Baxter State Park

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Baxter State Park

Submitted By: Yankee Snowman on December 05, 2011

Administrator: Yankee Snowman

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Massachusetts » Western Mass-Pioneer Valley

Brookfield Orchard Beginner Loop

This is an easy nordic tour that is about 3.5 miles around the orchard.  While there are some tougher trails, the general route is to start at the Toll Road towards the left, turn right onto Mac Run at the bottom of the hill. Follow the Old East Brookfield Road, then turn to follow Lincoln Road,   Cross over the road, get back on North Connector, go uphill and then turn onto Oak Run (which is the easiest trail). 

After you cross the road again, you will continue on Oak Run, follow the stone wall, get on Great Woods Trail (which is rated more difficult) and head across the open field (hay U) into the woods.  Take Fruit Loop around the upper orchard, and then get back on the North Connector Trail.  Stay on North Connector through the orchard, turn left onto Mac Run, and make the short ascent to the parking lot.

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Details

Baxter State Park has all kinds of skiing. From leisurely day trips on XC gear to epic week-long expeditions with ice-tool approaches to steep gullies, it offers a classic northeastern backcountry experience.

Some people complain about the red-tape but most who have actually been there agree it is well worth it. Plus, restrictions have been reduced in recent years to make winter backcountry travel more feasible.

BSP has lean-tos and cabins available at very modest rates. See Baxter State Park Authority's website for complete information.

How to Get There

Millinocket is the gateway to Baxter State Park. Many winter skiing and climbing trips begin at Abol Bridge on the Golden Road. The ultimate BSP ski touring experience, a traverse of the whole Park from North to South, begins at Matagamon Camps on the Grand Lake Road, west of Shin Pond and Rt. 159.

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