Why This Is the Perfect Basecamp for Your Baxter State Park Adventures

Maine is huge, and there are some pretty epic outdoor adventures all over the state. You could easily spend weeks driving for hours to hit all Maine’s best trails, lakes, rivers and mountains. But if you’re looking to set up camp and stay put, there is one place that might be considered the pinnacle of outdoor adventure in Maine: Baxter State Park. Home to Mount Katahdin (Maine’s highest mountain), the area boasts some of the best AT hiking, whitewater rafting, fishing, and outdoor activities in Maine.

So when you’re planning your summer outdoor adventures, what’s the best place to go camping near Baxter State Park? Here are 6 reasons Abol Bridge Campground is the perfect launching pad for your outdoor vacation in and around Baxter!

View of Penobscot River and Abol Bridge Campground with Mount Katahdin in the background - outdoor adventure in Maine


It’s as close as it gets to the whitewater action!

Your whitewater rafting trip on the mighty Penobscot is just minutes away. It doesn’t get any better when your morning commute is 15 minutes upriver, and the takeout spot is just 3 minutes away from your campsite. While all the other rafters are crammed together on a bus heading back to Millinocket, you’ll already be kicking back in the pavilion with a beer, looking at photos and video from your day on the river.

Whitewater rafting boat on the Penobscot River near Baxter State Park in Maine

Penobscot Rafting | Campground Pavilion | Baxter State Park


There’s fun for all types of adventurers on the river.

Looking for more soft adventure than adrenaline-pumping activities? Head out on calmer sections of the river in a canoe or river tube. Or bring your own standup paddleboard and launch off into the sunset once the river has calmed down from the morning dam release.


You’re in a prime spot for fly fishing.

Maine might be known worldwide for its seafood, but those in the know head inland and away from all the crowds on the coast. Abol Bridge Campground on the Penobscot River is one of Maine’s many freshwater gems, perfect for fly fishing. Explore hidden coves along the river where brook trout and salmon like to hang out.

Maine fishing - Northern Outdoors


You don’t have to go far for great food.

I know campfire cooking is great, but sometimes you can use a break from chopping wood and stirring coals. At our pub-style restaurant at the campground, you can grab continental breakfast, a warm lunch or dinner, or beer and wine in the evening.

Great Northern Restaurant at Abol Bridge Campground near Baxter State Park - Northern Outdoors


Catch majestic views in a peaceful setting.

Views of Maine’s tallest mountain? Check.

Waterfront campsites? Check.

“The Way Life Should Be”? Check.

View of Mount Katahdin with Penobscot River from campsite at Abol Bridge Campground


The Appalachian Trail goes right through the campground.

As great as taking in the view from your campsite is, we know you’ll want to head out on the Baxter State Park trails, and Abol Bridge Campground is literally right on the Appalachian Trail! Enjoy family-friendly hikes like Blueberry Ledges or the Debsconeag Ice Caves, or tackle Maine’s tallest peak and the northern terminus of the Appalachian Trail, Mount Katahdin. There are also plenty of waterfall trails and shorter hikes throughout the park.

view of Mount Katahdin from campground near Baxter State Park


Have you been camping near Baxter State Park or rafting on the Penobscot? Share your favorite memory below!

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