Baxter Perimeter Road will take you on a tour through the jewel of the Maine state park system, Baxter State Park. Mountain bikes are one of the best ways to explore Baxter State Park. They are quiet, save for the sound of tires crunching over gravel, and therefore allow riders to hear and see the abundant wildlife that inhabit the area. The cry of a loon, a hooting owl, or perhaps the bellow of a bull moose will allow riders to experience the sensation of wildness that Governor Baxter intended for visitors to this park. 

This trip requires that riders be familiar with the rudiments of loaded bicycle touring. You will have to carry everything you will need for the duration of your stay, including food, water, extra clothing, sleeping bag, tent, and stove. There may be heavy traffic on the perimeter road, particularly during summer weekends. If possible, ride either on a weekday or after Labor Day.

It is recommended that you plan your visit to Baxter Park as a multi-day tour. This will allow you time for hiking on any of the many trails in the park and for exploring the many sites of historical and natural interest. The rules and regulations are very strict about bicycles being confined to the gravel perimeter road. Please abide by this, no matter how tempting any of the side trails appear to be.


Location: Baxter State Park, which is located 18 miles from Millinocket.

Highlights: Numerous mountain views, Baxter State Park, wildlife, lake/pond/river views

Distance: From gate to gate, the route covers 43 miles of the most remote and scenic wild lands in the state.

Terrain: The Park Loop Road is a graded, two wheel drive dirt road. It can be dusty or muddy depending on the season. Long climbs on loose gravel will tire even the most physically fit riders.

Planning: This is a remote wilderness area with few services available. Therefore, planning ahead is essential. Take basic tools, spare parts, warm clothing, food, water, etc. Unpredictable weather and voracious insects may make this ride an ordeal for the unprepared.

It is essential to make reservations well in advance if planning to camp in the park. With careful planning, this ride can begin and end each day at one of the many campgrounds located in the park.

Season: The park is open from May 15 to October 15. However, several of the campgrounds do not open until June 1. We suggest an autumn ride (mid - September) if you can arrange it. Cooler temperatures, fewer insects and people, and the splendors of fall foliage all amount to a fantastic experience.

How to get there: To reach Togue Pond Gate, follow signs to Baxter State Park from Millinocket. At the gate, out-of-state residents will be required to pay a user's fee in addition to any camping fees. In-state residents must pay for camping only. Ask the gate attendant where you should park.

To reach Matagamon Gate, drive on Interstate 95 to Exit 58. Head north on ME 11 until it intersects with ME 159 in Patten. Turn left on ME 159 and stay on this road until it reaches Matagamon Gate.

Download the map above for additional information about the route.  The key to doing anything at Baxter is to arrive as early in the morning as possible. Most everything is on a first-come, first-served basis, including parking.

For additional information, please contact:
Baxter State Park
64 Balsam Drive
Millinocket, ME 04462
(207) 723-5140
www.baxterstateparkauthority.com
Highlights: Route follows along the West Branch of the Penobscot River. Pass by rural farms, forests, and logging communities, as well as historical landmarks in the towns of Medway, Mattawamkeag, Winn and Chester. Opportunities to see wildlife and birds.

Distance: 38 miles

Terrain: Moderate terrain, hilly, for intermediate cyclists. Trail conditions are generally fair to good. Watch for broken pavement. Caution -- Logging trucks are common on roads in this area. Watch out for them. Some roads have no shoulders.

How to get there: The ride begins at the Roy L. Powers Recreational Area parking lot on ME 157 in Medway. Take Exit 244 off I-95. Starting point is less than 2 miles west of exit.  Download the map above for additional information about the route.

For additional information, please contact:
Maine Department of Transportation
(207) 624-3300
www.exploremaine.org
Highlights: Follows along the West Branch of the Penobscot River. Views of Mt. Katahdin. Pass by rural farms, forests, and logging communities, as well as historical landmarks in the towns of Medway, Mattawamkeag, Macwahoc, Sherman Mills and Stacyville. Scenic Grindstone Falls with picnic area. Opportunities to see wildlife and birds.

Distance: 68 miles

Terrain: Challenging terrain for experienced cyclists. Trail conditions are generally fair to good. Watch for broken pavement. Caution -- Logging trucks are common on roads in this area. Watch out for them. Some roads have no shoulders.

How to get there: The ride begins at the Roy L. Powers Recreational Area parking lot on ME 157 in Medway. Take Exit 244 off I-95. Starting point is less than 2 miles west of exit. Download the map above for additional information about the route.

For additional information, please contact:
Maine Department of Transportation
(207) 624-3300
www.exploremaine.org

Highlights: Follows along the West Branch of the Penobscot River. Pass by rural farms, forests, and logging communities, as well as historical landmarks in the towns of Medway, Mattawamkeag, Winn, Lee, Springfield, Kingman and Macwahoc. Opportunities to see wildlife and birds.

Distance: 74 miles

Terrain: Challenging terrain for experienced cyclists. Trail conditions are generally fair to good. Watch for broken pavement. Caution -- Logging trucks are common on roads in this area. Watch out for them. Some roads have no shoulders.

Directions: The ride begins at the Roy L. Powers Recreational Area parking lot on ME 157 in Medway. Take Exit 244 off I-95. Starting point is less than 2 miles west of exit. Download the map above for additional information about the route.

For additional information, please contact:
Maine Department of Transportation
(207) 624-3300
www.exploremaine.org