Photo Credit: Ken Jordan

About Friends

Friends of Baxter State Park is an independent citizen group with a mission to preserve, support, and enhance the wilderness character of Baxter State Park in the spirit of its founder, Governor Percival Baxter. Learn more about our mission.

Baxter State Park

Baxter State Park is a 209,644-acre public wilderness area in northern Maine. Former Governor Percival Baxter gave the Park to the people of Maine with the mandate that it remain forever wild. Explore his park and his vision.


Volunteering is a great way to directly participate in the stewardship of the Park. From splitting wood to painting and maintaining trails, there’s something for everyone. Learn more about volunteer opportunities.


By contributing to Friends of Baxter State Park, you can help ensure that the Park forever remains the spectacular wilderness area that it is today. Learn more about donation options, or become a member today.

Application Deadline February 8 for Maine Youth Wilderness Leadership Program[December 29, 2016]

Friends of Baxter State Park invites current Maine high school sophomores and juniors to submit an application to participate in the 9th annual Maine Youth Wilderness Leadership Program. The program includes a nine-day wilderness experience in Baxter State Park, scheduled for early August. The application deadline for the program is February 8, 2017. This program offers ten high school sophomores and juniors the extraordinary opportunity to spend nine days immersed in the finest...

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Plants of Baxter State Park Field Guide Released[August 16, 2016]

On August 23, the University of Maine Press will publish The Plants of Baxter State Park field guide in association with the Maine Natural History Observatory, Friends of Baxter State Park, and Baxter State Park. Four years in the making, this guide represents an incredible conservation tool for Baxter State Park, and a new way for visitors and staff to understand the Park’s biodiversity and wilderness landscapes. At 6 inches by 9 inches in size, the field guide will fit...

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Katahdin Goes to Trail Days[June 22, 2016]

Friends recently attended the Trail Days festival in Damascus, Virginia. To my knowledge, this was our first major outreach effort outside the state of Maine. This three-day event, which draws about 15,000 people, is a celebration of the Appalachian Trail and an annual reunion for the AT hiker community. I’ve been told that it’s the largest festival of its kind anywhere in the world. Our group at Trail Days included Board members Dick Klain and Jaime Renaud (aka Navigator),...

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New Permit System for AT Thru-hikers[June 1, 2016]

Baxter State Park recently announced a new permit system for Appalachian Trail (AT) thru-hikers for summer 2016. Park staff have been raising concerns about increasing thru-hiker numbers and declining behavior for several years. Our cover story in the summer 2015 issue of Forever Wild provided some background on these issues. Here are the key details of the new permit system: All northbound, section, and flip-flop AT thru-hikers entering Baxter State Park in 2016 must obtain an...

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