Baxter State Park is the premier wilderness destination in northern Maine for hiking, fishing, and camping. The park is home to several dozen ponds that support healthy native brook trout populations (click here for details on an awesome trans Baxter State Park hiking and fishing trip). The State of Maine also stocks hatchery trout every year in seven designated ponds in the Park to improve the fishing experience. These ponds, and their trout stocking rates, are the subject of this blog.
Baxter State Park offers a genuine wilderness setting. Most people know the park for the spectacular Mount Katadhin hike, including the one-of-a-kind Knife’s Edge Trail. Yet Baxter also offers a tremendous variety of outdoors opportunities which I decided to explore in-depth during a five-day hiking/camping/fishing trip with my son Joel in mid-September, 2012. As a serious bonus, the park offers some of the best native brook trout fishing opportunities on unspoiled ponds found anywhere in the state of Maine.
The hike started at Trout Brook Farm, located about 3 miles west of the northern entrance to Baxter State Park at Matagamon Gate (see The Maine Atlas and Gazetteer map 51 A1) and was scheduled to end at the Roaring Brook campground (see The Maine Atlas and Gazetteer map 51 C1). Click here for downloadable maps of the ponds and the hiking trails on this itinerary.
Trout Brook flows roughly parallel with the Park Tote Road (a.k.a. Perimeter Road) in the northern part of Baxter State Park. The brook originates in the western reaches of the park and empties into Grand Lake Matagamon to the east. The substrate consists mostly of coarse sand, pebbles, and cobbles interspersed by many large boulders. The water has a slightly stained color but is otherwise clear and clean.