October eNewsletter

Stars Over Katahdin, Katahdin Learning Project fall trips, WaYS Ancestral Lands Crew, and more…

It’s fall in Maine and while most autumn color has blown away with the wind and rain, tamarack needles are bright yellow in their late transition. For hunters and recreationists across the state, it’s time we don our orange to stay safe while hunting, hiking, biking, and more. Hunting is permitted, in accordance with Maine state law and regulations, in the monument parcels east of the East Branch of the Penobscot River. Fall is my favorite time to be in the woods, and with any luck, I’ll be stocking the freezer for the winter. However, it is especially important to be alert during this time of year, and to hunt and recreate responsibly and with gratitude for this abundant landscape.

Stars Over Katahdin – On Sept 17th this year, Stars Over Katahdin was back in person after a two-year hiatus! The event was held at Taylor’s Katahdin View Campground on the Swift Brook Rd. There was a planned hike in the monument, along with other daytime family activities. About 100 people were in attendance with more families present than ever before. This event was made possible by nearly a dozen community volunteers. We’re grateful to the volunteers and our co-presenters at Dark Sky Maine. We kept the tradition of hosting the virtual Stars event too, by co-hosting a webinar with Dark Sky Maine on Sept 22nd. You can check out a recording of the webinar here.

Katahdin Learning Project Fall Trips – This fall, the Katahdin Learning Project has been busy as ever bringing students into the monument for programs. Teachers had 4 lessons to choose from – aquatic biology, forest ecology, glacial geology or human history. Teachers gave KLP great feedback that the lessons were engaging and tied in nicely to their classroom work. Monument visits will wrap up when the gates close at the end of the month. We also wanted to share a special shout out to Coleman Haskell who joined Friends as a seasonal Place-Based Educator. Thank you to Coleman for your work, which made this fall’s program season a success!

Wabanaki Youth in Science (“WaYS”) Ancestral Lands Crew – The WaYS Ancestral Lands Crew wrapped up another great year working in Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument and Acadia National Park. While at the monument, the crew brushed sections of the International Appalachian Trail (IAT) and improved trailheads. They also worked with Tribal Historic Preservation Officers (THPOs), and the National Park Service to learn about water ecology and archeology in the Penobscot River watershed. Crew member Logan Dana made a recap video, which you can watch here.

Bat Week – From October 24 – 31st, the National Park Service is celebrating Bat Week. Bats are critical components of the ecosystem and we love them at Katahdin Woods & Waters because one bat is capable of eating its body weight in insects each night! In 2021 & 2022, the monument has worked with partners at Dartmouth College, US Fish & Wildlife Service, Baxter State Park, and Maine Inland Fisheries & Wildlife, to better understand which bats are present in Katahdin Woods & Waters through the use of acoustic recorders. For more information about Bat Week and to learn more about how you can participate visit here.

Ripple effect – As Friends here in the Katahdin Region, we strive to amplify the work of our local, regional, and national colleagues and bring news to you from Katahdin Woods and Waters and the communities connected to it. Oct 11th of this month was Indigenous Peoples’ Day here in what we now call Maine. On social media on that day, we shared our platform with Wabanaki-led organizations around the state of Maine. To continue sharing awareness of the work and stories of Wabanaki peoples here in Maine we’re sharing resources for continued learning and engagement.

Sponsor Spotlight – Thank you to media sponsor Bangor Daily News, supporting Friends at the Lookout level in 2022! BDN takes community support seriously–in the Katahdin region and throughout Maine.

The square Bangor Daily News logo

And thank you Haley Ward–a 100% employee-owned technical consulting firm–for your Deasey level sponsorship and commitment to Friends’ mission and work.

the logo for Haley ward

Sponsors provide crucial funding that supports our mission and work. To learn more, visit friendsofkww.org/sponsorship or contact sarah@friendsofkww.org.

—This blog post was adapted from an email transmitted on October 27, 2022 . To sign up for our email list, please email info@friendsofkww.org—

What your gift can do

What happens when you support Friends of Katahdin Woods and Waters?

Like ripples, your support of all types and amounts spreads throughout our mission. You strengthen the connections between the national monument and the people and communities of the Katahdin region. Your gift can help show the region’s youth a future of the land with them in it, including careers in outdoor recreation and how humans and the environment can be resilient in the face of change.

Make your annual gift or become a Friend today. Your gift will keep our programs growing!

Don’t take our word for it: meet Fran, a regular volunteer with the Katahdin Learning Project, a program of Friends that connects learners and land in Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument and right in their hometowns. Through Fran’s generous volunteering and her annual membership gifts, she helps to fulfill the mission of Friends and the Katahdin Learning Project.

Born and raised in northern Maine, Fran shares the hope she felt when joining a group of seventh and eighth graders on a snowshoe hike in the monument last March.

“It is a pleasure for me to work with young people. I love helping them truly see and appreciate being outside.”

