Making winter tracks – February eNewsletter

Skiing in the monument, sponsor love, community trails, and more…

Valentine’s Day has come and gone, but all this month Friends of Katahdin Woods and Waters is sweet on a very special type of supporter: our corporate and non-profit sponsors! We’re grateful for the mission-minded businesses and organizations large and small, local and national, who care for the monument and those connected to it. We spotlight two sponsors each month (scroll to bottom)–and rely on their support all year long.

Your Park Story

A man on cross country skis
Solitude and fresh snow! Photo credit: Mary Krevans

Members Mary and J.R. reached out last month for some visitation advice and happily, they were willing to share their subsequent #myparkstory with me! It’s the quintessential winter hop to the Katahdin region, especially for those suffering meager snowfall in the southern and coastal regions of Maine. Here’s their dispatch:

We drove up to Katahdin Woods and Waters on a sunny February morning. After a nice lunch at Matagamon Lodge, we parked at the north gate and enjoyed four hours of skiing on nicely packed pulk trails–without another human encounter! Just as the sky turned a pretty pink, we skied back into the parking lot. After a cozy night spent in the region (a local business graciously allowed us to park our self-contained camper van), we headed south for a second day of great skiing at Penobscot River Trails. We’ve been supporters of Friends of Katahdin Woods and Waters since the very beginning and enjoy seeing the changes as they come. Signage has improved greatly! It’s a beautiful area to visit in all seasons. -Mary and J.R. Krevans, Bar Harbor

What’s your park story? Join us on social media: post your adventures on Facebook and Instagram with the hashtags #myparkstory and #katahdinwoodsandwaters.

Executive Director Search – A thoughtful process, led by Friends’ board treasurer and Chewonki President Emeritus, Don Hudson, is well underway! Staff and board alike are excited to meet candidates in the next few weeks. In the meantime, we continue to forge ahead with our planned work for 2023 and prepare to welcome our next leader this spring.

Happy Birthday to Us! On February 28th, Friends of Katahdin Woods and Waters will turn six years old! Many of you (such as the Krevanses!) have supported us since the very beginning, and many more have joined to grow Friends into the strong organization we are today. Thank you.

Katahdin Learning Project’s February Vacation Camp – KLP is building on the success of our inaugural vacation camps last year. This February’s free weeklong camp met capacity almost immediately! Kids will munch on healthy snacks and lunch thanks to the support of Thrive Penobscot, the Northern Forest Center, Katahdin Collaborative, Elliotsville Foundation, Our Katahdin, and Yum Bakery. We are excited to foster future leaders as high school volunteers connect campers with residents at Stearns Assisted Living through a service project.

Children laughing outside in the snow
Playing on skis at camp last February

Lumbermen’s Trail – Friends is cheering together with Katahdin Area Trails and numerous nonprofit partners on the news of a $40,000 grant through Maine’s Recreational Trails Program to fund a new one-third mile trail in the gateway community of Patten. “The Lumbermen’s Trail” will begin behind the Patten Lumbermen’s Museum on town and museum-owned land. Winding through ancient conifers, hikers will find museum relics and a children’s story walk. Julie Isbill, project manager with the Rivers, Trails, and Conservation Assistance program of the National Park Service: “I love the project. It is very organic, very grassroots. We are hoping there will be a whole system in Patten. Our plan is to start with this, and eventually, we could have miles of walking trails.”

Park News

  • Check conditions before you hit the trails with the most recent grooming report and more from the NPS here:
  • Winter camping reservations are available through The bad news: Haskell Hut is fully booked through the 2023 season ending March 18th, and Big Spring Brook Hut was closed this season for necessary repairs. (The good news: subscribers to this eNewsletter will be among the first to know when summer and winter camping reservations open!)
  • Current job announcements from the National Park Service can be found here:  Park management shared these exciting details:

Maintenance is working on hiring 8 seasonal employees and one permanent Maintenance Worker Supervisor. KAWW maintenance is hiring, for the first time, a Roads dedicated NPS crew to re-deck bridges, replace culverts, ditch, brush, mow, and gravel roads throughout the monument. Larger scale roads projects to be contracted out are two bridge replacements and one culvert. Additional work to be contracted will be brushing and ditching work on the Wassataquoik and Swift Brook Roads. NPS trail crew are to work on signage, brushing, and tread along the International Appalachian Trail (IAT) corridor. This work will be supported by the Maine Conservation Corps.

