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 Big Moose Campground is the perfect launching pad for your outdoor vacation in and around Baxter!

Big Moose Inn Cabins and Camping on Penobscot River


It’s SUPER close 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 30 minutes upriver, and the takeout spot is just 10 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 at our base with a beer, looking at photos and watching the video from your day on the river.

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


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 on Ambajejus or Millinocket Lake, just steps away from your campsite.

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. 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 the restaurant located on-site at Big Moose Inn, you can grab continental or buffet breakfast, a warm lunch or dinner, and beer and wine in the evening. Both Fredericka’s (casual fine dining) and Loose Moose (pub-fare) are located on-site with consistent hours and delicious options! Plus, who doesn’t love a rooftop cocktail after a long day on the river?

Roof Top Dining at the Big Moose Inn


Catch majestic views in a peaceful setting.

Close to Maine’s tallest mountain? Check.

Private, wooded campsites? Check.

“The Way Life Should Be”? Check.

Big Moose Campground near Millinocket


The Appalachian Trail and access to Mount Katahdin is right down the road.

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 the entrance to Baxter State Park is right down the road (you’re literally on “the Baxter Park Road”)! 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.


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

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