We decided to kick off the summer with a camping trip to Baxter State Park!
We had camped at Roaring Brooks years ago which is where you want to stay if you want to hike Mount Katahdin. Chimney Pond is also a great spot to camp but you have to carry your gear up. Beware of tiny leeches in Chimney Pond!
This time we decided to stay at South Branch Campground since this was baby Summit's very first camping trip. We wanted a scenic lake view and easier trails since we had a 8 month old baby in tow. The view from our Lean To campground was gorgeous.
Kanya & Summit at South Branch Pond
We had our own private walkway to the beach. Since we went earlier in the season, only one other fisherman was camping in the area making it nice and secluded.
The only thing I wouldn't recommend about going in June is it is way too cold to enjoy the swimming in South Branch Pond. This campground gets booked up very fast in the early spring so in order to get a July reservation you have to be prepared to book it once winter is over.
James & Summit in the Lean To
We love camping in Acadia National Park but the reason we love Baxter State Park even more is you get a greater sense of being in the open wilderness. While I love being near the ocean in Acadia, there are less tourists and more hikers in Baxter. Most people don't take that extra hour and 20 mins to go to the North Entrance of the park making it even less crowded.
We did not see any moose on this trip but I have seen plenty of moose when I stayed in Baxter in late August and early September. Always standing nearby the water. Hopefully next time we will go later in the season and see some moose couples and little babies.
The South Branch Campground is definitely meant for canoeing and relaxing. They are a couple great cliff jumping spots to take advantage of in the warmer months of summer and canoes ready on the banks of the shore. We did a couple hikes with Summit in the Deuter Hiking pack and came across beautiful waterfalls and mountain ledges. If we go up to South Branch again next year sans baby, I would love to do the Travelers Loop. It's a 7 mile loop and some people say it's harder but more rewarding that climbing Katahdin. You stand on 3 different summits during the hike with spots along the way to cool off and take a swim.
When we set out to depart the park, we decided to drive from North to South through the park and stopped at a number of places along the way. It was an extra 3 hours but totally worth it.
Summit had a great time camping and that was the goal of the trip. He was terrified of the tent at first but then he loved it. He played in the lean to, grabbed trees as we hiked, and snoozed by the fire as we cooked s'mores. We definitely can't wait to take him camping again!