Save a stamp: make your gift by Friday, October and we will remove your name from our annual appeal mailing list.


Save time and peace of mind while providing regular support with a recurring monthly gift.

“I always learn something along with the kids. On this day, Elise [Friends’ K-12 Educator] taught us how to identify a brown ash tree in winter. The buds look like little chocolate kisses!”

To learn more about a place is to learn to love it and care for it. Field trips, vacation camps, and school visits spark a sense of place and stewardship for where these teens and children live, and may inspire students to imagine working as a park service ranger, researching invasive species, or building a business supported by a sustainable recreation economy.

“I’m so impressed with Friends’ outreach to local schools, businesses, libraries, and more–and I can see the results. It excites me to be a part of it. ”

Your support makes these special connections happen. Whether it is a dedicated volunteer, a local adolescent, or a family visiting from across the country, connections matter. Please join Fran, Katahdin region businesses, and people across Maine and the United States in the mission to preserve, protect, and promote Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument and surrounding communities for the inspiration and enjoyment of all generations.

From all of us at Friends, we thank you for making it possible!

PS: Don’t delay–click here to make your gift and it will go right to work to engage more students and community members!

—This blog post was adapted from an email transmitted on October 19, 2022. To sign up for our email list, please email info@friendsofkww.org—

September eNewsletter

Stars Over Katahdin, Katahdin Learning Project, 6 years, and more…

We’re aglow with good energy here at Friends of Katahdin Woods & Waters as we’ve passed the 6th birthday of the national monument. On Aug 27, at New England Outdoor Center, we gathered to toast what we’ve accomplished together in the last year: the introduction of the KAWW Access Act, over 10,000 experiences through the Katahdin Learning Project, and growing relationships with the National Park Service, Wabanaki organizations, and the Katahdin region community.

Stars Over Katahdin recap – Another important annual event just took place! Stars Over Katahdin was back in person this past Saturday at Taylor’s Katahdin View Camps with guests from the Katahdin region, Maine, and even as far as Florida. During the daytime programming, DIY stomp rockets with Rebecca Spitz and a scale model of the solar system with John Meader were popular with young people. Telescope views of solar prominences and a lecture with Shawn Laatsch of the Versant Astronomy Center were highlights for adults. Once the sun began to set, we returned to our annual campfire chats and then were treated to brilliant, bright night skies before cloud cover started to signal closing time. Thank you to Taylor’s Camps, Dark Sky Maine, and all our wonderful volunteers who made this event possible!

Couldn’t make it for the in-person event? We conducting our popular Stars Over Katahdin webinar again this year!  Learn more (and stay tuned for the recording) at www.friendsofkww.org/stars

Katahdin Learning Project monument trips – School is back in session which means students are joining the Katahdin Learning Project (KLP) for educational trips in Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument (KAWW). KLP worked closely with NPS staff this summer to develop programs that meaningfully connect students with the monument. Our programs are hands-on, place-based, and most importantly FUN!

Guests seated during the speaking program at the 6th Anniversary.

Lucas St. Clair shares remarks during the speaking program at the 6th Anniversary. Photo credit: James E. Francis, Sr.

Anniversary recap – At the 6th Anniversary party, we were joined by over 170 people – board members, staff, members, sponsors, community partners and more. We heard from Acting Executive Director Sam Deeran, KAWW Superintendent Mark Wimmer, Board Chair Molly Ross, Development Director Meghan Cooper, and board member Lucas St. Clair. The speaking program was followed by an amazing performance from Firefly the Hybrid who shared traditional Wabanaki songs and then invited us into a round dance followed by a dance party. The Anniversary was the first time we had 2021 annual reports available.

You can view the Woods & Waters report online or we are happy to send you a copy by request.

Ripple effect – As Friends here in the Katahdin region, we strive to amplify the work of our local, regional, and national colleagues and bring news to you from Katahdin Woods and Waters and the communities connected to it.

  • Join the Maine Outdoor Film Festival and the Maine Woods Rambler for an evening of outdoor adventure and conservation films shown outdoors on the eve of the awesome bike adventure race. It’s happening on Sat, Sept 24, at 7pm at New England Outdoor Center in Millinocket. Learn more about the MOFF event here.
  • Friends’ own Elise Goplerud was recently asked to contribute to Bendable, a “community powered learning marketplace” here in Maine. She chose the topic: Developing a deep connection to nature. See what Elise wrote about here.
  • Bob Meadows, of the NPS, visited the monument to collect night sky data to further quantify the quality of the night sky experience at the monument. Bob concurred that the night skies are of superb quality and some of the darkest east of the Mississippi.
  • Our friends at Outdoor Sport Institute (“OSI”) are hiring! OSI is looking for a full-time team member based in the Katahdin region. This person will work intimately with communities and stakeholders across the region to fulfill OSI’s mission of building resilience in people and communities through human powered outdoor recreation. You can check out the job posting here.

