Held at the beginning of every academic year, COA’s OOPs journeys comprise week long, small group excursions to some of Maine’s most beautiful wilderness areas, with activities ranging from kayaking in nearby Frenchman Bay to hiking a section of the Appalachian Trail. The Baxter Peaks trip is one of the more challenging OOPs journeys. Comprising 200,000 acres of wilderness in Northern Maine, Baxter State Park contains over 215 miles of hiking trails and 40 mountain ridges and peaks, including Maine’s highest and most storied, Mount Katahdin. 

The COA Baxter Peaks OOPs group looks out toward Maine's Mount Katahdin from Owl Mountain. The group of nine students and two leaders spent a week hiking in Maine's Baxter State Park before the academic year got underway.The COA Baxter Peaks OOPs group looks out toward Maine's Mount Katahdin from Owl Mountain. The group of nine students and two leaders spent a week hiking in Maine's Baxter State Park before the academic year got underway. Credit: Aliyah Zweig ’22

“Man is born to die, his works are short-lived. Buildings crumble, monuments decay, wealth vanishes. But Katahdin, in all its glory, forever shall remain the mountain of the people of Maine” - Percival Proctor Baxter, founder of Baxter State Park and Maine Governor from 1921-1925.“Man is born to die, his works are short-lived. Buildings crumble, monuments decay, wealth vanishes. But Katahdin, in all its glory, forever shall remain the mountain of the people of Maine” - Percival Proctor Baxter, founder of Baxter State Park and Maine Governor from 1921-1925. Credit: Aliyah Zweig ’22

“A trip like this modifies the way you come into COA,” says Baxter Peaks OOPs trip co-leader Dominique Arsenault '21. “There's something about starting the year being outside, with other people, and challenging yourself. It puts things in perspective.”“A trip like this modifies the way you come into COA,” says Baxter Peaks OOPs trip co-leader Dominique Arsenault '21. “There's something about starting the year being outside, with other people, and challenging yourself. It puts things in perspective.” Credit: Aliyah Zweig ’22

Morgane Saint-Cyr '22 appreciates Maine's Mount Katahdin from the side of Owl Mountain while on the COA Baxter Peaks OOPs trip. OOPs allows students like Saint-Cyr to get up close with Maine's natural beauty before getting busy with classes and campus activities.Morgane Saint-Cyr '22 appreciates Maine's Mount Katahdin from the side of Owl Mountain while on the COA Baxter Peaks OOPs trip. OOPs allows students like Saint-Cyr to get up close with Maine's natural beauty before getting busy with classes and campus activities. Credit: Aliyah Zweig ’22

The College of the Atlantic Baxter Peaks OOPs group show off their "peaks" pride during sunset at Nesowadnehunk Field Campground. Evenings on the trip saw students enjoying campfires, singing together, and sharing jokes and stories.The College of the Atlantic Baxter Peaks OOPs group show off their "peaks" pride during sunset at Nesowadnehunk Field Campground. Evenings on the trip saw students enjoying campfires, singing together, and sharing jokes and stories. Credit: Aliyah Zweig ’22

OOPs student leaders, including Mafe Aragón '21, take part in intensive trainings throughout the College of the Atlantic school year, learning traditional camping skills from one of the most experienced guides in Maine.OOPs student leaders, including Mafe Aragón '21, take part in intensive trainings throughout the College of the Atlantic school year, learning traditional camping skills from one of the most experienced guides in Maine. Credit: Aliyah Zweig ’22

Baxter Peaks OOPs student Ryan McGraw '22 enjoys the sunset at Abol Narrows, a campsite reserved for Baxter State Park volunteers and park personnel. The Baxter Peaks group spent one day of their trip volunteering with park staff to help with building maintenance.Baxter Peaks OOPs student Ryan McGraw '22 enjoys the sunset at Abol Narrows, a campsite reserved for Baxter State Park volunteers and park personnel. The Baxter Peaks group spent one day of their trip volunteering with park staff to help with building maintenance. Credit: Aliyah Zweig ’22