31 Jan Snowmobiling around Millinocket, Katahdin, and Baxter State Park
Not much cooler than riding around the snowmobile trails at the foot of Mount Katahdin, showing your dad where you spent last summer… camping next to Baxter State Park, guiding rafting trips down the Penobscot River, exploring ice caves, hiking to waterfalls.
River guide Stephanie Gallagher sends over this dispatch from her weekend snowmobiling trip with her dad from the East Branch Sno Rovers Club in East Millinocket to Matagamon to Shin Pond Village and to Abol Bridge Campground. Millinocket is 120 miles by snowmobile trail from our four-season adventure resort in The Forks, and the gateway to our Katahdin outpost for Penobscot rafting in the summer.
Snowmobiling from Millinocket to Shin Pond
We began the first day of our snowmobile trip at East Branch Sno Rovers Club house in East Millinocket. Rode ITS 83N to ITS 85N to Matagamon Wilderness for gas and hot chocolate. Great hospitality at the store, we often stop there on our rides in the Baxter State Park area.
(For summer trips the Matagamon Gate is a less traveled entrance to Baxter State Park as compared to the main gate at Togue Pond, though we generally hike right into the park on the Appalachian Trail from Abol Bridge.)
Trails were hard and smooth, fast and fun. Kudos to the trail groomers! We left Matagamon on 85 to get lunch at Shin Pond Village. Very friendly atmosphere. We didn’t see many snowmobiles on the trails but at both stops we saw lots of sleds come in for gas and food. When leaving Shin Pond Village we took 114 south to 85 south and then to 83 south, back to East Branch Sno Rovers clubhouse. The trails held up remarkably well in the afternoon (it was a lot colder than forecasted.)
Snowmobiling from Millinocket to Abol Bridge
Sunday morning we again started our snowmobile ride at East Branch Sno Rovers Clubhouse and headed North on 83 to 112W, then 85/86N to 112W to 85/86 to Abol Bridge. 112 is a less traveled trail that’s really picturesque with some short views of Mt. Katahdin. Temperatures were warmer but trails remained flat. We rode along the Penobscot River on 85/86. There are some amazing views of Mt. Katahdin with the Penobscot River in the foreground (a whole different scene than it was in July when I did my Level 2 Whitewater Guide Training!)
Camping next to Baxter State Park
Our Katahdin Adventure Base Camp, which is located at Big Moose Inn, is open for lodging and camping in the summertime with a great location just 8 miles from Millinocket and 8 miles from Abol Bridge Campground. Steps from Baxter State Park, you can hike into the park on the Appalachian Trail from Abol Bridge Campground or from the Togue Pond Gatehouse. Abol Bridge spans the Penobscot River and offers incredible views of Katahdin. Penobscot whitewater rafting trips put-in and take-out are both short rides from our base at the Big Moose, and offer exciting class V whitewater action!
Both Abol Bridge Campground and Store and the Big Moose Inn close for the winter but it’s still a great spot for snowmobilers to take in some amazing views of Katahdin… Maine’s Greatest Mountain!