[June 2, 2020]
We wanted to share the latest news about changes to Baxter State Park's summer season in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Baxter State Park Authority met on Friday, May 29, and considered detailed plans from Park staff for reopening the Park safely. On Tuesday, June 2, the Park released a statement outlining those plans. Here are some key updates:
Open Now: Trails closed due to the 45-acre Abol fire on May 21 reopened for public access on June 1. This includes the Appalachian Trail (as far as Katahdin Stream Campground), as well as the Foss and Knowlton, Blueberry Ledges, Abol Pond, and Abol Stream trails. Park staff are encouraging visitors to use extra caution in this area, where some fire-related hazards may still be present.
On June 15, the Togue Pond and Matagamon gates will open for vehicle access. Gates will be open from 6:00am – 8:00pm daily. On the north end, the road will be open from Matagamon Gate to McManus Brook, just north of Nesowadnehunk Campground, as well as the Scientific Forest Management Area. On the south end, the road will be open from Togue Gate to Abol Hill, including Abol Pond and Togue Pond Beach. Note: the Tote Road between Abol Hill and McManus Brook and the Roaring Brook Road are temporarily closed due to road and culvert work. This work will improve aquatic habitat connectivity and infrastructure resilience to climate change. We will let you know when these roads open.
On July 1, trails above treeline, including trails on Katahdin and Traveler, are tentatively scheduled to reopen. Trail closures above treeline are normal this time of year due to snow on trails and resource protection issues.
On July 1, Baxter State Park plans to open for camping with the exception of bunkhouses, which will remain closed for the 2020 season. Park staff will contact all campers holding bunkhouse reservations to offer transfers, credits, or refunds free of charge.
You can download a complete copy of the statement here. Friends will continue to send updates on any changes to the summer season as soon as they become available. Please check back here soon for detailed information on how to prepare for your visit to the Park this season, including COVID-19 guidelines for camping and backcountry recreation.