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 nps.gov/kaww/getinvolved/workwithus 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 friendsofkww.org/sponsorship or contact sarah@friendsofkww.org.


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