June eNewsletter

Trip planning, Bird Walk, Excavator, and more!

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

Planning Your Trip to Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Sponsor Spotlight

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


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

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