Burnt Mountain (Baxter State Park)

Trail to Burnt Mountain summit, Baxter State Park, Maine

(Note: As of October 23, 2020, Baxter State Park offices and headquarters remain closed to the public, but reservations can still be made online and by calling (207) 723-5140. Togue and Matagamon Gates are open 6am to 7pm. Katahdin and Traveler trails are closed at their trailheads to protect alpine resources.)

You will not find many mountain hikes in Baxter State Park marked as anything other than “difficult” or “strenuous,” but Burnt Mountain (1,810 ft) is a pleasant, gradual woods walk of about 2.6 miles that took me under an hour, with fewer roots and rocks than most other hikes nearby. The best description and map I found was in Hiking Maine’s Baxter State Park. Burnt Mountain Trail’s out-and-back hike begins at the Burnt Mountain Picnic Site. This remote trailhead, which has a picnic table and a toilet, is along the park’s Tote Road, in the northwest corner of the park, close to the Scientific Forest Management Area.

Changing leaves in the light of the opening after the summit, Burnt Mountain, Baxter State Park

The prodigious moose poop along the trail (after reflection, I decided not to add a photo) brought up my hopes of a sighting, without any positive resolution. The only real effort expended, which was bracing after the easy walk and a long day hiking, was a long gradual incline right before the summit.

Overgrown footings left from fire tower, Burnt Mountain summit, Baxter State Park

Don’t be disheartened at the summit if all you see is four old fire tower footings and some tall grass. Continue briefly downhill past the summit to an open vista well worth the hike, with views of multiple mountains in the wild central backcountry of Baxter State Park.

View from overlook past summit, Burnt Mountain, Baxter State Park

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4 thoughts on “Burnt Mountain (Baxter State Park)

  1. WanderingCanadians October 4, 2020 / 7:40 am

    I’ve only ever visited Maine in the spring and summer so I’ve missed out on its fall foliage. This looks like a great spot to hike and enjoy the leaves changing colour.

    Like

  2. Rodney L. Hanscom April 16, 2021 / 11:25 am

    My parents, Roland and Margaret Hanscom of Orrington, were long-time “north-end” Baxter State Park volunteers. My dear, departed wife Judy and I were visiting them at McCarty Field one weekend in July 1989 (pre-dating my 14-years on the park Advisory Committee), and it was my VERY memorable pleasure to spend most of one day with my father on fire lookout duty in the Burnt Mountain tower cab. We chatted the whole time, but my eyes were either on the 360 degree fire chart or in the binoculars. Breaking up the reverie, visible smoke in the direction of Priestly Mountain required that a radio call be made. Judy and my mother hiked in to join us for a delightful lunch at the ledge overlook. Over the years, my father and I had many great adventures together, but that day on Burnt Mountain ranks among the very best in part because, as far as I know, there are no remaining “manned” towers in Maine.

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    • Undercover Hiker April 17, 2021 / 6:15 am

      That is a great memory – thank you for sharing. It’s a good reminder that even in places that seem remote, there are usually ghosts of the past around us.

      Like

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