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Old 04-13-11, 05:45 AM   #1
rumrunn6
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Roaring Brook Campground Baxter State Park

I know we won't be doing any cycling here but I just confirmed my reservations for 6 nites camping with teenagers the end of July. Would love to hear from anyone who has been. This is more rugged camping than we are used to. Meaning filtering water to drink and wash with; no showers; no sinks or plumbed water of any kind, etc
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Old 04-13-11, 06:20 AM   #2
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Hi Rumrunn6, I've backpacked quite a bit in the White Mtns of N. Hampshire and have done one trip into Baxter State Park. Rangers limit how many people are in the park at one time so that hiking there has the feel of a real wilderness experience. You're in for a treat. I sounds as if you will be the group leader. It is typical in a group for some to hike very fast and some to be quite slow. I would STRESS the importance to your kids of keeping the group together. Even if a few race on ahead on trails, as they surely will, regroup at any trail junctions or every 15 to 20 minutes or so. Baxter is a big place so everyone should be paying attention to surrounding at all times. I'm jealous.
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Old 04-13-11, 12:45 PM   #3
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It is a lot more primitive than most state parks. Definitely worth it if you want a taste of backwoods camping with few amenities. Be aware that the road into the camping area is pretty rough and long: it doesn't absolutely require 4wheel drive, but you do need decent ground clearance. Take everything you are going to need, because it's a long drive to the nearest store!
You probably know already, but they are (or used to be) very particular about not using soap in the lakes or streams. You do all your soap washing in basins which get dumped in the outhouse. Bring jugs and basins! Also, bring more than one water purifier. If you only have one and it quits (surprisingly common experience!), you are going home early.
Baxter is a great place: I hope you have a ball!
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Old 04-14-11, 06:02 AM   #4
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thanks guys ~ I've been there before when i was a teenager to do the mountain with my sister and Dad maybe 35 years ago but we stayed in a hotel to wait for good weather. for those who have actually camped there:

- where do we get the water? roaring brook?
- is there no water pump?
- can we wash with the water without filtering it?
- do bears visit campsites at night?
- is there room at the sites for a screen house?
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Old 04-14-11, 07:58 PM   #5
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Best to call the park rangers to find these things out. I don't think there is any pumped water at the campsites. As I recall, there's no problem finding water with all the lakes & streams. You only need to purify water you drink and cook with. Bears are definitely around, so you have to stash your food accordingly.
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Old 04-16-11, 06:27 PM   #6
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I've seen bear every time I've been to Baxter (4 times.) Not at the campsites, but yes, store food accordingly.
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Old 04-16-11, 08:28 PM   #7
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As has been said, you need to purify water. I use a Hiker Pur filter which is fairly fast for a group. I's handy to filter into a, say 6 liter foldable, packable water canteen for groups. Chemical purification works fine but takes a bit of time to work. There are plenty of bears all over New England so hanging food bags in necessary. I use a small stuff sack with a rock in it for tossing over a handy tree limb. This method has the advantage of providing considerable entertainment for observers.
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Old 04-17-11, 06:22 AM   #8
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thanks. keep the info coming. any first hand accounts about the premises would be greatly appreciated.

as pay back, if anyone wants info about North of Highland Campground in N. Truro, MA, I'm your man ...
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Old 04-17-11, 07:07 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rumrunn6 View Post
thanks guys ~ I've been there before when i was a teenager to do the mountain with my sister and Dad maybe 35 years ago but we stayed in a hotel to wait for good weather. for those who have actually camped there:

- where do we get the water? roaring brook?
- is there no water pump?
- can we wash with the water without filtering it?
- do bears visit campsites at night?
- is there room at the sites for a screen house?
Most shelters have the brook right behind them.

I don't remember a pump, but I haven't been there in a decade.

Good question. We never filtered wash water, ask a ranger when you get there.

Yeah, on rare occasion a bear will come by. You will need to keep food locked up in
your car, they also provide a way to hang your food up high.

Call or email the park and ask them about the screen house.

The different sites are quite different. You might want to try and get a couple
nights at Daicey Pond, or South Branch.

Are you planning on hiking Katahdin?
If you do, you need to know to read the signs.
It's safe, but there's one spot that looks like a trail
and isn't. It's easy to get stuck. As in permanently stuck.

We have been to the park several times. Know the rules, follow them,
you'll be fine.

The best way to experience the park is to backpack. My favorite trip
was roaring brook/russell pond/davis/chimney pond/roaring brook
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Old 04-19-11, 05:29 PM   #10
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If you fly fish, bring your gear! Some fantastic brooktrout fishing awaits your arrival!
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Old 04-22-11, 10:32 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rumrunn6 View Post
I know we won't be doing any cycling here but I just confirmed my reservations for 6 nites camping with teenagers the end of July. Would love to hear from anyone who has been. This is more rugged camping than we are used to. Meaning filtering water to drink and wash with; no showers; no sinks or plumbed water of any kind, etc
well, you can bike the tote road that leads up towards Abol campground/Katahdin stream. You aren't allowed to bike to Roaring brook though...

No pumps, but you should be able to access roaring brook itself.... There is usually always a ranger there right before the trails that lead into the wilderness that is generally helpful and friendly for any questions. And the Park Ranger's headquarters in Millinocket on Balsam st can answer your questions as well, that's the place you call when you have questions about reservations, etc...

Good luck, stay safe and have fun!

Jay
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Old 04-22-11, 12:36 PM   #12
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As has been pointed out, the main difference between camping at Baxter and staying at most other state parks is plumbing: at Baxter, there ain't none, so you need to pack accordingly. Plenty of water jugs, toilet paper, trowel(s) and a wash basin or two are necessities you wouldn't need in most other places. It is a long drive to the nearest store so make sure you have all your stuff with you before you arrive.
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