The Owl is the first in a chain of mountains west of Katahdin. Its southeastern face is a cliff about 500 feet high. This south eastern face overlooks Katahdin Steam and Katahdin Falls and Witherle Ravine. This steep mountain is one of the most prominent sights seen by trail hikers who climb the Appalachian Trail (Hunt Spur) as they complete the trail. The Owl is so named for the Great Horned Owl, whose profile it resembles if viewed from Katahdin Stream campground.
A trail was cut to the summit in the 1970s from Katahdin Falls. Joe Francis, of the Penobscot Tribe had a leanto between the Owl and Barren Mountain in the nineteenth Century from which he used to hunt moose. The prospect toward Mount OJI
is blocked by neighboring Barren Mountain to the west. There is said to be a 5.8 route called Whoo on the crags. On the elevation of the Owl: USGS and Baxter State Park guides up to the year 2000 gave 3736 feet. Currently Google Earth and and the US Geographical Board give 3645 feet. The
recent Maine Mountain Guide 10th Ed.
and those behind the writing of it state that they think a more reasonable figure is 3670 feet. A glance at summit videos from the Owl toward Barren Mtn. a mile to the west suggests less than 3700 feet makes sense.
Drive north from Boston Mass. to Portland and up I 95 to Bangor and turn north on that road continuing 60 miles to Medway, Maine. at Medway turn west on Maine route 11 and drive through Millinocket Maine getting a last prepared meal at perhaps the McDonalds there. Be sure you have enough bug repellant for the black flies and mosquitos. Head up northwest to the gatehouse for Baxter State Park about 25 miles northwest. You might want to stop at the dike between Millinocket and Ambejejus lake to get some snacks and admire the view. Continue on the the gate house and pay a day use fee if out of state. Take the left fork of the road northwest past some ponds and Abol campsite to Katahdin Stream Campground. The trailhead is right at Katahdin Steam Campground,.
When to Climb and Trail Infrormation
Most will climb in the spring summer and fall. With snow and cold this will be a bit more serious. The trail follows the north side of Ktaadn Stream for 1.1 miles and at the falls the blue blazed Owl trail diverges to the west. After 2.2 miles you are enjoying the open summit.
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MAKING RESERVATIONS AT BAXTER STATE PARK
Reservations can be made at Baxter State Park Headquarters in person:
The Reservations Office is open from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday, not open including Holidays. During our peak season from Memorial Day through the Saturday of Columbus Day week-end, the Reservation Office is open from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. seven days a week, including Holidays.
Reservations can also be made by mail to:
Baxter State Park
64 Balsam Drive
Millinocket, ME 04462
Send in reservation requests at least 10 working days prior to the trip.
Please follow these steps:
1. Read all information under summer or winter camping.
2. Print & compeletly fill out appropriate forms (available under summer or winter camping).
3. Enclose appropriate payment (read general information for fees).
4. Enclose self-addressed stamped envelope (if reserving by mail).
5. Bring or mail to Baxter State Park Headquarters.
BAXTER STATE PARK RESERVATION POLICIES EFFECTIVE NOVEMBER 1, 2003
The proper fee must accompany all reservation requests. All checks and money orders for park facilities must be made payable to Baxter State Park. REFUNDS WILL NOT BE AVAILABLE ORDINARILY. THE DIRECTOR MAY (AT HIS SOLE DISCRETION) PERMIT REFUNDS OR MAY IMPOSE A SPECIAL REQUIREMENT BEFORE GRANTING REFUNDS (fee applies). Fees are payable by all persons year round, except government employees on official business within the Park. There is no per person charge for children age 6 or under. All fees include sales tax where applicable and must be paid in U.S. funds. Reservations may be made for up to two weeks (14 days) at a specific campground, but not for a single site at the campground. Reservations for two or more days will be held only until 4:00 PM of the day following the first evening for which reservations were made.
When considering capacity of all facilities, each child is counted as one individual regardless of age. Site capacity is restricted. Before adding people to your party, consult with Park Reservation Clerks (Tel: 207-723-5140) to be sure your site will hold additional people.
If you have questions, please call our Reservations Office at (207) 723-5140.
Official sketch of Katahdin Steam Siteshttp://www.baxterstateparkauthority.com/pdf/campmaps/Katahdin_Stream_08.pdf
Baxter State Park Wildlife Sanctuary
Baxter State Park Wild Life Sanctuary
”The conveyances of land for Baxter state Park to the State(of Maine) made prior to 1955 by Ex-governor Baxter contain a provision that the area shall be kept in a “natural wild state and as a sanctuary for wild beasts and birds” and that trapping and hunting but not fishing are prohibited. In fact 90,000 acres surrounding the Katahdin region was made a game preserve on May 1, 1922(Revised Statutes, Chapter 38, section 90). This litany of statutes continues so that by 1949 the Maine Legislature revised the boundaries of the Katahdin Wild Life Sanctuary to make it coextensive with the then State-owned land. In the early 1960’s the Sanctuary boundaries were marked by large red metal signs and blue blazes.
In 1981, A joint session of the Legislature commemorated the 1931 park stating:
Whereas, on March 3, 1931, the former Governor Percival P. Baxter deeded to the State of Maine 5960 acres of land, which included Mount Katahdin….
Whereas, in the 31 years that followed, Governor Baxter acquired an additional
195, 058 acres which were given to the people of Maine….
Whereas, during his lifetime he donated over $1,500,000 to maintain this land and, on his death, he left the bulk of his estate, a trust of over $10,000,000 to forever assist in maintaining the park, and to assure that it shall forever be kept in the natural wild state;” and whereas, the acquisition and deeding to the State of over 200,00 acres was an achievement unparalleled by any individual in the United States:...