The Cabins At Daicey Pond in Baxter State Park
I grew up only 2 hours from this state park, albeit across the Canadian border, but I would look out the window as we drove down I-95 to visit family in Portland & Rhode Island every Christmas. The snow peak of Mount Katahdin was like a mystery. Later in life a big regret was to discover the park and summit the tallest peak in the region later in life.
My goal after my first visit, was to make this a regular visit so that I can take advantage of this area.
Baxter State Park is a fantastic model of an independent park and reserve that many land managers here in Canada should be looking at. roll back the clock 70 years or more and you will find that Nova Scotia and New Brunswick was the outdoorsman playground, not Maine. But a change did happen and I you can’t fuss about it now. I mean there’s a mile high mountain as the central selling point.
So, for the last few years, I’ve been making the journey to Baxter to enjoy the wilderness. However, as I’m getting older, I do prefer the comforts of the cabin as compared to crawling out on my knees from a tent in the morning. Luckily Baxter State Park has a number of cabins and seem to be adding a few more with each year.
My personal favourite is Daicey Pond. It has the best view of the mountain (Katahdin from the Abol side) and you can have a campfire, get firewood and enjoy the hiss & glow from the propane lantern over the lakeview.
I’ve Stayed in cabin number 1 (Olw’s nest) and 9 (Whispering Pines) for the last 4 years, but managed to snag some pics from the other cabins during labour day weekend as the young family crowd switched to the quiet grey beards.
Daicey Pond Map Layout
I love these hand drawings from the Park Authority. Download the PDF here. My only complain is that you don’t get a good idea of the scale until you arrive. Some points seem shorter and some points seem longer. I haven’t measured but cabin 1 & from the parking isn’t more than 200m.
All cabins will have the following items:
- wood stove
- campfire ring
- picnic table
- wood chairs (at least 2)
- small table for camping stove
- bed matress
- propane lantern
What you will need to bring (at the minimum)
- sleeping bag
- utensils & plates
- wash bucket
- camp axe
- flashlight / headlamp
- propane stove
The big selling point of the park is its rustic nature. There are no trash cans, no running water, waste water drains, no electricity, no cell phone coverage and no showers. Most of the cabins will have their own dedicated pit toilet which are kept clean.
The Library / Boat Rental
On those truly terrible days, the campground has a cabin dedicated to books, board games and other distractions. The building also has on the side the paddling life jackets and paddles for rental which is payable at the Ranger station. You’ll find a number of Old Town discovery canoes.
Cabin 1 – Olw’s Nest
This was our first experience at Daicey Pond. We did early June visits for 2 years straight. The big benefit of this space was that it was the end of line, so no camper traffic. However, the AT trail runs about 100 feet from the outhouse right behind the cabin. The main downside is that the picnic table & fire ring is surrounded by boulders so it’s doesn’t accommodate that many unless you can find a flat spot for your camp chair.
What’s great about this cabin:
- great view of the lake and mountains (Katahdin, double top)
- large screen windows with large chairs
- 2 rooms (2 single cots)
Cabin 2 – Lady Slipper
This is a nice cute cabin for 2 people. it has a nice landing for your canoe / kayak. The main downside is that the path to get to cabin #1 is only a few feet from the fire ring.
Cabin 3 – Tamarak
Another small 2 person cabin where the walking path to cabin #2 & #1 passes within a few feet behind it. The upside is that you are very close to the edge of the lake.
Cabin 4 – Chipmunk Hollow
This cabin is further up on the hill, out of view of the main path towards cabins 1-3.
Cabin 5 – Mt. View
This is the usually the first cabin you see when you get up the hill to the main parking area for the campground. It is closest to the Ranger station cabin.
Cabin 6 – Blue Lodge
This is the only wheelchair accessible cabin in the campground. It includes an accessible pit toilet within 20 feet from the cabin and is closest to the wood shed & library.
Cabin 7 – Loon Lodge
This cabin is up along the lake and short distance from the wood shed. Along with Cabin #5, these would be the ones where you’d get the most foot traffic as they along the trails to the other cabins.
Cabin 8 – Birch Bark
At top of the hillside, this little cabin doesn’t offer much in terms of views but it’s closest to the pit toilet that services Cabin 8-10.
Cabin 9 – Whispering Pines
This cabin offers a nice deck to compensate from the lack of views of the pond. The interior offers a nice large area for the picnic table & wood stove while the single beds are divided into rooms with furniture. This cabin along with #1 would be great options for late fall extended stays.
Cabin 10 – Nature At Peace
The most recent cabin and available in the winter for large groups. It is the furthest cabin, isolated and the longest walk to the pit toilet.