Baxter Reservation Stuff

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New member
Dec 16, 2003
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Cape Cod
Happy Holidays All, Just looking for information from any folks that have had experienced with the reservation process for Baxter State Park. I understand from their web site thatyou can mail your reservation request as early as 12/26/03 for the 2004 season, which I have already done. Just some feedback from folks. What was the response time in confirming your reservation? Did you get your first choices? I know these answers may vary depending on the volume of the reservations coming in and the time of year as to which folks are looking for sites, but any feedback is helpful. Thanks in advance.

Best To All,
Hi Redwood,

I never send in three choices. I'm specific as to dates, campgrounds and site #s and say "if what I want is not available, please call me"

If you're out-of-state I think they'll only call you collect.

I keep my reservation form, calender and campground maps handy for when they do call me, then we talk about it.

I usually know what I've gotten after the phone call. If by some chance I got everything I wanted on the first try, I won't know until I get the reservation confirmations, sometimes in February.

good luck!
In the years that I mailed it in, I usually sent it around mid-January and had a response in about 4 weeks ... always in the form of a short note that such and such date was available and to call back within a week if it was acceptable. It is helpful to achieving your desired destination or itinerary if you are reasonably flexible and mid-week availability is generally a bit better than weekends.

See you at Opening Day, Twigeater.

I discourage anyone from going to opening day ... it only means a longer line ... unless you plan to hike with me sometime over the weekend. ;)
I won't be there Stan. :(
I guess they had enough volunteers and didn't need me.

So I'll be in the White's at the Carter Notch hut instead. :)
Stan, that must've been long ago! :)

Out of state reservations are opened the same time as Maine reservations.

from the website:

"1. All Maine resident reservation requests made by mail will be processed before non-resident requests on a daily basis. An average of 30% of campground lean-to and tent site facilities shall be set aside for Maine resident advance reservations.

2. These sites will be held for Maine residents only until 7 days prior to the actual use date. After which time, if they have not been reserved, sites will be released to either residents or non-residents, except those sites at Abol Campground. (The sites at Abol Campground will be released to either residents or non-residents.)"
The last time I made reservations by mail was probably 5 years ago, since then I've gone to three opening days.

Here's a link to this year's opening day procedures, the last probably as a new system goes on trial starting next year.
Lines start with those who camp out but many either drive up early or stay in the area such as at the Katahdin Inn which is this year's "headquarters". Best Western is just down the street, too, if Katahdin Inn is booked.

Baxter Park opening day link
Interesting Stan...I've always just gotten back the reservation confirmation.

I was kinda hoping to be up there on Friday so I could get in line for one particular reservation - a trip that includes Davis Pond, but more importantly, this is supposed to be the last year for the Wassataquoik Lake Island shelter and I wanted to get one last night there.

Good luck and I hope we all get our first choices! :D
That's a lot like the trip I was planning except we plan to stay at Little Wassataquoit shelter instead of the island ... felt the logistics and timing for the island, for only one night at each shelter, might make the hike more rushed than it needs to be. Then a couple nights at Kidney Pond.

For solitude, cabin 12 (a paddle across Kidney Pond or a mile hike around) is a treat. They don't reserve it until after the loons nest ... the loons have nibs on the reservations having a priority even over other Maine residents ... so sometimes it is available long after everything else has been booked. Nice view of the pond and OJI ... and we had a noisy moose come through regularly at about 5 AM.
That's good to know about cabin #12. I haven't stayed in any of the cabins yet, but would like to sometime. My sister-in-law got pretty frustrated once trying to get a cabin (I tried to tell her she needed to do it Jan2) :rolleyes:

I've never stayed at Little Wassataquoik, cause the trail used to go right between the lean-to and the fire ring. Now that the trail has been re-routed to the other side of the lake, it's a very nice site.

This past July, we hiked a short trail up to some ledges that overlook Wassataquoik Lake. The trail had just been cut out, and there was a handmade wooden sign that said "15 minutes to view) or something like that...I think that sign has been replace though.

I must have pictures...