Ripple Effect

  • While the coast again hosts a visiting celebrity eagle, the North Maine Woods is also home to some “weird” and enviable birding–from BDN columnist and Maine Audubon Penobscot Valley Chapter vice president Bob Duchesne.
  • If you are already thinking about your hut visit in winter 2024, don’t miss this ready-made trip template–complete with local grub & pub recommendations!
  • Have you discovered the stunning Seboeis Riverside Trail yet? It is now officially open to the public with four-season recreation and rewarding views of the falls at Grand Pitch.

Sponsor Spotlight

Gratitude going out to our final spotlight sponsors from 2022! Trust for Public Land joined us at the Barnard level last year–thank you!

And thank you to Bangor Savings Bank in Millinocket for their Hathorn level sponsorship!

Sponsors provide crucial funding that supports our mission and work. To learn more about becoming a sponsor in 2023, visit or contact

—This blog post was adapted from an email transmitted on February 23, 2023 . To sign up for our email list, please email—

Happy New Year! January eNewsletter

Gratitude, Your Park Stories, Executive Director search, and more…

As we begin a new year of monthly newsletters, we want to begin by thanking you for being a part of the Friends of Katahdin Woods and Waters family. More than 300 donations arrived in the last few weeks of the year during our annual appeal and each one makes a difference. It’s an extra special treat when a check or online donation is accompanied by a short note: “Thanks for all you do,” or “Keep up the good work!” We couldn’t say it any better ourselves, so to all who donated, volunteered, collaborated on a program, shared a post on social media, or reached out in 2022–thanks for all you do, and keep up the good work.

Three cross country skiers approach the Haskell Hut
XC skiers on the approach to a cozy night at Haskell Hut

Inspired by the National Park Service–we are excited to bring you more stories this year–Your Park Stories! Throughout the year, we’ll be sharing stories of meaningful place-based experiences in Katahdin Woods and Waters from the NPS, visitors, the Katahdin region, and Friends. I hope you’ll join us on social media: post your adventures on Facebook and Instagram with the hashtags #MyParkStory and #KatahdinWoodsAndWaters. For this month’s #MyParkStory, Acting Executive Director Sam Deeran shares a photo essay on how Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument inspired a big life move.

Home In Herseytown text over a vintage looking photo of a mailbox on a country road.
A #myparkstory photo essay by Sam Deeran

Seeking the next Friends Executive Director – The Board of Directors and staff of Friends of Katahdin Woods and Waters are pleased to announce the opening of the job of Executive Director. 2023 promises to be an exciting and important year for Friends and we look forward to welcoming a leader who will guide the organization into its next chapter. Read the full announcement on our blog–and please share!

Trust for Public Land to engage community – Have you heard? In December,Trust for Public Land, a national nonprofit that works to connect everyone to the benefits and joys of the outdoors, announced the purchase of 31,367 acres from Conservation Resources, a timber investment management organization. Over the next several years, the nonprofit will work with community leaders, outdoor advocates, public officials, and communities connected to this land to examine long-term outcomes for the property, to ensure southern access to Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument is enhanced, and to protect trails on the property.

February Vacation Camp returns to Millinocket Memorial Library – Friends’ Katahdin Learning Project staff are excited for our second year of Vacation Camps! Offered at no cost to Katahdin region youth, the full-day program will introduce kids to outdoor skills, winter sports, and local ecology while parents work during the school break. Registration will open February 6th–keep an eye on Friends’ Facebook & Instagram pages for the link to sign up. This program is made possible with the partnership of the Millinocket Memorial LibraryOutdoor Sport Institute, and many community members.

