Update: Baxter State Park

Katahdin Shadows RV park had a number of snowmobile and hiking trails. In the afternoons, we enjoyed short walks to sketch and photograph mushrooms along the trails.


However we were itching for a longer hike, so we decided it was time for a trip to Baxter State Park, the location of Mount Katahdin. Northwest of Millinocket, it was only about a 30 minute drive from our campground to the park.


View of KatahdinGeocaching

Our first stop was the Postcard... From the Mountain geocache where we got a great view of Mount Katahdin.


We also stopped at a painted rock near the entrance of Baxter State Park. Painting rocks is one of our hobbies, but this is more of a mural than simply a painted rock. We really enjoy rock art of all types; check out our Naturescapes Rock Art page.

Annette and Painted Rock


Baxter State Park

The park was established by Governor Percival P. Baxter in 1931. The park covers 204,733 acres. The park was designed for hiking (200 miles of trails) and provides only a dirt/gravel road system, limited parking, and primitive camping. No guns or hunting is permitted. It was Baxter's idea to keep the park natural and wild. We love this approach!

Maine residents can enter the park for free, but "outsiders" must pay admission. We were happy to make the contribution. A friendly park worker greeted us at the visitor center and provided maps and directions. Originally we had thought about hiking to the top of the mountain (below), but with limited time we decided on a shorter hike.

Katahdin view


Katahdin Stream Trail

We chose to hike the Katahdin Stream Trail leading to a waterfall. This trail is also at the beginning of the Appalachian Trail. Rather than hiking the entire 2,200 mile long AT, we decided to "drive" the backroads to north Georgia instead later this fall.

Annette in the roots of a treeWhile Larry photographed mushrooms, Annette explored the stream.

There were very few other hikers, so we had lots of opportunities to be goofy. In the photo on the left, Annette crawled down the hill and peeked up through the roots of a tree.



This is our favorite type of trail. Running along the river and crossing bridges (below left) and wet areas, the trail was rugged dirt and rock. It had enough elevation gain on the way up the hill to get the heart beating. This also made the trip back very quick! At the end we were rewarded with a great waterfall (below center and right)

larry on bridgeAnnette at Katahdin FallsKatahdin Falls


Larry's Lens Mishap

The hike ended at a beautiful tiered waterfall. After viewing the falls from a distance, we walked to the top of the falls and sat on the rocks near the edge of the falls. As usual, Annette was sketching and Larry was photographing.

Suddenly, Annette saw the polarizing lens from Larry's camera roll by with Larry close behind. The lens plopped into the water and began floating toward the edge of the waterfall. Before it could reach the dropoff, it came to rest in the gravel at the bottom of the stream. We feared that it would start moving again at any moment.

Luckily, Larry was wearing those popular hiking pants that convert to shorts. Larry began throwing off his shoes and socks, while Annette unzipped the legs of his pants. She also grabbed his wallet and car keys out of his pockets.

Larry worked his way into the freezing and swift water. Annette was concerned that Larry was too close to the edge so she kept a tight hold of his shoulder, then arm, then hand as he worked his way toward the lens. He grabbed the lens and returned to the ledge.

Once he was safely holding onto the rock, Annette decided the moment should be recorded. She got out her camera and began snapping "re-enactment" shots to include on this page. Larry's feet were going numb as she asked for additional poses. Larry kept asking "can I get out now?"

Larry reachingLarry and the Lens

Some water got between the lens elements. Even though the lens dried out, it will need a professional cleaning. Thankfully the lens and Larry both survived.

Larry on rockLarry and clothes

After Larry warmed up and recovered from the near disaster, Annette began to reflect on the experience. For some reason she found it hilarious and couldn't stop laughing (as shown in the photo below). Luckily she didn't roll over during her laughing fit because the edge of the falls is right behind her!

Annette laughing


Park Drive

After a snack of banana bread, we headed down the road and enjoyed the drive. We spent some time at Ledge Falls (below) enjoying the slick rocks and river.


After making a drive into South Branch Pond, we headed out the north entrance past Shin Pond and back to our campground.


mushroomMushroom Hunting

We spend another week working with our fall courses, but for a break we headed to the woods to find new kinds of mushrooms.

We were amazed how many different varieties we found in the north woods of Maine. Some were familiar, but others such as the cluster of button mushrooms below (right) were new to us.


mushroomMushroom dots


MushroomsNext Time

We didn't have much time to explore, so there are many things we had to save for another time. Here are a few plans for our next visit:

  • Chimney Pond Trail at Roaring Brook
  • Daicey Pond hike
  • Hike to the top of Mount Katahdin
  • Drive north of Baxter park into the wilderness area. Take our tent and get permissions to camp.
  • Shin Pond Falls
  • Pine Grove Campground

Created by Annette Lamb and Larry Johnson, 9/04.