Moosehead Lake Region and Baxter State Park,Maine
Was just up in the Greenville,Maine area and was informed that no motorcycles are allowed on the private logging roads leading up to the Baxter State Park to include the Park itself..
However I was informed that there was an exception to this rule when there was a Harley run that occurred some time not to long ago that allowed motorcycles up to Baxter State Park.
Does anyone have further info concerning this exception??
You are right that no motorcycles are allowed on the private logging roads or in Baxter state park. The park itself is owned by the "people of Maine" according to the former Governor Baxter who made the Park possible. As far as the private owners of the logging roads surrounding the park, my thougt is ( not that it is worth much) They built and maintain their roads, they should have say who uses it or not. If they want to make an exception who are we to agree or not. It's their land and their liabilty. When I head "north", I take the truck.
As far as Baxter State park goes, They have their own set of rules that were put into effect by Goverer Baxter when he donated the land to the state of Maine. Governer Baxter spent much of his adult life aquiring the land which is now Baxter State park. The vast majority of the land was purchased with his own money. As it was he had trouble trying to convince the state to let him donate it to the people of Maine.
I for one am OK with the fact that no motorcycles or atvs are allowed into the park. Noradios or tvs are allowed either. No boat motors.The size of campers is very limited due to the narrow road. No hunting in a majority of the park. According to Governor Baxter the Park is primarily for the wildlife, the needs of the people come second. No running water, no drinking water. Bring your own drinking water. Outhouses only.
The road thru the park is a narrow unimproved tote road. It is no place for a group motorcylce ride. I know in the past United Bikers of Maine has tried for a ride in the park. I do not think they were ever successful.
It is truly a special place. Yes, the rules can be a pain in the butt. Let's face it, we are not used to the needs of the wildlife coming before ours.
The park is a lot different from other state parks in Maine. It is governed by the Baxter Park Authority. Later in his life Governor Baxter put much of his family forturne, he never married or had children, into an account at a fixed rate. Last I read the park operates in the black. The Park does not rely on funding from the state as the other parks do. Let's face it "Them that has the gold makes the rules".
I did not hear of Baxter Park allowing any Harley group into the park. It is possible they did but I would bet not. I would be surprised if the park ever opened that door. That being said snowmobiles are allowed in winter. If you really want to see some rules try to go camping in the park in winter. I for one hope that the Baxter Park Authority continues enforcing the strict rules. There are not many places like Baxter State Park, at least around here.
If you are up for a truly wonderful experience visit Baxter State Park. Park your vehicle and explore by foot and or canoe. It is about as far as you can get away from civilization in New England.
I just read your post again. You can ride up to the south entrance of the park on public roads from the town of Millinocket. When you get to the park gate, well, you will have to park your bike and walk in or turn around.
Thanks Mark..well written and can tell of your passion for the area as I..one of the reasons for my return. As a former Camp Allagash camper(no longer in existence)I too had the opportunity to explore the area lakes and mountains to include a very memorable canoe trip (20 ft very heavy lake canoes)down the Allagash(just prior to the current wilderness guidelines)River from N.E. Carry to St. Francis,Maine.
Camp Allagash also had a section AT trail of responsibility to be kept clear near the base of Mt. Katahdin which we where flown in by float plane..which we eventually ended at the top of the Mountain.
With those memories I returned to find my old camp..now owned by a heart surgeon from Bangor.. whom wanted to know more about the history of the camp as a small portion of the original buildings had to remain basically in original form due to building codes of the area.
My understanding as to the 'No Motorcycle' policy on the private logging roads that back in the 1930's there was a concern for forest fires due to a lack of spark arrestors on bikes back then and the policy has stuck since.
Talking with an Information Guide in Greenville he related that the Harley Owners Group (HOG)received a special exception for one day to travel a designated portion of private road(s). Maybe one of the other reasons that these roads have limited access that the loggers don't adhere to any speed limits and from my experience..they own the road and they make no bones about it..they will force you off the road..
Folks that are reading this..the area mentioned is pure GS/Adventure country and these bikes would be at home if allowed..
Again, Mark thanks for the information.
Last edited by Clay; 06-14-2010 at 12:16 PM.
We just returned from the area. We spent a night camping at the Penobscot Outdoors Center just a mile or two from the gate to Baxter. What an incredibly beautiful place!! Our campsite was right on a lake with absolutely no signs of civilation. Not as much as a stray bottle cap or distant light. Talk about star gazing!!
As for motorcycle access, I was fine with it. Not allowed means not allowed and I learned from my research prior to arrival. We were still able to get a good look and feel for the area. I know nothing about special permission for HD but I can say that I doubt many HD riders would want to take their bikes there. We were on GS's and the roads at times were a little rough.
We toured the state from the north woods to down east. The north woods were definately the highlight of our trip. I've never been able to ride for miles without seeing another vehicle. I can't wait to go back!