Winter recreation in the monument – The best way to explore Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument in winter may be by foot or on skis from the north entrance. This end of the monument is open seven days a week and offers groomed trails for cross-country skiing and snowshoeing. Winter hiking, camping at Haskell Hut, ice fishing, and fat tire biking are also accessible from the north entrance. Check trail conditions here.

Did you know that snowmobile travel is allowed on approximately 22 miles of trail within the monument? Local snowmobile clubs maintain the trails under special use permits. Learn more and review all rules here before your trip.

Jobs at Katahdin Woods and Waters – The National Park Service is hiring now for seasonal maintenance workers for trails, facilities, roads, and equipment as well as Archeologist and Resource Manager. Visit for more information on how to apply!

Ripple Effect

As Friends, we strive to amplify the work of our local, regional, and national colleagues and share news from the communities of the Katahdin Region. Check it out!

  • Dark Skies Highlighted on Maine Public – Maine Public Radio’s Maine Calling recently presented a discussion on preserving Maine’s dark skies, featuring representatives from Dark Sky Maine and Appalachian Mountain Club and aired the film Defending the Dark (available on demand). You just may be inspired to plan a stargazing trip to see some of the darkest skies east of the Mississippi.
  • Patten Library Receives $3.9m – Senator Susan Collins announced that she secured $3,900,000 for the Friends of Veterans’ Memorial Library to build a new library in the omnibus funding package late last year. The library is excited to gather community input and to see how it can shape the area!
  • Community Snowmobile Clubs – If you sled, snowshoe, or ski onKatahdin Region snowmobile trails, consider joining or making a donation to a local club. These volunteer organizations keep the trails in good shape, maintain relationships with landowners, and bring the community together with events and fundraisers. Connect with the Northern Timber Cruisers Snowmobile Club and Museum, Twin Pines Snowmobile Club, Benedicta Snowgang, Bowlin Matagamon Shin Pond Snowmobile Club, JoMary Riders, East Branch Sno Rovers, and more by visiting the Maine Snowmobile Association. Ride safe and think snow!

Sponsor Spotlight


We’re still thanking our amazing 2022 sponsors! Thank you to Deasey level sponsor  Burt’s Bees!


And thank you to Lee Auto Mall for their Barnard level sponsorship!


Sponsors provide crucial funding that supports our mission and work. To learn more about becoming a sponsor in 2023, visit or contact


—This blog post was adapted from an email transmitted on January 30, 2023 . To sign up for our email list, please email—

Announcing our search for Executive Director

The Board of Directors and staff of Friends of Katahdin Woods and Waters are pleased to announce the opening of the job of Executive Director. 2023 promises to be an exciting and important year for Friends and we look forward to welcoming a leader who will guide the organization into its next chapter.

We are grateful for the opportunity to share our posting for this important position with you and encourage you to share it with those who may be interested in the job.

The Board is working with Acting Executive Director Sam Deeran to establish a new position at Friends and looks forward to working with him and the staff to ensure a smooth leadership transition. Sam shares these words: “As we make preparations to welcome a new leader, I’m looking with gratitude to the six years this organization has grown with the support of board, staff, partners, donors, vendors, and volunteers. It is these key relationships that make this work possible. You’ve made my time in this role an honor and a joy. Thank you.”

Six people posed in front of a river.
Friends staff by the East Branch of the Penobscot River – join our team!

As we move forward with the hiring process, we share these words from Don Hudson, Chair of the Search Committee: “We’re honored to play our part in important work happening here in the Katahdin Region. Relationships are at the heart of that work and so we extend this posting as an invitation to a leader who is passionate about the next chapter for these relationships and all our Friends of Katahdin Woods & Waters.”

