MILLINOCKET, Maine — Access to trails, ponds and streams at Baxter State Park will increase on June 15 when the Togue Pond and Matagamon gates reopen, providing vehicle access to the park's Tote Road.
The park expects to open July 1 above the treeline for most hiking and camping opportunities.
The gates will reopen in accordance with guidance from the Center for Disease Control and state public health officials, according to a release from the park.
The gates will be open from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily on the north end from Matagamon to McManus Brook, just north of Nesowadnehunk Campground, and the Scientific Forest Management Area; and on the south end from Togue Gate to Abol Hill, including Abol Pond and the Togue Pond Beach.
The gates provide access to more than 60 miles of trail within five miles of the Tote Road, fishing access to more than 25 ponds and seven streams, and several picnic and day use areas, according to the release.
Travel above the treeline is prohibited to protect sensitive alpine plant communities. Trails above the treeline, including those on Katahdin and Traveler, are tentatively set to open July 1.
Bunkhouses will be closed for 2020, and those with reservations will be contacted and offers transfers, credits or refunds free of charge, the release states.
Travel on the Tote and Roaring Brook roads will be restricted as roadwork projects continue to enhnce stream habitat connectivity and infrastructure resilience to stronger storms associated with climate change.
Road closure information is available at the park website.
Visitors are strongly encouraged to wear face coverings and maintain physical distancing of six feet, as well as avoid high-risk recreational activities and follow CDC guidelines to reduce transmission of COVID-19.
Several trails affected by the 45-acre Abol fire on May 21 reopened for public access on Monday, including the Applachian Trail as far as Katahdin Stream Campground, the Foss and Knowlton, Blueberry Ledges, Abol Pond and Abol Stream trails.
Campground officials encourage visitors to use extra caution in those areas where some hazards may still be present.