Fishing for brook trout on Lower South Branch Pond in Baxter State Park, Maine (September 29, 2018)

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A stunning view of Lower South Branch Pond from the canoe launch area


My son Joel and I are leaving town for the weekend to partake in our annual fall camping, fishing, and hiking trip. We’ve decided to visit one of our favorite destinations to pursue these shared passions, namely Baxter State Park (BSP) in northern Maine. The plan is to fish for native brook trout on Lower South Branch Pond on Saturday afternoon, sleep at one of the lean-tos at the camp area by the pond Saturday night, and spend the next day hiking the awesome Traveler Mountains loop trail, which starts and ends at the pond. The South Branch Pond camp site is accessible by car, which makes it very convenient to get to. Camping reservations must be made in advance by contacting BSP directly. Before I get on the topic of fishing, let me say that the effort required to hike the Travelers is, in my opinion, on par with hiking Mount Kathadin located at the southern end of BSP! The Travelers hike may take up to 9 or 10 hours to complete, ascends and descends three main peaks (and numerous “false peaks”), and is quite technical, particularly the first half of the hike (Center Ridge Trail) where long stretches of the “trail” consist of enormous boulder fields that will test your ankles, knees, balance, and muscles. Keep in mind that this hike is NOT for novices or beginners. And here’s the best part. Joel and I encountered a grand total of only two people during the entire day, while I suspect that Mount Katahdin was overrun by hordes of tourists!

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