How I got from Bangor to Millinocket to Baxter State Park

It’s two days before my Appalachian Trail start day and I have arrived to Bangor International Airport, Maine. Man, this airport is old-school! In a good way, I think.

Bangor Intl Airport

Being a smallish airport and serving an even smaller group of travelers heading to Katahdin for a southbound start, there don’t seem to be many options. I wanted to share what I settled on and why.

I first considered the easiest path: hiring a hiker shuttle or taxi to pick me up and take me to Millinocket. I had already decided to take the AT Lodge ( up on their SOBO Special (including one or two nights at the hostel plus breakfast and shuttles from Medford and to Baxter State Park). I inquired about adding their shuttle from the Airport. It would add another $100 or so to the bill. But the proprietor, Ole Man, gave me some advice about another good option: purchase a ticket online via Cyr Bus Lines ( This service also mentioned in the AT guides.

A one way bus ticket from Bangor (Concord Coach Lines), to Medford/Irving was just $12. There were two minor complications though: 1) my flight would arrive 11:30am and the bus departed at 6:30pm. And 2), the bus runs from a location about a mile away from the terminal. So you have to make your way there, one way or another. But, on the positive side, I had plenty of time to get there…

Concord Coach Lines

Ole Man suggested heading by taxi or city bus into Bangor to the local outfitter—who might allow me to stash my pack there for a bit while I did some shopping for groceries/gear/supplies. This was a good idea, especially to have some better supply options than may be available in Millinocket.

In the end, I decided to skip downtown Bangor and just go on foot to Concord Coach Lines to rest for a few hours. I had carried quite a bit of food along with my gear so supplies weren’t urgent. And my travel day had started before 3:00am so rest was more appealing than anything else by the time I was leaving baggage claim.

On a side note, I decided to check my gear rather than mailing it ahead (another option Ole Man offered). I packed most of my gear and 10+ days of food into the pack. Then I put the pack into a large duffel—with down items loose inside the duffel to loft up and cushion everything. It worked well, thankfully. Though I might have had a different story if anything had gotten broken, been delayed, or lost. It was a bit of a risk but worked out well. I planned to mail the duffel home after arrival and before the hike.

REI XL Gear Duffel. A size L would have worked even better.

So, carrying my pack and now on the way to Concord Coach Lines, I passed a big stand of conifers on airport property. It was a beautiful day and the trees looked fantastic. I went a ways in and hung my hammock there to kill time and rest.

I was well away from the terminal and out of view and was fine, though I did wonder if airport security might come and move me along at some point. They did not. And (regrettably) there was a good bit of trash scattered around in there, so it was apparently not an uncommon rest spot. And from my stealth hang I did see two other hikers with packs hoofing it toward the airport exit. It is probably a pretty well worn path.

Later, I continued toward Concord Coach and grabbed a bite to eat before heading in. There were a couple food options between the airport entrance on Union Street and the bus station.

The bus itself only took a little over an hour to get to Medford. And this bus stop is where rhe AT Lodge picks you up if you use their service.

So, that’s how I managed to make my way toward the SOBO start point. And, just to be clear, I don’t get any compensation from the businesses mentioned. They’re just the ones I used and can recommend. If you know of other good ways for travelers to get to the start, please share in the comments!

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