Sponsor Spotlight – Thank you to the National Parks Conservation Association, sponsoring Friends at the Lookout level in 2022! NPCA is a strong supporter of Friends, the monument, and all of America’s national parks.

NPCA logo

And thank you Ellis’ Family Markets–a family-owned grocery store with locations in Patten and East Millinocket–for your Hathorn level sponsorship and commitment to the communities of the Katahdin region.

Ellis Family Market logo

Sponsors provide crucial funding that supports our mission and work. To learn more, visit friendsofkww.org/sponsorship or contact sarah@friendsofkww.org.

—This blog post was adapted from an email transmitted on September 20, 2022. To sign up for our email list, please email info@friendsofkww.org—

August eNewsletter

Sharing the outdoors with family and friends.

The dog days are upon us: the tall grasses are more gold than green, rivers are low and warm, and our spring cacophony of birdsong is a memory in the quiet forest. A few red leaves on a stressed maple are enough to elicit panic–summer is almost over! It’s time to squeeze in another long weekend, day hike, or impromptu picnic dinner and swim. So, take a moment from sharpening your new pencils and stacking firewood, and consider how you plan to enjoy the last days of summer ‘22. First, read on for the August news from Friends.

A river with sunlit fog.

Sun lights early mist at the Upper East Branch site, steps from your tent. Credit: Sarah Andre

Family camping in the monument –
Back in the June eNews, we shared essential resources for folks looking to camp at Katahdin Woods and Waters this summer. I was inspired to plan a trip for my family of four and, as you read this, we’ll be soaking in the last of the laid-back family time before school begins (or just soaking, depending on the weather). The Upper East Branch site provides car camping (just a short walk to the site) in the north end of the monument. If you’re out there, you might find us hiking to Haskell Rock, exploring the nearby Seboeis River Trail, or enjoying a “lively” game of UNO until the mosquitoes drive us in for the night. I can’t wait to share my trip report next month! If you have monument camping stories to share, I’d love to hear from you, too.

Access Act Legislation –
On August 10th, we welcomed the introduction of the Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument Access Act, legislation co-sponsored by Senators Collins and King of Maine. We thank Senator Collins and Senator King for their leadership in creating this bipartisan legislation that is focused on improving access from the Millinocket area. You can read more about the legislation on our blog. News made its way to the Portland Press HeraldMaine Public, and WABI in Bangor.

As we approach six years of Katahdin Woods & Waters, Acting Executive Director Sam Deeran was interviewed on Frontline Voices, the podcast from our friends at Natural Resources Council of Maine. You can listen here.

Stars Over Katahdin: Dark skies for everyone –
Mark your calendar and get ready to experience the darkest skies east of the Mississippi with Friends and Dark Sky Maine for the ninth annual Stars Over Katahdin, September 17th (in-person) and 22nd (virtual). Both events are free, open to the public, and for people of all ages. We’ve worked to create a truly accessible event this year: most activities, including campfire chats with special guests and star viewing, will take place at Taylor’s Katahdin View Camps (located a few miles from the monument, right off Rte. 11 on the Swift Brook Rd.) Fun family-friendly activities will begin early in the afternoon at Taylor’s, and we will help folks new to the monument get oriented and comfortable heading out to explore the sights along the Loop Road before dark. Learn more and register here–I hope you can join us!

Ripple Effect
As Friends here in the Katahdin Region, we strive to amplify the work of our local, regional, and national colleagues and bring news to you from Katahdin Woods and Waters and the communities connected to it. This month’s message–the monument and the Katahdin region welcome you, whether you’re new to the outdoors or a hardcore enthusiast. Adventure awaits!

Camping, hiking, and backpacking (camping + hiking) are unparalleled routes to unplug and connect with the natural world, perfect for busy families challenged by schedules and screens. But getting out there takes gear, planning, and most importantly, the friendly advice of park staff, retailers, and fellow campers. For folks just starting to find their way, we’re grateful for the myriad resources available online.

    • If camping with your little ones feels overwhelming, start with Three Steps for Camping with Kids at recreation.gov/articles. My favorite takeaway: “Go with the flow.”
    • Head back to recreation.gov for camping reservations in the monument and to the NPS App for an interactive map, updated park alerts and information, and tips of places to see and things to do at Katahdin Woods and Waters and 400 other national park units.
    • Ready to hit the road with friends? New Hampshire-based company (and Friends sponsor) NEMO Equipment has an impressive adventure resources page chock full of recipes, packing tips, and links to inclusive outdoor groups. In a space where many have been excluded, we applaud our industry peers welcoming folks from every place and background to get out in the front- and back-country and try something new.
    • Trails End Festival – September 16-18th
      Need another reason to block out the weekend of September 17th? Come for Stars Over Katahdin, but make a stop in Millinocket for the Trails End Festival, a celebration of the end of the Appalachian Trail, Katahdin region, the outdoor recreation community, and spending time with friends and family during three days of music, food, and fun!
    • Maine Woods Rambler – September 24
      Another Millinocket-area event we’re stoked about is the Bicycle Coalition of Maine’s Maine Woods Rambler. They’ve teamed up with Katahdin Area Trails “to create the most excellent adventure bicycle wilderness experience.” If punishing climbs, rough gravel, and flow trail singletrack get your gears spinning, check it out. A guided family trail ride will also take place on Sunday for youth and families who want to check out the trails, with bikes and instruction available courtesy of the Katahdin Gear Library.

