Our Park Stories

This year, guides, staff, members and volunteers shared with us their connection to the monument through #myparkstory. Their stories inspired us but there was something about all of them that felt really familiar.

Here’s a recap of the park stories we heard this year:

“In 2019, my relationships to people and place in the Katahdin Region deepened. Our staff was four full-timers. We took a trip to Haskell Hut, ate well, and laughed a lot. In spring, I did my first paddle of the East Branch with four friends (counting the dog-pal pictured). At summer’s end I had the good fortune to visit with the Baxter Youth Conservation Corps as they wrapped up bridge construction over Katahdin Brook.” Read more here.

-Sam Deeran, FKWW Projects Director


“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!… 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, FKWW members, Bar Harbor



“Seven hours of driving logged on my son’s learner’s permit, a collective six books read, and 36 hours with almost no digital connection…We’ll be back again to experience that pace. And I like to think a trip like this can help us stay a bit more in the moment even at home the rest of the year.” Read more here.

-Sarah Andre, FKWW Development Coordinator


Photo used with permission from Mahoosuc Guide Services, mahoosuc.com



Kevin Slater, co-owner of Mahoosuc Guide Services talked to us this summer about his connection to Katahdin Woods & Waters through paddling. In 50 years of paddling the East Branch of the Penobscot, he’s learned that every paddling trip is a new experience–and he is an important witness to changes that slowly span the decades.   Read more here.



“In that moment, watching my friends sprint around the field showing each other what each telescope held made me realize the beauty of outdoors. The seasonal autumn feel against the beauty ahead of me began my love for the outdoors. And I think my friends fell in love too, without even realizing it.

Sure, Taylor’s Katahdin View Camps isn’t directly on the monument, but it still symbolizes the mix of community and nature that we strive for.” Read more here.

-Maggie O’Hara, FKWW High School Summer Educator


“Many evenings included guided discussions about how to recreate responsibly outdoors, plus storytelling around the campfire. The students learned history of the conserved lands that we visited,  the many types of land management styles, as well as the importance of protecting land for wildlife and recreation. Our reflections got deeper throughout the season. A student who first arrived shy and unsure of the outdoors was taking on leadership roles, volunteering answers to questions, and seeking more ways to get involved. In his own words: ‘It just feels really, really good to be out here in the wild’.” Read more here.

-Elise Goplerud, FKWW Education Coordinator



“Over the past several months, my first impressions of Katahdin Woods & Waters National Monument have been slowly taking shape. #Myparkstory is still being written, but it now has a first chapter spanning three seasons and three unique encounters with this landscape that feels more unusual and inspiring with every visit.” Read more here.

-Brian Hinrich, FKWW Executive Director


Our final park story for 2023 is from Candy! Candy McKellar– a longtime resident of the Katahdin region, educator, artist, early and ardent supporter of Katahdin Woods and Waters, is also a constant volunteer on Katahdin Learning Project field trips. She shared a few of her favorite and formative memories of the national monument.

“Sitting on the Lynx Pond viewing platform, before it was even completed, with my new friend Nancy Hathaway. On this late afternoon in the fall we watched a mother moose and her two calves graze along the far edge of the pond. Climbing Barnard Mountain and easing through the split in the giant boulder on the trip up. Watching school children spill out of the yellow bus and line up to head out on a hike, or circle around an educator or ranger for an environmental lesson–tailored to the age of the group and the uniqueness of ‘our park.'”