—This blog post was adapted from an email transmitted on January 13, 2023 . To sign up for our email list, please email—

Job Posting: Executive Director



Friends of Katahdin Woods & Waters (“Friends”) is an official philanthropic partner to Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument. The organization also partners with the National Park Service through an education agreement.

The organization has a membership of nearly 1,000 people, a partnership network that includes dozens of organizations, a 14-person board of directors, and a six-person full-time staff with seasonal support.

In 2023, the organization has three priorities: completing an inaugural capital campaign, operating a youth program called Katahdin Learning Project, and supporting National Park Service priorities including improved access to the national monument.

In 2021, the organization celebrated the conclusion of the first strategic plan. To support visitation, Friends produced five maps and guides and engaged in one-on-one conversations to help early visitors. To invest in long-term community revitalization, Friends engaged over 8,000 students in experiences through the Katahdin Learning Project. And to support the development of infrastructure in the park, Friends donated seven new tent sites by the historic Lunksoos Camps. 2023’s priorities are a bridge to strategic planning that will outline the next chapter of Friends of Katahdin Woods & Waters.


The Executive Director works as part of a dynamic team of board, staff, partners, vendors, and volunteers. For general management and support, this position works under the supervision of the Board of Directors.

For the past two years, Friends of Katahdin Woods & Waters staff have worked to implement a teams-based model in which significant areas of work are delegated in part or full to teams. Work is delegated through goals approved by the Executive Director. The Executive Director leads the Management Team. The Executive Director collaborates with all team leads as needed and is a regular participant of the Development, Communications, Finance, Operations, and Grants teams.

Friends of Katahdin Woods & Waters creates an environment where staff have opportunities to learn new skills and learn on the job. Employees are not required to meet every qualification of the position. In this teams-based environment, they can also work with their supervisor to grow into project and/or team leadership and explore participation in other teams.


  • Management (30%)
    • With the Board of Directors:
      • Works with the full Board of Directors and Executive, Governance, Finance, Lands & Connectivity and Development Committees to establish strategic multi-year and annual priorities
      • Recommends internal and external policies, programs, and actions to support strategic priorities
      • Supports and works with the board in major gift fundraising and member recruitment
      • Works with the Operations Coordinator to ensure scheduling, note taking, and filing to support the Board of Directors’ work
    • With staff:
      • Implements strategic multi-year and annual priorities into day-to-day operations
      • Manages and supports the Education Director, Development Director, and Finance & Communications Director
      • Establishes goals for all staff team leads and provides support to reach goals as needed
      • Facilitates annual planning process with Board of Directors and staff
    • With external parties:
      • Liaises with partners including National Park Service, Elliotsville Foundation, Inc., and the Wabanaki Advisory Board
      • Consistent with Friends’ mission, advocates for Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument and the surrounding communities within the National Park Service, Department of Interior, the Friends Alliance, the Maine Legislature, and the U.S. Congress and Senate
      • Works with community partners to harness skills and resources to reach outcomes of cohesive interest in park and community projects
  • Development (50%)
    With the Development Director and team:

    • Assists in the creation of an annual income budget that sets goals for donations, grants, events, and capital projects
    • Works with Board of Directors, staff, and partners to identify fundraising priorities for annual and multi-year campaigns.
    • Engages in cultivation and stewardship of donors with particular emphasis on major and leadership donors to meet operating and capital funding goals
    • Acts as the spokesperson and public face of the organization at events
  • Communications (5%)
    With the Finance & Communications Director and team:

    • Strategizes Friends of Katahdin Woods & Waters’ media response on key issues
    • Acts as the spokesperson and public face of the organization, promoting the organization’s work with donors, volunteers, and local, state, and federal governments
    • Approves press releases and talking points for the organization
  • Finance (5%)
    With the Finance & Communications Director and team:

    • Oversees disbursal of funding to Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument and, when relevant, select community organizations
    • Supports the creation of annual budget with the Finance Committee and full staff
    • Monitors the annual budget with the Finance Committee and Finance Team
    • Engages in an annual audit by independent firm selected by the Board
  • Operations (5%)
    With the Operations Coordinator and team:

    • Participates in and contributes to team meetings managing projects related to internal organizational systems, real property, information technology, insurances, and facilities management
    • Collaborates with Operations Coordinator to generally manage human resources matters and coordinate with third-party contractor
  • Grants (5%)
    With the Development Coordinator and team:

    • Collaborates with the Development Coordinator on grant research, drafting, submission, and reporting on an as-needed basis
    • Approves of grant solicitations and reports prior to final submissions

EDUCATION: Bachelor’s degree (4-year degree)
EXPERIENCE: 5-10 years
REQUIRED KNOWLEDGE/EXPERIENCE: Experience working in nonprofit leadership, with Board of Directors, with financial management of budgets over $1m, with public lands, in working partnership models, in nonprofit fundraising from individual donors and foundations, and demonstrating passion for land conservation and national parks
PREFERRED KNOWLEDGE/EXPERIENCE: Experience working with federal agencies, rural communities, and with tribal communities

Basic Skills – Active Listening, Mathematics, Reading Comprehension, Speaking, Writing, Active Learning, Critical Thinking, Learning Strategies, and Monitoring
Social Skills – Coordination, Instructing, Negotiation, Service Orientation, and Social Perceptiveness
Resource Management Skills – Management of Financial Resources, Management of Personnel Resources, and Time Management
Systems Skills – Judgment and Decision Making, Systems Analysis, Systems Evaluation
Technical Skills – General Technical Skills and Technology Design

Working Conditions include exposure to: Dirt, Heat, Insects, Water, Cold, and Office environment

Physical demands Include: Pushing (50 lbs), Pulling (50 lbs), Floor to knuckle lift (50 lbs), Carrying (50 lbs), Sitting, Standing, Walking, Hiking, Canoeing, Climbing stairs, Climbing ladders, Sustained bending, Overhead reaching, Driving, Use of keyboard or other digital dexterity, Use of written or verbal sources of information, like reading reports, and Use of oral communication to perform work

Friends maintains an office in Patten, Maine and a post office in Portland, Maine with satellite remote offices in Cumberland County. Travel to locations throughout Maine is a frequent requirement of this job. Remote work is possible many days of the week and will be determined in conversation with the Board of Directors and staff. The employee must maintain a reliable car and valid driver’s license.

This job description is not intended to be and should not be construed as an all-inclusive list of all the responsibilities, skills or working conditions associated with the position. While it is intended to accurately reflect the position’s activities and requirements, Friends of Katahdin Woods & Waters reserves the right to modify, add or remove duties and assign other duties as necessary.

External and internal applicants, as well as position incumbents who become disabled as defined under the Americans with Disabilities Act, must be able to perform the essential job functions (as listed on this job description) either unaided or with the assistance of a reasonable accommodation to be determined by management on a case by case basis.

Insurances (health, dental, vision), Paid Time Off (“PTO”), sick time, and employer-matched SIMPLE IRA retirement benefits are offered to all full-time Friends employees. This is a salaried exempt position with some work on nights and weekends required. The annual salary range for this position is $80,000 to $110,000, based upon qualifications and experience.

Please submit a cover letter, resume, and the names and contact information for three references to Don Hudson, Board Treasurer, at with the subject line “Executive Director.” Priority will be given to applications received on or before February 17, 2023 and candidates may be considered until the position is filled.

Solstice and Holiday eNewsletter

Last-minute holiday gift idea, hut reservations, winter fun, and more!

Greetings from Friends of Katahdin Woods and Waters. As 2022 fades and folks busy themselves with the festivities and cooking for holiday gatherings, we extend our warm wishes to you and your family. We are also looking forward to 2023, the gradual return of the light, and all the winter fun to be found in the Katahdin Region!