Sponsor Spotlight

Thank you NEMO Equipment for sharing your commitment to sustainability and corporate responsibility by joining Friends as a Deasey level sponsor this year!

And thank you New England Outdoor Center–host to this year’s Anniversary Celebration and base for many Katahdin region adventures–for your Deasey level sponsorship!Sponsors provide crucial funding that supports our mission and work. To learn more, visit friendsofkww.org/sponsorship or contact sarah@friendsofkww.org.

—This blog post was adapted from an email transmitted on August 19, 2022. To sign up for our email list, please email info@friendsofkww.org—

Just one week until the 6th Anniversary

A weekend of fun in the Katahdin Region – celebrate with us!

Summer is flying by, and it’s hard to believe that the 6th Anniversary Celebration is just over a week away on Saturday, August 27. Now is the time to purchase your tickets if you haven’t done so already!

Cabins are still available at New England Outdoor Center. Call NEOC at (207) 723-5438 to reserve one today.

For those planning to be in the Katahdin region for the anniversary weekend (whether you’ll be attending the celebration or not), check out some opportunities for fun daytime activities from our friends and partners below. Please note that some require pre-registration and have limited capacity.


Self-Guided Birding Excursion (suggested by Maine Audubon)

The monument is a haven for more than one hundred species of birds. Try to find as many as you can using Maine Audubon and Friends of KWW’s new Birding Hotspots Map, which points users to some of the most productive and accessible areas. In late August, the Monument’s birds are focused on feeding, putting on weight for their impending southbound migration. Look and listen for mixed flocks in forests, wetlands, pond edges, and other of the park’s habitats.

Photography Exhibition with Friends of Baxter State Park

Stop by the Boreal Theater Gallery in downtown Millinocket (open Thursday-Sunday, 10 am to 2 pm) through Sunday, August 28, to check out My Magnificent Obsession, a photography exhibition by local artist Emma McGraw. (Click here for details.) This exhibition is selected from Emma’s work over the past two years studying photography as a Baxter Youth Conservation Corps Conservation Fellow with Friends of Baxter State Park.

BikeMaine Weekend in Lincoln with Bicycle Coalition of Maine

Join BCM as part of the BikeMaine weekend in Lincoln for a “Short and Sweet” gravel bike ride on Friday or Saturday afternoon. Space is limited, and pre-registration is required. Register for Friday or Saturday.


Hike Deasey with the International Appalachian Trail

Join members of the IAT for a hike up Deasey Mountain in Katahdin Woods & Waters. Join Friends board member Don Hudson for this 10-mile group hike. Space is limited. Please register on the Maine IAT website.

Hammond Ridge Bike Trail Tours with the Katahdin Gear Library, Katahdin Area Trails, and the Outdoor Sport Institute

Join staff from the Katahdin Gear Library, Katahdin Area Trails, and the Outdoor Sport Institute at 2 pm on Saturday, August 27, for a tour of the Hammond Ridge Trails. Several bike leaders will be available to run different paced rides. Bring your own bike or rent a bike from NEOC or the Katahdin Gear LibraryPre-registration is preferred.

Looking forward to celebrating together soon. Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions.

Happy anniversary!

Friends of Katahdin Woods & Waters Thanks Senators King & Collins for Introduction of Access Act


Sam Deeran, Acting Executive Director
Email: sam@friendsofkww.org

Friends of Katahdin Woods & Waters Thanks Senators King & Collins
for Introduction of Access Act

Friends of Katahdin Woods & Waters, an official philanthropic park partner to the national monument, is grateful for the introduction of the Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument Access Act – an access bill that was recently introduced by co-sponsors Senator Collins and Senator King of Maine. Senator King’s press release is linked here

“We thank Senator Collins and Senator King for their leadership,” said Sam Deeran, Acting Executive Director for the Friends group. “They have worked together to create bipartisan legislation that is good for the national monument, the surrounding communities, and the visiting public. We look forward to opportunities to improve access from the Millinocket area.” 

The bill allows the National Park Services to acquire land from a willing, interested seller – and only a willing, interested seller – to increase access to Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument, with a focus on access from the south including the communities of Millinocket and East Millinocket. In addition, the National Park Service would be granted authority to purchase or lease facilities for a park headquarters, staff offices, and visitor services outside the boundary of the monument.

“Access from the south would be a critical addition to the monument that will help to improve the visitor experience and increase the positive economic impact in the region, particularly for Millinocket and East Millinocket. Our Senators have stepped up to support Katahdin Woods and Waters and the communities by delivering increased appropriations and through the introduction of this bill,” continued Deeran. “We will continue to match their work by investing in park infrastructure, providing opportunities for local youth, and supporting visitors.”

