The parking lot for Katahdin  fills up quickly in summer months; by contrast other peaks in the park see less than a dozen pairs of boots a day. Just a few miles west of Baxter Peak, the three-mile Owl Trail presents several almost-vertical ascents along with views of Katahdin’s treeless summit from its own two modest peaks (known as the “ears” of the Owl).
Another lesser-known trail, The Marston Trail climbs the peaks of North and South Brother Mountains in a challenging nine-mile circuit north of Katahdin. The trail ends with a gambol through the Klondike wetland, where moose are plentiful.
Near the north entrance to Baxter State Park , Horse Mountain is an easy hike to an abandoned fire tower with gorgeous views of the Penobscot’s East Branch. The Freezeout Trail, which leaves from Trout Brook Farm Campground, is a 24-mile marathon hike through an area rich in wildlife and sparse in human life. From South Branch Campground, trails such as North Traveler traverse the Traveler Mountain range, which were formed by volcanic activity 400 million years ago, and afford hikers the chance to walk along beds of ancient lava.
For more information on hiking and camping within the park, contact the Friends of Baxter State Park through their website (www.friendsofbaxter.org ).