A rustic cabin in a clearing with several inches of snow
Haskell Hut under a blanket of snow. Photo credit: Hope Rowan

Hut reservations are open – Have you heard? Winter camping reservations are now open for Haskell Hut and Big Spring Brook Hut! These two rustic cabins are only reservable in the winter months, and they offer a remote yet cozy winter lodging experience for small groups or families that want to experience the beauty and adventures within the monument in the snowy months (January 17-March 18). Learn more and make your reservation today at–but be sure to read all the fine print–these huts require a substantial hike or ski to access and all food and water must be packed in. Click here to read about a staff trip to Haskell back in 2019. For the most current information about conditions (including grooming reports), visit the KAWW NPS website.

#AllInKatahdin – If you are looking for more fun in the Katahdin Region that doesn’t necessarily require trekking in on foot, check out our Katahdin Region Winter Guide, published in 2021, for the top five crowdsourced recreation activities, including snowmobiling (including certain parts of KAWW), cross-country skiing on groomed networks, and exceptional stargazing in our cold, clear skies from just about anywhere! The Katahdin Area Chamber of Commerce can help you find a home base–from luxe accommodations to simple rooms. Find even more ideas and add your favorites by searching for the hashtag #AllInKatahdin on social media!

Last minute gift idea -Uh-oh, did the holidays sneak up a little too fast? Still can’t come up with a gift for that tricky person on your list? Worry no more! You can give the gift of a Friends of Katahdin Woods and Waters membership–it’s as easy as 1,2,3.

  1. Make a donation (any amount) by clicking here on our Donate page
  2. Type “Gift membership” + recipient’s name in the Name Listing field
  3. Print or email this image in a message to your loved one!

We’ll call or email you to gather the information we need to send a welcome packet to the new member, including our print guides, Friends decal and patch, and for gifts of $100 or more, the popular waterproof Map Adventures map!

A display of maps, brochures, and stickers
Share your love for KAWW with a gift membership!

Sponsor Spotlight

Thank you to our Katahdin level sponsor, Richardson’s Hardware! Richardson’s has been a community fixture in Patten since 1948, and Friends is honored to have their generous annual support.

And thank you to Elliottsville Foundation, Inc for their Lookout level sponsorship! EFI is a Penobscot County-based nonprofit focused on conservation and increasing public access to outdoor recreation.

Finally, thank you to F.A. Peabody, for your 2022 Barnard level sponsorship. F.A. Peabody Insurance is there “Because…things happen.”

Sponsors provide crucial funding that supports our mission and work. To learn more about becoming a sponsor in 2023, visit or contact

—This blog post was adapted from an email transmitted on December 21, 2022 . To sign up for our email list, please email—

December eNewsletter

Annual appeal time, year-end highlights from NPS, and some inspiration…

An early fall cold snap gave way this year to an extension of the summer season. We watched the foliage blaze through October in our t-shirts and enjoyed some late season hikes after the leaves fell in mild air (but without the bugs!). A few weeks ago, the weather caught up with the calendar and a crunchy white crust settled atop the bent grasses and along the now-gated Loop Road, leaving the monument primarily to the wildlife inside and passing through by wing. In contrast, Friends staff are busy with the joyful work of wrapping up one year and preparing for the next. I know that you are busy too, so thank you for taking a moment to catch up with us

A dirt road covered in snow.

A wintry landscape on the Seboeis parcel in mid-November. Photo: Elise Goplerud

Friends annual year-end giving appeal is in full swing. Letters left the building en route to homes over the holiday weekend, inviting you to make more possible: encouraging youth to discover something new, breathing renewed energy into gateway community businesses, and improving visitor facilities within the 87,500 acres of the monument. I hope it inspires you to make your year-end gift to Friends–or you can contribute right now by visiting you have already made your gift, thank you.