Last year, Friends of Katahdin Woods & Waters opened the new Lunksoos Campsites – doubling tent sites accessible by car. The Katahdin Learning Project has led youth programs resulting in over 8,000 student experiences. Last month, Maine Audubon and the Friends group released the new birding hotspot map for the national monument. 

Friends of Katahdin Woods & Waters will be hosting the 6th Anniversary Celebration of the national monument on Aug 27, 2022 at New England Outdoor Center in Millinocket. More information is available at www.friendsofkww.org/anniversary

July eNewsletter

Anniversary, Birding, WaYS, and more!

Summer is in full bloom at Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument. Wildflowers are buzzing with pollinators, mushrooms are popping, and, yes, the humidity is socked in (though there are fresh rivers and ponds to cool off in!). We’re keeping pace with summer’s bloom and busy with many updates we’re eager to share with you today.

You’re invited to the 6th Anniversary Celebration! Registration is open for our 6th Anniversary Celebration of the designation of the monument on Saturday, August 27, at New England Outdoor Center in Millinocket. We can’t wait to gather as a community to celebrate our shared accomplishments and look forward to an exciting future. And, of course, to toast to our friends, summer, the monument and communities connected to it. Tickets are $25 per adult, and children 17 and under are free. There will be a live performance by Firefly the Hybrid (who delivered this amazing performance during the New Moon Teachings series), local food, Maine Beer Co. beer, daytime adventures, and more. Visit our Anniversary Celebration page for more details and to buy your tickets today.

*New* Birding Hotspot Map produced by Maine Audubon and Friends – All summer long, we’ve been working with our friends at Maine Audubon to highlight the national monument as a premier birding location and all-around some of the best access to the north woods in Maine. Following a fun and educational bird walk in the monument on June 26, we’ve teamed up to release this new Birding Hotspot Map, available on the Audubon website. For all you birders and wildlife observers, Katahdin Woods & Waters National Monument is calling on community scientists to help them document the plants, animals, and insects that can be found in the monument and in the greater region. Current species checklists can be found on the monument websiteeBird is the best place to share your bird lists and iNaturalist can be used for all plants and animals and is great if you have photos. When using eBird, please add lists to the specific locations within the monument.

Photo of a Moose among a stand of dead trees
Sometimes when you’re out looking for birds, you’ll find a moose! Photo courtesy of Nick Lund, Maine Audubon

Wabanaki Youth in Science (“WaYS”) – The WaYS group is back for their third summer at Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument. Friends, NPS staff, and WaYS work together to establish procedures that sustain the program in addition to on-site, in-kind, and financial support from Friends. The WaYS crew works and learns in the monument and Acadia National Park. By bringing Cultural Knowledge and western science together while working on ancestral lands, crew members gain work experience through natural resources, cultural resources, and trail work projects. After two weeks at Acadia National Park, the crew has arrived at Katahdin Woods and Waters to work with NPS employees and education volunteers on natural resource projects. They have participated in water quality testing with Penobscot Department of Natural Resources and dragonfly-mercury sampling with NPS.

Maine Conservation Corps (“MCC”) Environmental Stewards – With thanks to the National Park Foundation Service Corps fund, Friends of Katahdin Woods & Waters has allocated funds to support two MCC Environmental Stewards who will help with NPS trail work this summer! One steward is here already and is working in the monument with Christopher “Dewey” Loft, Facility Manager at NPS, as their site supervisor.

Professional Development with Katahdin Learning Project – Katahdin Learning Project recently hosted two professional development opportunities for local educators and outdoors professionals. On June 28 and 29, we hosted the annual Teacher Camp to help educators implement place-based learning into their work. Ten teachers will be moving forward with community place based education projects in the region. On July 13 and 14, Wabanaki Public Health and Wellness Venture Team Leader, Nyle Sockbeson, and our own Elise Goplerud teamed up to facilitate a Leave No Trace trainer course for Katahdin region outdoor professionals. During these two days of hiking and camping, participants thoughtfully discussed wilderness ethics, low-impact recreation, and our role as outdoor educators. We practiced new techniques, tested out lessons and activities with each other, and, of course, no LNT trainer course is complete without a hilarious conversation on proper human waste management!

Ripple Effect – As Friends here in the Katahdin Region, we strive to amplify the work of our local, regional, and national colleagues, and bring news to you from Katahdin Woods and Waters and the communities connected to it. This month we’re highlighting recreational opportunities in the Katahdin Region!

  • Resources to visit Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument
  • Bike Maine 2022: Lincoln – This year, the annual BikeMaine Weekend includes curated routes through the Katahdin region! Click here for registration (open through Aug 18) and more information for single-day rides or the full 3-day weekend. In addition to the daily rides, BikeMaine has worked with the town of Lincoln to schedule programming for the weekend including gravel rides, a farmers market, and a Maine Beer Company beer & wine garden. Registration for these programs can be found on the “Calendar” page of their website here.

