Acadia and Baxter Parks in Maine

7:42 a.m. on March 30, 2006 (EST)
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I need some info about a late May visit to these parks. Weather and bugs are two of my concerns. We hope to visit Acadia first, 2 or 3 days and then hopefully the trail will be opened to Katahdin. Any suggestions or advice will be appreciated. This will be our first trip to Maine.

4:45 p.m. on March 30, 2006 (EST)
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It's going to be an interesting spring here in Maine. The weather has been so far out of whack this winter and spring that I'm hesitant to even try giving a forecast for May.

We got very little snowfall this year, and spring has arrived several weeks early, so what snowpack there was has mostly melted already. That means things are starting to get dry. The good news is that the hiking trails should come into shape rather quickly, and the lack of standing water should limit the breeding opportunitites for mosquitos and black flies. But our big concern in Maine this spring will be forest fires. All signs point to a pretty serious fire hazard over the next couple months.

That all said, May is generally a great time to visit. Temperatures are moderate, the bugs aren't any worse than they are in June, and both Acadia and Baxter should be reasonably quiet before Memorial Day weekend.

12:55 a.m. on March 31, 2006 (EST)
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Thanks very much Dave.

7:54 a.m. on April 23, 2006 (EDT)

sorry to come in late to this thread...

Any advice you can gave about Baxter SP during the 3rd week of June? After years of promises, we're finally going to try and visit there before our yearly pilgrammage to Acadia -- our favorite place.

My plan was to hit Baxter mid-week and try and do a day hike from Roaring Brook to Chimney Pond. How 'bad' will the crowds be? Should I try to make reservations or just plan to get to the gate early? How early?


12:55 p.m. on April 24, 2006 (EDT)
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On the weekend people start lining up well before the park gate opens (officially 6 a.m., though it often opens at 5 on midsummer weekends). Midweek in June it's more likely that you can show up "late" (e.g. 7 a.m.) and still get into the park, but there are no guarantees. Because of this cutoff on the number of vehicles allowed in Baxter at any one time, crowding inside the park is never an issue.

Roaring Brook is the largest day-use parking lot, but it's also the most popular and the first to fill up most days. There are lots of other nice places to hike in the park if you show up too late for a spot at Roaring Brook.

Of course if you have campsite reservations you don't need to worry about showing up early. All sites must be reserved in advance and they do fill up very quickly. The park is in the second year of a rolling reservation system trial, which means that sites open for reservations four months in advance of the day you're reserving. In all likelyhood June was fully booked back in February, but it's worth mailing a reservation request if you think you might want to camp. You can also call within ten days of your trip to try a last-minute reservation, as some additional sites are released at that point.

The reservation system is overly-complicated, and not well explained, but here's the official info from the BSP web site:

10:31 a.m. on April 25, 2006 (EDT)

Thank you. That was exactly the information I was looking for. Looks like we'll still need to get up 'early' even on a weekday.

We were planning on just doing a day-hike but now we'll consider camping. Glad to know I wasnt the only person who found the rolling reservation system to be a bit cryptic.

June 20, 2018
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