Baxter State Park

Map shows trails in Piscataquis County. Park trails below.

Mountains, south part of the park

  • Mt. O-J-I — Four miles up to an open ridge with beautiful views, especially of Doubletop Mountain. The 3,434-foot summit has no views. The climb is not too steep, except for a short section close to the ridge line, but there are some tricky scrambles up boulders near the summit.
  • Sentinel Mountain — One of the easier hikes in the park, about 2.8 miles one way from Kidney Pond. The summit is 1,842 feet and the views are great for this relatively little mountain.
  • Doubletop Mountain — A wonderful, challenging hike to two summit peaks—3,489 feet and 3,455 feet—both of which cast the illusion of being unscalable, except maybe to climbers, when you’re looking at them from below. In truth, Doubletop is not a technical hike (there were several children at the top when we visited), and the views, particularly from South Peak, are breathtaking.
  • The Owl — Like all the mountains I’ve hiked so far in Baxter, this 3,670 footer is a toughie! But the summit, reachable after a 3.7-mile hike, offers superb views, especially of neighboring Katahdin, and a chance to cool off in Katahdin Stream Falls on your way down.
  • Mt. Coe-South Brother-North Brother Loop — Be ready for a long day. This amazing loop is more than 10 miles, up three summits all around 4,000 feet, with some very steep sections of trail. But the views from each mountain (if you hike on a clear day!) are astonishing.
  • South Turner Mountain — This 3,110-foot mountain is accessible via Roaring Brook Campground. You’ll reach the open summit with fabulous views of Katahdin in about 2.2 miles. While it starts off flat, around Sandy Stream Pond (also a great place for a swim), expect a steep climb.

Mountains, north part of the park

  • Horse Mountain — A relatively easy hike that can be as quick as 1.6 miles one way, with glorious views from a spur trail.
  • Trout Brook Mountain — A 3.5-mile loop, with a steep ascent and descent, to a 1,767-foot mountain with stunning ridge views.
  • Barrell Ridge — Another relatively moderate hike, 3.3 miles one way from South Branch Pond Campground, to an open summit with views.
  • North Traveler and Traveler Mountain Loop — Very strenuous, rugged 10.6 mile loop. Be ready for inclement conditions and high-elevation exposure. Fantastic views all around.
  • South Branch and Black Cat Mountain Loop — A challenging 6.6-mile loop, with great views of Katahdin, and much of the park really, from Black Cat Mountain.
  • Burnt Mountain — A relatively easy 1.3-mile hike to great southerly views of the park’s high peaks.

Trails from campgrounds


  • Dwelley Pond — A one-way, flat 5.4-mile walk that seems to be much less visited than other park trails. The trail passes a little pond where some people during our visit reported seeing moose.
  • Lower Ponds — I’m calling the ponds clustered near Togue Pond Gatehouse in the south part of the park the “lower ponds.” They include Rum, Caverly, Cranberry, Rocky, Kettle, and Abol ponds. They’re mostly flat paths that weave through forest, linking the quiet ponds. A ranger told me they’re not heavily visited.
  • Katahdin Lake trails — The network of trails linking Martin Ponds to Katahdin Lake offer scenic ponds, relatively easy forest walking, and narrow strips of sandy beach on Katahdin Lake. Katahdin forms the backdrop to both pond and lake, making for a scenic dip if you choose to swim!
  • Roaring Brook Nature Trail — This 1.2-mile easy trail, which starts at Roaring Brook campground, brings you to a bog with nice views.