Community Outdoor Fun – Katahdin Gear Library, Age Friendly Millinocket, Katahdin Area Trail, Millinocket Memorial Library, and OSI have teamed up to provide fun for local communities this summer. Each of the following programs meet weekly at the Katahdin Gear Library (215 Penobscot Ave, Millinocket): Women’s Trail Run is every Tuesday at 7am until Aug 16, the Group Mountain Bike Ride is every Wednesday at 6pm until Aug 17, and the Age-Friendly Community Walk is every Thursday at 8:30am until Aug 18! Learn more on the Katahdin Gear Library Facebook page.

Sponsor Spotlight – 6th Anniversary  – This month, we’re sending extra-special thanks to the businesses and organizations supporting our 6th Anniversary Celebration next month!

Presenting sponsor Maine Beer Company

Katahdin sponsor Richardson’s Hardware

Lookout sponsors Bangor Daily News, Down East Magazine, Elliotsville Foundation, Inc., L.L.Bean, National Parks Conservation Association; Deasey Sponsors Burt’s Bees, Haley Ward, NEMO Equipment, New England Outdoor Center; Barnard sponsors F.A. Peabody, Katahdin Trust, Lee Auto Malls, Trust for Public Land; and Hathorn sponsors Appalachian Mountain Club, Bangor Savings Bank, Ellis Family Markets, Gideon Asen Law, Maine Audubon, and Natural Resources Council of Maine.

—This blog post was adapted from an email transmitted on July 14, 2022. To sign up for our email list, please email info@friendsofkww.org—

June eNewsletter

Trip planning, Bird Walk, Excavator, and more!

The gates across the park are open – providing entry to drive the Loop Road, hike to Deasey Pond, bike to the Lookout View, paddle the East Branch, and so much more. Access to these places is important and we believe the national monument provides some of the best public access to the north woods in Maine. And yet – this park has only been managed as a unit of the national park service for a little over five years, and so we’re committed to working to improve infrastructure and support visitation. This month, we write with some tools that will help make planning your next trip to Katahdin Woods and Waters easier.

Planning Your Trip to Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument

  • Camping Reservations on Recreation.gov – Our partners at the National Park Service have prioritized making camping reservations easier by setting up the national monument on Recreation.gov. Start by visiting the Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument Camping and Huts section and clicking on Build Itinerary. Then you can add your group size and start reserving campsites and lean-tos across the park. On June 25th, it’s the Great American Campout at national parks across the country. You can join visitors across the country enjoying special places on this day celebrating camping!
  • National Park Service App and website – You can get the most up-to-date information on the NPS website and now on the NPS App. Download the NPS App here, and gain the tools to experience more than 400 national park units. The app can be used to track progress on the river, trails, and roads, even when offline. Be sure to make the KAWW map available offline before your trip.
  • Visitor Contact Stations in Millinocket and Patten – The Visitor Contact Stations offer monument maps and publications along with trip planning assistance. The Millinocket Contact Station is open daily from late May through early October from 8 am to 4pm at 200 Penobscot Ave. Starting in July, the Patten Visitor Contact Station (located in the Lumbermen’s Museum) is open from 10 am to 4 pm at 61 Shin Pond Rd, closed Mondays. For operating hours, please visit here.
  • Support from Friends’ staff – Feel free to reach out to Friends staff for help planning a trip! June is a great month to try out canoeing and kayaking in the national monument (bugs are less likely to follow you while you’re out on the water!). Paddling is accessible from the Lunksoos Tent Sites area with a boat launch that gets you out onto a flatwater section of the East Branch of the Penobscot River.

Bird Walk with Maine Audubon and Friends on June 26th – Did you know that Katahdin Woods and Waters is home to a large diversity of birds? Members are invited to discover the amazing birding opportunities the monument has to offer on an exclusive bird walk with Maine Audubon’s Nick Lund and Friends staff! On our walk, we will discuss what makes the monument such a great place for birding, identify birds, and help you get to know the monument better. All experience levels are invited! For more information and to register, click the link here.

Friends of Katahdin Woods & Waters staff recently gathered for Wear Your PFD to Work Day. We paddled upriver to the Big Seboeis campsite (in our PFDs!) from Lunksoos and then came back for a meal at Craig’s Clam Shop – now open for the summer season in Patten, Maine.

Friends gifts “Mini”-Excavator to National Park Service – Maintaining logging roads, especially in an area with many streams, brooks, and rivers that are vital to Atlantic salmon passage, is a lot of work. To help the National Park Service keep up with constant culvert maintenance needs, Friends gifted our friends in the maintenance department at NPS a CAT brand Mini-Excavator. This gift was made possible with support from the National Park Foundation and supporters like you! If you find yourself coming across the CAT doing work this summer, or other NPS maintenance staff, please say thank you! They’re working hard to maintain and improve access all across the national monument.

