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July 7, 2010

AllCampgrounds State Park Spotlight: Baxter, Machias River, and More

Filed under: Campground Destinations — Tags: — Simos @ 2:01 am
A dock full of dinghies in Maine

A dock full of dinghies in Maine
Photo by: Gregory Runyan (Stock Exchange)

Greetings, campers!

Rounding out our voyage through the charming state of Maine, AllCampgrounds turns to the greatest public parks and their offerings for tent camping and RV camping.

We already discussed Acadia National Park a bit in a previous post; it’s probably the best-known parkland in the state, and encompasses a lot of what campers value in Maine …

But it’s definitely not all!

All campsites have something unique to bring to the table, so here are a few other wonderful public spaces for you to consider.

The Maine Department of Conservation includes information on 30 state parks distributed around the state, and has an especially helpful search function that allows you to search by activities or facilities. There’s also an easy-to-understand reservation system that accepts reservations by phone or over the Internet for stays up to a full 14 nights! Maine’s park system has a very robust set of features, including full ATV and snowmobile programs, information on submerged land, and a lot more.

Baxter State Park: Featuring almost 250 sites for tent camping, lean-tos, cabins, and bunkhouses, Baxter is one of the most patronized and beloved state parks in Maine. It’s especially well known for its hiking opportunities on and around Mount Katahdin, the highest mountain in the state, which marks the northern extreme of the Appalachian Trail. The overnight camping season here runs from mid-May to mid-October; winter camping is available for those up to the challenge. Reservations highly recommended!

Down East Sunrise Trail: A major initiative encompassing the work of agencies from around the state, this versatile and breathtaking natural trail is designed to accommodate multi-use recreation for just about any purpose you can name, on foot or by vehicle. Running across southeastern Maine from Ellsworth to the distant town of Charlotte, it allows activities from hiking to biking, horseback riding, ATVs, cross-country skiing, and a whole lot more. Along the trail, which is planned to run as far north as the very tip of Maine in Calais, you’ll pass a number of scenic conservation areas.

Machias River Corridor: Over 70 miles of the most inviting river recreation imaginable is yours at the Machias River Corridor, which from Third Machias Lake in the north down to Salmon Pond and the town of Beddington in the south. Tent sites, RV parks and campgrounds, and even lean-tos dot the shore for just about the entire stretch. Camp grounds vary in their composition and features and some may be fairly rugged, but the average visitor is most interested in the world class boating and fishing opportunities.

Though it’s not about camping per se, I think it’d be a waste not to mention that one of the things Maine is most famous for is its collection of historic lighthouses, lovingly preserved on every coast. Many public lands are within a short distance of some of these landmarks, and tours or short visits are usually available. There are a lot of top notch “lighthouse tourism” sites on the Internet for you to learn more. I’d recommend starting with the Maine Office of Tourism Explore Lighthouses page.

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