View Full Version : Baxter State Park Opening Day 2011

12-22-2010, 01:00 PM
I was on the BSP website and the date of the annual opening day for summer and fall reservations were posted as January 18th.

For those not familiar, for that one day only, up to two seperate reservations can be made only in person to any site in the park until 20% of the sites are reserved. I cant remember the details, but as long as its a continous trip, I think I could book up to 10 days for each trip. I do not know if you also can book the day use parking lot reservations that are recomended if you are not staying at the Kathadin trailhead campsites.

This was the traditional day when folks would camp out several days in advance to be first in line. With the new rolling reservations system, the event has tamed down for the last few years and there has been comments each year that each years event may be the last. My observations two years ago was that with the exception of some of the Kidney Pond cabins on prime weeks, almost every site was available after all the folks were processed in the morning. Although it was tradition to wait in the parking lot well before the doors were open, there really was no need. It was a nice gesture that the new park director brought donuts.

Do note, this is a walk in event only, no web or phone calls so you would need to drive up to Millinocket in January which is a pretty major limitation.

A big plus for the event is that a lot of long term BSP campers are there and most of the park staff are there to help out. If you have any arcane questions on the park, the odds are great that if it can be answered someone there will be able to answer it.

Depending on my schedule I will probably try to make it up this year, probably as a long day trip from Gorham NH via RT 2. If you are considering driving up, and not sure of the rules, the park reservations staff are real helpful and its wroth giving them a call in advance.

An option available at all times that a lot of folks dont realize is that individual shelters at campsites can be reserved, so if you like one particular shelter just reserve by its number which is on the site maps.

Yes there are a lot of rules at the park and they are enforced, but if you have never been there, its like nothing else in New England. If there are any folks who are serious about making the drive and are new to park feel free to PM me as I have lots of opinions!

12-23-2010, 09:18 PM
I'll be going up again this year. Will make an extra long weekend out of it to do some snowshoeing and/or xc skiing in the area. Planning for reservations in late August but haven't thought much about the destinations yet.

It is a tradition that's lots of fun, especially if you like standing around in the middle of the night in subzero wind chill! ... and a perfect excuse to get out there ... way out there! Buzz Caverly started the donut and coffee thing many years ago, out of pity I suppose as occasionally someone succumbs to the cold. The "new" system obviates the camping but by getting there before opening hour, it is feasible to get in line again and still drive a long way home.

P.S. One of us needs to post on Events.