Ripple Effect – As Friends here in the Katahdin Region, we strive to amplify the work of our local, regional, and national colleagues, and bring news to you from Katahdin Woods and Waters and the communities connected to it. This month we’re highlighting influencers and organizations that speak to important moments in June, particularly pride month and Juneteenth.

  • Atlantic Black Box Project – This Juneteenth we encourage those who call New England home to think critically about how the northeast is connected to slavery by engaging with the work of Atlantic Black Box Project. The organizers ask “Why have we been telling certain stories about New England and not others? How did we come to unknow the region’s deep complicity in the institution of slavery and systems of oppression?”
  • LGBTQ+ in the Outdoors: A conversation between Elyse Rylander and L.L. Bean – Our friends at L.L. Bean are using their platform to elevate LGBTQ+ voices, including Elyse Rylander (founder of OUT There Adventures). The conversation covers obstacles LGBTQ+ folks face in the outdoors and how important the outdoors can be to shaping people’s lives. Check it out!
  • Inclusive whitewater day – On June 12, Penobscot river whitewater enthusiasts gathered for a discussion on how we can create a more inclusive whitewater community. If you would like to find out more or support this discussion, visit the Inclusive Whitewater event page.

    Sponsor Spotlight

    Many thanks to Katahdin Trust, supporting Friends since 2018, for their yearlong sponsorship at the Barnard level.


    We share gratitude for Down East Magazine for their generous sponsorship at the Lookout level!

—This blog post was adapted from an email transmitted on June 14, 2022. To sign up for our email list, please email info@friendsofkww.org—

May eNewsletter

April showers bring May flowers… but May brings more than just flowers! May brings newborn moose calves with their gangly legs and awkwardness, fiddleheads and blazing green leaves, relentless chicks begging for food, and swelling water levels in our rivers. What are the signs of renewal and growth that you look forward to each May?

Painted trillium wildflower
Painted trillium by Elise Goplerud

In our forests, spring is a time for growth. And why not also a time for personal and professional growth as well? Read on to learn how Friends is supporting professional and personal growth in the Katahdin region and how you can sign up!

Teacher Camp (in person) – Registration is open!

June 28th-29th 8:00 a.m.- 4:00 p.m. at Taylor’s Katahdin View Camps and Campground, Stacyville. Educators are invited to join the Katahdin Learning Project for a two-day workshop to learn how to integrate place-based learning into your lessons. Place-based learning is applicable to all educators, and this two-day workshop is not restricted to just classroom teachers. Participants have the opportunity to pursue micro-badges and CEU’s. Register today: www.friendsofkww.org/teachercamp

Wabanaki REACH Training (virtual)- Registration is open!

June 13th 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. Access to this training is a benefit of your membership and provided free of cost! “This program is an interactive experience in which we engage in a story of particular events in the history of 400 years of colonization of Wabanaki people by Europeans in this territory now called the state of Maine. This highly engaging experience requires our full participation in order to genuinely increase our understanding of colonization and what it means for current descendants and future generations; to reflect on what story we are writing for our grandchildren.”  Register for the training here.

Leave No Trace Trainer (in person)

June 23-24th and July 13-14th (Both courses are FULL! Email elise@friendsofkww.org to be added to the waitlist.) Friends is hosting several Leave No Trace trainer courses this year. These two-day courses teach wilderness ethics and minimal impact recreation skills to outdoors people of all experience levels. Friends’ Program Associate Elise Goplerud, and Wabanaki Public Health and Wellness Project Venture Team Lead Nyle Sockbeson are co-leading these training sessions for outdoor professionals in the Katahdin region.

Trip Planning

Taking a trip to the Katahdin region and trying something new is great for personal growth! In May, fish are biting and river levels are typically high, though take note, levels this year are running lower than ususal. If you haven’t spent time on one of the rivers in Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument, we can help you plan a trip. May is National Water Safety Month. Prepare yourself for your time on the river by learning about water hazards and water vessel safety. Gates to the national monument are still closed to vehicles due to mud season, but they typically open in late May. You can get the most up-to-date information on the NPS website and now on the NPS App. Download the NPS App here and gain the tools to explore more than 400 national park units. The app can be used to track progress on the river, trails, and roads, even when offline. Be sure to make the KAWW map available offline before your trip. Tip: Track your progress down the river and never miss the portage trails!

Katahdin Brook aerial view
Katahdin Brook by Elise Goplerud

Ripple Effect

As Friends here in the Katahdin Region, we strive to amplify the work of our local, regional, and national colleagues, and bring news to you from Katahdin Woods and Waters and the communities connected to it.

Fiddlers and Fiddlehead Festival- Patten, ME May 21st 11:00 am- 4:00 pm Join us for this local festival on May 21st for good food, amazing music, beautiful crafts and lots of fun at the Patten Lumberman’s Museum. You’ll be able to catch all of Friends’ staff at this event sharing the emcee role, facilitating kids’ games, and at our booth. Come say hi!