Katahdin Learning Project – Last month, we shared a little about the monument’s youngest visitors, local school children on field trips led by Friends’ Katahdin Learning Project. Kids as young as eight learned about the 13,000-year human history on this land and considered the future as community scientists looking at water quality in the east branch of the Penobscot. This important work is only possible because folks like you support these projects. We all observe changes in our environment by the day, week, month, year, and even decade. The young people engaged in place-based learning in Katahdin Woods and Waters and in their communities have the opportunity to see these changes as part of the story of the land–and decide how that story will become part of their own.

Children looking at a water test strip.

Third-grade students learn about water quality testing on a field trip to Katahdin Woods and Waters. Photo: Elise Goplerud

Friends Alliance Conference – Last month, three Friends staffers joined hundreds of our colleagues in the “friends of” community for the bi-annual gathering of the Friends Alliance in Gatlinburg, Tennessee! We hiked and saw bears at Great Smoky Mountains National Park, learned how other Friends groups engage youth and community, and shared our voices in shaping the future of park-partner relationships.

Three women standing on a mountaintop deck.

Sarah, Meghan, and Elise enjoying a mountaintop view in Gatlinburg, TN.

News from the Park – With the closing of the gates on October 31st, seasonal park staff have wrapped up for 2022 and the year-round team led by Superintendent Wimmer is busy planning for 2023! Just a few of the highlights from this year:

  • The Maine Conservation Corps and seasonal Park Service staff worked on improving and maintaining the International Appalachian Trail and the Wassataquoik Trailhead.
  • In-field mobile Ranger booths were purchased to have a place for visitors to get information as they enter the monument on the Swift Brook Road. Following a trial period, permanent booths may be established in the coming years.
  • In July, NPS monument staff worked with the Wabanaki Youth in Science (WaYS) group and the Maliseet Skitkomiq school camp, along with the NPS Northeast Archeological Resources Program.
  • NPS monument staff hosted three Tribal Historic Preservation Officers working with tribal youth and Skitkomiq schoolchildren, surveying areas in the monument by creating archeological test pits and discussed potential career opportunities for tribal youth in federal work.
  • A research project to better understand the amount of mercury in the waters of the monument (by testing dragonflies!) contributed to the growing knowledge of mercury impacts in the watersheds surrounding the monument and in the greater area of Maine.

From all of us at Friends, a huge thank you to our talented and dedicated park service staff. We are honored to support these ongoing projects and new work by the NPS inside the monument. Stay tuned in the months ahead for exciting infrastructure, community science, and program updates from the NPS at Katahdin Woods and Waters!

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.

  • We are feeling inspired by Great Smoky Mountains National Park Superintendent Cassius Cash speaking about his Smokies Hikes for Healing initiative.
  • We’re learning from The National Monument Audit, produced by Monument Lab in partnership with The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and informing the future of telling our nation’s important stories.
  • The one and only Millinocket Marathon and Half-marathon brought more than 2,000 registered runners to spend their weekend in the region carbo-loading and burning it all off in Maine’s most joyful annual road race on December 3rd. Congrats to all who ran–who’s in for 2023?

Sponsor Spotlight

Thank you to longtime sponsor L.L. Bean, supporting Friends at the Deasey level again in 2022! L.L.Bean’s regular annual support and contributions to projects like the tent sites at Lunksoos Camps are helping more people #beanoutsider!

And thank you to AMC––the Appalachian Mountain Club supports Friends’ mission with their conservation and outreach work in Maine and with their annual financial support at the Hathorn level.

Sponsors provide crucial funding that supports our mission and work. To learn more, visit or contact Finally, I hope you’ll take a moment to enjoy this beautiful image taken from atop Lunksoos Mountain last fall. Thank you to our media sponsor Down East Magazine for sharing this photo and message with your print readers last month.

A mountain landscape with conifer trees in the foreground.

—This blog post was adapted from an email transmitted on December 8, 2022 . To sign up for our email list, please email—

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 or contact

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

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—

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

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 or contact

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

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 My favorite takeaway: “Go with the flow.”
    • Head back to 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 or contact

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