March 27, 2011

Roxanne Quimby wants to donate more than 70,000 wild acres next to Maine’s Baxter State Park to create a Maine Woods National Park. The park would be almost twice the size of Acadia National Park.

She envisions a visitor center dedicated to Henry David Thoreau, the naturalist who trekked through Maine’s woods and wrote about them in the 1800s. She also wants to set aside another 30,000 acres of woodlands north of Dover-Foxcroft to be managed like a state park, with hunting and snowmobiling.

“There’s enough land that we can all get what we want,” said Quimby in a statement.

Quimby wants to time her gift in five years at the 100th anniversary of the creation of the National Park Service, as her legacy.

The Park Service believes the Northeast is underserved. The last time a large national park was created was in Alaska in the 1980s during the Carter administration.

The proposed national park land occupies a wild sprawl east of Baxter State Park. Mountain ridges offer breathtaking views of Mount Katahdin, Maine’s tallest mountain and the northern end of the Appalachian Trail. At the eastern boundary is the East Branch of the Penobscot River.