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—

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—

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

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

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—