Baxter State Park (West Peak, Ponds Loop, Abol Pond, Daicey Pond, Katahdin Stream Campground)

My younger son and I spent two days and two nights hiking, kayaking and camping at Baxter State Park.  

We started our trip on Wednesday with a four mile hike exploring the ponds west of the Katahdin Stream Campground.   We took the Elbow Trail from the Tote Road and visited Tracy, Elbow, Daicey and Grassy Ponds in hopes of spotting a moose.   We failed to see any moose but did enjoy great views of the nearby mountains.   While relatively easy, the hike involved surprisingly more elevation changes than we had anticipated.  While we has seen a few people on canoes in the ponds, we only encountered two other hikers on the trail.  Here is a map of our hike.


After dinner, we kayaked Abol Pond.  We parked at the Abol Beach Picnic Area.  We stopped here on our way into the park and ate lunch.  The area has a small beach and both times we visited we had it to ourselves.  We paddled two miles around the pond and enjoyed amazing views of Mount Katahdin.


We camped both nights in a lean-to at Katahdin Stream Campground.  The lean-tos are well maintained and fit two backpacking tents inside of them comfortably.   We were located right next to Katahdin Stream, which provided natural white noise all night.   The campground provides a good launching point for those hiking Hunt Trail to Katahdin or The Owl.  The campground was quiet and peaceful both nights.


On Thursday we hiked 5.8 miles round-trip to West Peak off of the Mount OJI trail.  Although it offered few views on the way up, this was a beautiful trail that lead to amazing views once at the overlook.  The trail starts over a series of wooden board bridges, and then continues up through a muddy stream before turning to a regular footpath through the forest and starting the ascent.  The West Peak overlook provided a wide view of the area including the nearby Mount OJI.  Here is a map of our hike.


After the hike we kayaked Daicey Pond.  Like many of the ponds in Baxter, we could have rented a canoe here from the park had we not brought our own kayaks.  We paddled the perimeter, enjoying views of Katahdin and other nearby mountains and spotted a loon, several large tadpoles, and a very friendly frog.

Tadpoles on a rock
More tadpoles


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