Katahdin Woods And Waters National Monument

Katahdin Woods And Waters National Monument: A Pretty Magical Place

Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument Information – excerpt from a great piece from nationalparkstraveler.com by Kurt Repanshek on November 30th, 2016

“Perhaps I most fully realized that this was primeval, untamed, and forever untamable Nature, or whatever else men call it, while coming down this part of the mountain.” — Henry David Thoreau.

Katahdin Woods and Waters in Maine
The country’s newest national monument, Katahdin Woods and Waters in Maine, offers a rich variety of winter activities, such as hiking or skiing along the Katahdin Loop Road/Ray Pasnen

Thoreau’s impression of the Maine North Woods, penned during one of his three trips to the region in the 1840s and 1850s, more than likely would have been different had he visited in winter today.

Though the woods still appear primeval in some spots, the hand of man is evident since Thoreau’s days. This winter, the first visitors will explore Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument by snowshoe, snowmobile, and skis. They’ll find an inviting landscape of thousands of acres of backcountry.

Lucas St. Clair, whose family donated 87,500 acres through its Elliotsville Plantation, Inc., nonprofit to the federal government in late August to create the monument, recalls: “Some of the more memorable experiences for me over the years have been going in the winter to really remote sections of the monument on skis. You just see so much stuff that you typically don’t see. Moose at really short range. You can see all the tracks so much more clearly.

“It’s really cool to be skiing along and see all these lynx tracks and drops of blood in the snow where a lynx had eaten a rabbit. You don’t see that stuff in any other season,” he adds.

Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument in Maine offers miles of winter trails to explore
With nearly 90,000 acres, the new Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument in Maine offers miles of winter trails to explore/Ray Pasnen

Elliotsville Plantation, has cut roughly 20 kilometers of crosscountry ski trails near the northern tip of the monument, and 32 miles of snowmobile trails over the years. Those trails, with their connections to Baxter State Park and other snowmobile routes, offer nearly 100 miles of trail to explore.

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Winter visitors can choose from a number of other lodging options:

  • Mount Chase Lodge is just 16 miles from the monument, on Shin Pond, operated by the same family for past 40 years. They have private cabins, main lodge rooms, with fare such as pan-seared salmon with blueberry chutney and grilled marinated Portobello mushrooms.
  •   The New England Outdoor Center cabins can accommodate from six to 14 guests, and are just 8 miles from Millinocket. St. Clair says, “They have snowmobile rentals, ski rentals, and there’s skiing trails right there at the lodge, and you can easily access the monument for snowmobiling from the lodge.”
  •   The Matagamon Wilderness Lodge’s cabins can handle up to a dozen, and it’s right at the entrance of the monument’s cross-country ski trails.

“From a national park perspective, people think of Acadia National Park and the summer on the coast,” says St. Clair. “But the winter inland is really a pretty magical place.”

Baxter State Park featured as Best Campsite Downeast Mag

Wassataquoik Lake Island Lean-To Best Campsite

The Wassataquoik Lake and Little Wassataquoik Lakes area have provided remote backcountry camping opportunities for Park visitors for many decades.
The Wassataquoik Lake and Little Wassataquoik Lakes area have provided remote backcountry camping opportunities for Park visitors for many decades. photo: baxtertrails.blogspot.com

Baxter State Park

After a 10-mile (or more) hike to a pristine mountain lake, a one-of-a-kind island campsite awaits. Wassataquoik Lake, in the remote heart of Baxter, is home to moose, nesting loons, and a few lucky hikers who manage to reserve a night or two at the island lean-to. The site sleeps four, has knockout mountain views, and offers some great fishing just steps from your fire pit. Oh, and the park provides a canoe, waiting on the shore.

source:  http://downeast.com/best-maine-travel-play/

Wassataquoik Lake Camprground Background






The Wassataquoik Lake and Little Wassataquoik Lakes area have provided remote backcountry camping opportunities for Park visitors for many decades. Wassataquiok Lake (178 ac.) is one of the most beautiful and pristine water bodies in the Park and one of the few Park waters supporting a natural population of blueback trout or arctic char (Salvelinus alpines). Little Wassataquoik Lake (10 ac.) is a small high mountain pond perched at the height of land north of Wassataquoik Lake. The Park provides two sites in the area, a canoe-access only leanto on Wassataquoik Lake Island and a leanto on Little Wassataquoik Lake.  ~excerpted from baxtertrails.blogspot.com

Baxter State Park | North Maine Woods

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