the first hike of the year in baxter state park, maine

My parents have been visiting us for the past week. Unfortunately, the weather has been a bit of a headscratcher, inspiring feeble glimpses of what spring could be like, if only we were more similar to the rest of the country.

But milestones have occurred. We have celebrated my official graduation from the University of Maine. We have eaten poutine. And we have hiked in Baxter State Park for the first time this year.

Burgundy-colored trillium are just beginning to open up, as are fiddleheads. Leaves are sprouting on aspens and maples, and birds are singing from their hideyholes in the forest.

Mountain streams are flowing freely.

Dairy bars are opening up, hawking their greasy onion rings and fried clam rolls, and doughboys and sundaes.

It’s the unofficial start of another beautiful year in Maine.

After casually sauntering up to Littlefield Pond from the Trout Brook Farm Campground, we made a feast out of peanut butter crackers, baba ghanoush, and a Vivani 68% Dark Chocolate with Green Tea bar.

On the way down, E. and I scampered up an additional 2.3-mile loop, the Trout Brook Mountain Trail, that provided scenic vistas of nearby ponds and mountains. It was then that we made the conscious decision to hike all of the trails in Baxter before we move out of Maine in the distant future.

And it is now, with the power vested in me by my status as blog admin, that I make the typographical decision to document those hikes, when applicably interesting, here.

Above (bottom right) is one (1) doughboy and one (1) caramel and peanut sundae from Craig’s Clam Shop in Patten, Maine.

I love doughboys – spherical rounds of delicious frybread, coated in both powdered sugar and cinnamon, if you’re lucky.

And as for the savory food from Craig’s Clam Shop? Just as good, but in comparison to desserts….. who cares?

Craig’s Clam Shop

92 Main St
Patten, Maine

Baxter State Park

64 Balsam Dr
Millinocket, Maine


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28 thoughts on “the first hike of the year in baxter state park, maine

  1. Very pretty. I’ve been feeling the urge to get out and hike lately, it’s just so beautiful out this time of year before Georgia turns into a sweltering hellhole.

    Want that doughboy!

    1. Last May we had a terrific time in northern Georgia before it got too sweltery. We stayed at Amicalola Falls for a night – it was such beautifully stunning country down there.

      We even found a local swimming hole to enjoy for a morning! But then we went to Atlanta, and I thought I was going to melt into the pavement:D

  2. YEAH!!! I can’t wait to read about more of your Baxter hikes. I’d really like to get there more often. I have friends coming up from Virginia next month who would like to do Katahdin, so I hope to be back there soon. Craig’s Clam Shop sounds like a must-stop. I need to take the guy up Route 11; it’s such a pretty drive!

    1. I still haven’t climbed Katahdin! But at the same time that I’m inspired to climb it, I more-so love taking the less-traveled trails, and running into a handful of hikers, tops. It’s awfully nice to experience Baxter’s solitude:)

      Enjoy your trip with your friends – show them the best of Maine!

    1. Make fun of my feeble attempts to protect your identity all you want, I’ll just put my boots on! Or my dirty sneakers:)

  3. Thanks, darlin’, for letting us tag along!
    Loved it:-D
    That doughboy was every bit as good as you said!

    1. Thanks for everything you’ve ever done that has led me to this beautiful place!

      And has led me to my love of doughboys as well:)

  4. My one goal for the summer is to climb Mt. Katahdin. I’ve been a Mainer all my life and it’s beyond-ridiculous that I haven’t done this yet.

    1. I hope you accomplish your goal, it seems doable enough:) Just don’t (preferably) hike it in those last few weeks of summer when the park is filled to capacity and everyone and their mother are on the trail!

      By the way, it’s nice to find another blogger up here in the County! Our seedlings appear to be about the same size:)

      1. Woohoo seedlings! I’m pretty proud of mine.

        HOWEVER, my tomatoes look like they’re getting lazy. They’re just not growing anymore. Would you know what causes that?

        1. My first guess (probably not much of a shocker) would be the sad lack of sun and warmth up here.

          However, it could also have to do with overwatering. Are any of your stems turning sort of clear, i.e. rotting? I have a few of those, wah wah. We need a week of warm and sunny weather!

  5. How gorgeous! I want to try poutine but feel I’m too far south to really experience any authenticity to it.
    Do you forage and eat fiddleheads?

    1. I’m glad you enjoy the scenery – a reprieve from your hot summery sun, I imagine!

      I do indeed forage for and eat fiddleheads! I wrote a short blog about it recently for my local newspaper

  6. These photos, that scenary, the trees, the hikes…. that’s exactly what made me start wanting to see Maine. ‘Course, I haven’t quite made it yet, but any place that privileges cinnamon-dusted sweets gets my vote.

    P.S. Hi Emma’s Mum and Dad! You have a most marvellous daughter indeed!

    1. Aww, I’ll make sure they see this, they have one more day here:)

      I’m quite excited that you want to see Maine! C’mon over girl – we’ll slay some hiking trails, and eat plenty of chocolate while doing so!!

      1. I’ve wanted to ever since I read a memoir (can’t remember the name at present) of an Aussie girl who got a green card and greyhounded it up all around America, stopped in Maine. And then Jed Bartlet is from New England, and there was that Bill Bryson book?

        So, in short, I want to go to Maine because of works of fiction/semi-fiction. S’all good.

        1. At least I believed for five minutes that it was just cause you wanted to hang out!

          I quite enjoy Bill Bryson’s rambling and writing:) Works of fiction/semi-fiction abound here, I think.

  7. What a wonderful hike. I was in Maine years ago picking up my sister from a summer program in Maine at Bates College. We loved the area and the drive from there back down to Boston. I’ve never seen fiddleheads growing wild OR even in the store so I am so curious about these. Congratulations on your college graduation. I am on the other end with my first just starting college in the fall!

    1. It is a lovely drive, especially if you take the coastal route! There are so many different aspects of Maine that are each amazingly beautiful, and are also so different from each other.

      Ostrich fern doesn’t grow further south than Virginia, hence why you wouldn’t see it around, either for sale or in the wild. I was thinking yesterday about the high prices fiddleheads must fetch in cities, but perhaps in southern cities those prices would be even higher (at high-end restaurants and such).

      I was hesitant to walk in the graduation, because the accoutrements for master’s graduates were so ridiculously pricey. But it got my parents out here to visit, so it was worth it! Good luck to your child this fall:)

  8. Beautiful photos! Are doughboys somewhat like funnel cakes? One of my roommates is going up to Maine for a couple weeks in July! I think a friend of hers lives in Portland, but I bet they’ll travel around. Maybe she can try a doughboy and report back for me. :)

    1. I would say yes, they’re somewhat like funnel cakes. Imagine a funnel cake crossed with a scone, and that would be a doughboy. Mmm, sconeboy.

      I hope your roommate enjoys Maine! Portland is a terrific city for eating out in, there’s an incredible number of (good) restaurants. Let me know if she crosses paths with any sconeboys:)

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