These ungroomed trails are all located near the southern edge of Baxter State Park. Many times, due to the increased elevation, snow cover here will vary in depth and consistency compared to the trails surrounding Millinocket. Most of these trails consist of out and back trips, not loops. They are usually lightly traveled so be prepared to break your own trail.
The Baxter State Park Tote Road is a shared trail used by snowmobilers and skiers. Skiers will find the snowmobile traffic to be less later in the season since the road is not groomed.
It is important to note that the Park has a "No Pets" rule and strict procedures for overnight use. Please visit Baxter State Park’s website http://www.baxterstateparkauthority.com/hiking for further information.
Abol Pond Trail - Currently it is best to access this trail from the west since the bridge connecting this trail to Abol Stream Trail is out and plan to make this an ‘out and back' trip. This trail goes through some open, burn-type forests and then abruptly transitions into dense softwood forest as the trails descends down toward the stream-- 1.7 miles one way. Do not attempt to cross the stream, since the ice is often unreliable here.
Abol Stream Trail - To the right or east is an administrative access trail for park personnel using snowmobiles, which skiers can follow along Abol Stream to the Abol Beach Picnic Area -- 1.2 miles one way. The trail is generally level, has several excellent views of Mount Katahdin and Abol Stream, a beautiful, clear stream that often stays open for much of the winter. From the Picnic Area, the trail connects with Kettle Ponds Trail, Cranberry Pond Trail and the park perimeter road, which is open to snowmobiles and skiers, but is not groomed.
Appalachian Trail (AT) - Skiers may also use the AT as it follows a fairly flat course along the West Branch of the Penobscot River between Abol Stream and Nesourdnahunk Stream - 3.5 miles one way. Currently a bridge out over a small, unnamed stream makes passage difficult without good snow cover and enough cold to ice over the stream.
Blueberry Ledges Trail - This trail climbs up fairly gradually at first and then more steeply closer to the ledges as it follows the general course of Katahdin Stream. Skiers can hear the roar of the stream in several places as it rushes over large granite boulders and outcrops that characterize the area. Enjoy a southern exposure and unobstructed views in the burned over ledges area above the stream. If surface water flow hasn't made the trail impassible, it is possible to ski to the stream. Do not attempt to cross the stream - currents are dangerous here. The ski-able part of the trail is approximately 2.5 miles one way and the climb up is rewarded with a nice ride down.
Foss Knowlton Trail - Follow the Appalachian Trail west past the Park informational sign and across the bridge over Katahdin Stream. The trail goes right or north, climbing up mostly with a few downward grades and flat stretches. It crosses a couple of streams that have been dammed by beavers. Foss Knowlton Pond is about 3 miles from Abol Stream and Daicy Pond is about 5.3 miles one way. These small ponds offer outstanding views of Katahdin and other smaller mountains in the vicinity west to Veto Mountain.
PARKING & TRAIL ACCESS:
The trails are best accessed by traveling west from Millinocket on the Baxter State Park Road to the crossover to the Golden Road near the Big Moose Inn and then continuing westward to a parking area on the left of the road, just before the Abol Bridge, about 20 miles west of Millinocket.
Park well off the Golden Road, a privately maintained logging road, to avoid conflicts with snow plowing and trucking. Be aware that the parking area is not patrolled. To access trails, cross the Golden Road and then the snowmobile trail to a gravel pit with a couple of storage sheds, continuing in the direction of Mount Katahdin. Shortly you will see a sign indicating you are entering Baxter State Park. Day use skiers are asked to sign in at the trailhead.