Baxter Wilderness Preserve
Trip Start Aug 11, 2007
6Trip End Aug 19, 2007
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Among wilderness adventurers this is unanimously considered THE most beautiful wilderness in Maine. The mountains combine with a wide array of ponds, lakes, streams, waterfalls and bogs to create a varied and beautiful landscape.
We will enjoy three days of unforgettable adventures in Maine's most spectacular wilderness. Baxter Park is a 1/4 million acre wilderness preserve of New England's highest mountains and the most densely populated area of wild animals. Moose, deer, bear, otter, mink, marten, fisher, weasel, coyote, bobcat, beaver, muskrat, raccoon, woodchucks, snowshoe hare, squirrels, chipmunks, flying squirrels, voles, lemmings, eagles, hawks, owls, geese, ducks and warblers.
This is wild trout country. The rivers and ponds are not stocked with farm-grown trout. This is one of the last remaining true, unspoiled, pristine wild trout habitats in the US. A fly fisherman's dream. The flavor of wild brook trout is the gold standard among the world's fresh water fish. I will bring my fly poles and a large assortment of trout flies.
Maine has the largest herd of moose in the contiguous US. And the densest moose herd in the world. There are twice as many moose per acre in Maine than in Alaska. Our campsite in Baxter Park is at the very center of the herd's ideal habitat. Random moose sightings happen everywhere in Maine, even in Portland. Random moose sightings in Maine are to Baxter Park what random bee sightings are to the beehive. We are camping in the moosehive, ground zero, the honeycomb surrounded by the densest population of moose in Maine. Your chances of seeing a moose, on a scale of 1-10, is approximately 17. The first night I ever camped at Baxter Park I was repeatedly interrupted while cooking dinner by moose and deer walking out of the forest within spitting distance from my campfire.
The ponds in Baxter Park are always a good place to find moose. The bulls always keep their distance during the mating season (as in this photo). However we will be living in moose country a full month before the start of the rutting season, so the bulls will be more relaxed and more likely to come near.
The cows seems to have no fear. You will be amazed at how close they might approach. On rare occasions so close you can almost touch them. You will never be closer to a wild animal whose massive body is at least 4-5 times your size. It is an eerie experience. But from the perpective of the moose it is really quite natural. Although they are cautious animals, the moose in Baxter Park have no reason to fear you. Hunting has never been allowed in this area so humans are not viewed as a threat. The moose in Baxter Park seem to accept us as just another harmless, docile animal sharing their forest.
Moose are much larger than you imagine. They tower above the world's largest carnivore. A walking moose is twice as tall as a walking Polar Bear and twice a Polar Bear's weight. A Bull can stand 7.5 feet at the shoulder, nearly 9 feet at the antlers and weigh over 1600 pounds. If a Bull Moose could stand on its hind legs like a Polar Bear it would be almost 16 feet tall.
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