BAXTER STATE PARK
Baxter State Park is the result of a dream of former Governor Percival P. Baxter who donated the first parcel of land in 1931 and over the years added various parcels until his final acquisition in 1962 brought the Parks area to 201,018 acres. Since then, the Authority has purchased and been gifted additional acreage to bring the Park to its current size of 209,644 acres. In addition to the various gifts of land, Governor Baxter also left two sizeable trust funds to carry out the operation and maintenance of the Park without the need for state funding.
While Baxter State Park bears the name State like many parks it is separately administered, free from any connection with the larger State Park system Bureau of Parks and Lands/Dept. of Conservation. The Baxter State Park Authority, a three-person authority consisting of the Attorney General, the Director of the Maine Forest Service and the Commissioner of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, has full power in the control and management of the Park and in the exercise of all Trust obligations.
Percival P. Baxter was governor of Maine during the years of 1921-1924. He enjoyed fishing and vacationing in the Maine woods throughout childhood and his affection for the land and Maines wildlife were instrumental in his creation of a park for people of the State of Maine. He began to fulfill his dream of a park in the year 1930, with the purchase of almost 6,000 acres of land, including Katahdin, Maines highest peak. In 1931, Baxter formally donated the parcel to the State of Maine with the condition that it be kept forever wild. Over the years, Governor Baxter purchased additional lands and pieced his park together, transaction by transaction. He made his final purchase in 1962 download map. Since then,additional purchases and land gifts have increased the Parks total size to 209,644 acres. About 75 of the Park 156,874 acres is managed as a wildlife sanctuary. In the northwest corner of the Park 29,537 acres about 14 of the Park was designated by Governor Baxter to be managed as the Scientific Forest Management Area. In addition, about 25 of the Park 52,628 acres is open to hunting and trapping with the exception that Moose hunting is prohibited in the Park.