and lightning. It’s also humid and “buggy,” with mosquitoes, black flies, and other biting insects making their annual appearances. Remember there are no stores inside the park, so pack extra insect repellant.
Crowds die down substantially after Labor Day and the weather is near-perfect, so many people think fall is the best time to visit Baxter State Park. By November, daytime temps are often in the mid-30s, but September and October see days in the high 40s and 50s. Although it can snow as early as October, it’s uncommon until mid-November.
Northern Maine is arguably one of the best places in the country to see fall foliage. Hiking anywhere in the park offers breathtaking views, and getting out onto any body of water will provide a different perspective. Fall is also hunting season and it’s permitted in about 25% of the park.
Things to Do in Baxter State Park
No matter what season you’re visiting in, there are many things to do in Baxter State Park. If you love the outdoors, you’ll be in paradise here!
- Take a hike - A5,270-foot-tall Mount Katahdin is the highest peak in the state, but remember that there are 40 other peaks and hundreds of miles of trails inside the park. There are hikes here for every skill level.
- Go paddling - Kayaking or canoeing is one of the best ways to experience the serene beauty of the park. Almost all ponds within Baxter State Park have rentals available onsite for an extremely reasonable $1 per hour. It’s an honor system and visitors should bring cash.
- View wildlife - One of the biggest benefits of having a RV rental Baxter State Park is the opportunity to see wildlife at any given time. The abundance of water combined with dense forest makes the park an ideal home for a variety of species, moose in particular.
- Throw out a line - Baxter State Park is well-known for its fishing, especially brook trout. Visitors have an excellent chance of catching them in any given river or pond, but be sure to check the state fishing regulations.
Tips on Visiting Baxter State Park
If RV camping near Baxter State Park in the North Maine Woods sounds appealing to you, here are some helpful tips to help plan your visit.
- Visitors cannot bring firewood into Baxter State Park.
- Pets are not permitted inside the park whatsoever. That means if you’re planning to check out one of the RV campgrounds in Baxter State Park (as opposed to near the park), Fido has to stay behind.
- Out-of-state visitors are charged a $15 admission fee, and it must be paid in cash. Maine residents get into the park free.
- Even with confirmed reservations, you will be turned away if you don’t enter the park prior to 8:30 pm.
RV Rental Baxter State Park
If you’re looking to experience Baxter State Park RV camping, what better way to do it than in a Cruise America RV rental
? This is a wonderful way to unplug and connect with nature while also enjoying the comforts and conveniences of a state-of-the-art RV.
Contact Cruise America
to learn more about the best RV rental for Baxter State Park. With over
100 rental locations
, it’s simple to start planning your north Maine roadtrip!