The Appalachian Trail in Baxter State Park
The northernmost 10 miles of the Appalachian Trail is in Baxter State Park, hosted by the Baxter State Park Authority. Baxter State Park is considered a “quasi-State agency” and the Park is managed as a large public trust. The AT inside Baxter State Park is managed by the Baxter State Park Authority in accordance with the Trust Communications, rules and policies that govern Baxter State Park. Day use hiking of Katahdin has been managed under a controlled use model for the past 3 decades. The following policies apply to AT hikers entering Baxter Park:
- Southbound AT hikers must comply with entrance and camping policies and fees governing the general public.
- All AT hikers (northbound, southbound, section and flip-flop) must secure a AT Hiker Permit at either Katahdin Stream Campground in Baxter Park or Park Headquarters in Millinocket before or immediately after entering the Park.
- Northbound AT hikers (thru and section) may camp at “The Birches” at Katahdin Stream if space is available. The Birches is limited to a maximum of 12 persons/night and the fee is $10/person. There is no “work for stay” in Baxter State Park.
- Camping in Baxter State Park is not available after October 22. Katahdin trails, including the Hunt Trail (AT) may be closed for periods due to weather and winter conditions during October and November. We strongly recommend AT hikers complete their Katahdin summit hike prior to October 15.
Details about permit system for AT Hikers:
- A.T. Hiker Permit Cards will be available when the Hunt Trail opens to hiking in the spring (usually in early June).
- A.T. Hiker Permit Cards must be secured in person at Park Headquarters or Katahdin Stream Campground. Hikers must provide their actual name, trail name and an emergency contact phone number to receive a card.
- There is no fee for a card.
- The cards will be issued to four categories of long distance A.T. hikers: Northbound, Southbound, Section and Flip-Flop. Each hiker will be required to self-determine and declare their category prior to being issued an A.T.-Hiker Permit card.
- The available number of A.T.-Hiker Permit Cards for 2017 will be 3,150.
- Hikers must stop at the Katahdin Stream Ranger Station to have their permit card stamped. Hikers can obtain a yellow hiker registration sheet at this time.
- Permit cards will be date-stamped at the time of issue. Permit cards are valid for a period of seven days from the date stamp on the card. For example, a permit card date stamped 9/23/17 will be valid through 9/30/17.
- If all available 2017 permit cards have been issued, registration of A.T. hikers will end for the season, the Long Distance Hiking campsite will be closed and normal access protocols will apply to A.T. Shuttle traffic arriving at Togue Pond Gatehouse.
- If all available cards have been issued, A.T. hikers may still complete their hike by entering the Park through the Togue Pond Gate following the same process as other day use or camping visitors.
The Baxter State Park Authority strongly recommends that AT hikers respect the experience of others during their summit hike and