Katahdin Region Outdoor Trainings – Registration is open!

Friends is collaborating with several other groups in the region to create a collection of professional outdoor training courses in the Katahdin region. This is part of the efforts of the Working Communities Challenge as a way to bolster the outdoor recreation workforce in the region. These different groups will be facilitating courses in swiftwater rescue, wilderness first aid, mountain bike leadership, trail work and several others. Take a look at what is being offered and sign up here: www.outdoorsi.org/katahdin-trainings

Sponsor Spotlight

We welcome Gideon Asen with gratitude for joining us in 2022 at the Hathorn level.

Gideon Asen logo

Thank you Maine Beer Company for supporting Friends since 2017! MBC is a true champion in 2022 at the Katahdin level.

Maine Beer Company logo

Sponsors provide crucial funding that supports our mission and work–such as training, educational programming, and community partnerships. To learn more, visit friendsofkww.org/sponsorship or contact sarah@friendsofkww.org.

—This blog post was adapted from an email transmitted on May 24, 2022. To sign up for our email list, please email info@friendsofkww.org—

April eNewsletter

April is the ______ month, depending whom you ask. It is certainly the messiest. Those of us with dirt driveways, pets to walk, or children fond of puddles spend much of it whisking gravelly mud out the front door, back into the warming yard. Housekeeping of a more serious order is underway for many birds returning to Katahdin Woods and Waters from their winter homes. The roads may yet be gated or too muddy for driving (check conditions here), but locals and visitors venturing into the monument by foot to birdwatch will be rewarded. Download Friends’ Bird Checklist before you go, and consider taking part in community science endeavors–your data can help park service staff learn more about the monument’s ecosystem.

Spring Membership Appeal

Check your inbox for a very special letter from Steve Richardson, Friends’ board vice-president and local leader. Now is the time to renew your support for everything Friends will do in 2022–from resource protection to visitation to youth programming, and so much more!

Friends’ Board Endorses Legislation

At the March 29th convening, the board of directors voted to endorse three bills that are being presented this session in the Maine State Legislature: LD1626LD906, and LD585. The three bills address Wabanaki tribal rights and activities, and more information is available from the Wabanaki Alliance.

Wabanaki Reach Training available to Members

Have you wondered what it means to “decolonize” your thinking? Would you like to learn more about Wabanaki issues and perspectives? Friends will again partner with Wabanaki REACH to offer their Interacting With Wabanaki-Maine History training on two dates this spring: May 24th, 5-7 p.m. and June 13th, 10 a.m.-12 p.m. This program will deepen your understanding of Wabanaki history since colonization and inspire reflections on the story we are writing for your grandchildren. Stay tuned for a registration link via email soon!

April Vacation Camp

Friends’ place-based learning program Katahdin Learning Project is partnering with the Millinocket Memorial Library for another Vacation Kids Camp. Kids will not only have a fun, safe place to go during April school break, they will also learn about the environment around them and practice giving back. Each day features a theme including: outdoor skills, creative critters, nature games, astronomy & atmosphere, and Earth Day. A week of engaging lessons will culminate with a community Earth Day project!

Save-the-Date for Teacher Camp

Katahdin Learning Project will host its popular Teacher Camp June 28-29th in the Katahdin region. Teacher Camp is for any educator who is interested in engaging their students in place-based learning. Educators will learn the principles and foundations of place-based learning, see examples and then make a plan of their own. For more information and registration, contact Education Director Kala Rush at kala@friendsofkww.org.

Ripple Effect – Partner News and Notes

As the non-profit philanthropic partner to our National Park Service unit, we strive to amplify the work of our local, regional, and national colleagues, and bring news to you from inside Katahdin Woods and Waters. In this monthly section we also share community “ripples” highlighting the work of connected organizations.

Open NPS jobs at KAWW

We join NPS and dark-sky advocates everywhere in celebration of International Dark Sky Week–April 22-30. April is the perfect time to plan your astro-tourism trip to the only IDA-designated Dark Sky Sanctuary east of the Mississippi River, Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument! Whether you are a seasoned stargazer or newly curious, you’ll find much to help you enjoy and protect this natural, cultural, and economic resource in the Night Skies section of nps.gov.

Learn more: Access the recording and resource list from our 2021 Stars Over Katahdin virtual presentation here.

Finally, we noticed in March that Outside Magazine listed Katahdin Woods and Waters as a top under-the-radar destination of our national parks system–highlighting the dark skies and its part in a “wide swatch of protected lands.” Even in the off-season, with muddy roads and bird songs mostly enjoyed by fellow avians, Friends is deeply committed to supporting NPS and the communities of the Katahdin region in welcoming more visitors each year. We hope that among the visitors in 2022 will be you and your family.

—This blog post was adapted from an email transmitted on April 24, 2022. To sign up for our email list, please email info@friendsofkww.org—