Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument is located in north central Maine. Established as a monument by President Obama in 2016, Katahdin Woods and Waters offers many scenic views, including Katahdin, Maine’s tallest mountain. This remote monument is 87,500 acres in size and has much for visitors to explore from rivers to forests to scenic roadways. Each season has something to offer monument visitors from the colorful fall foliage to snow-covered rolling hills.
There are many activities you can do during your visit to Katahdin Woods and Waters. Those looking to go fishing should find luck on the east branch of the Penobscot River. Landlocked salmon and brook trout are common to this branch of the river. Mountain biking is permitted on many of the trails as well as the gravel roads within the boundary of the monument. During the winter months, explore the monument by cross-country skiing and snowshoeing the many miles of groomed trails.
The park is open year-round and each season brings a unique experience to the park. During inclement weather, especially during the snowy winters, some roads leading to the monument may be partially or fully closed. Check road and weather conditions before making the drive to Katahdin Woods and Waters. The monument is in a remote area, with spotty at best cell phone reception.
Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument is located off of Route 11 in the north central region of Maine. Route 11 is a 14-mile scenic byway. The byway may close due to inclement weather conditions. Check roads prior driving out to the monument.
All gravel roads in the area around the monument are active logging roads. Keep to the right of the road and ensure you yield to oncoming trucks. Roads are rough and some are unmaintained. It is not advised to travel to the monument with an RV or a trailer in tow. High-clearance vehicles are recommended for accessing the monument.
Services are very limited in the area around the monument. Come with extra water, food, and gas for your visit. Cell phone service at the park is spotty and may vary by carrier. It is best to rely on maps when driving to and in the monument area.
For a place to stay with your RV or trailer, consider the Bangor/Holden KOA, which will accommodate rigs up to 130 feet. It's located about two hours away, in Holden, but may still fit nicely into your travel plans.
This campground has all the amenities you will need for a pleasurable stay. There are full hookups and the site is pet-friendly. There's a heated outdoor pool open from late May to early September. The campground itself is closed during the winter.
If the weather isn't good enough to use the pool, you can take advantage of the Wi-Fi and cable tv. The kids will also enjoy the bounce house and playground.
Only backcountry, tent-only camping is offered at Katahdin Woods and Waters. These campsites and lean-to shelters are available on a first-come, first-served basis.
Although these sites will not accommodate an RV or trailer, they are a great way to spend an exciting night in the wilderness. If you're planning to stay here, just make sure you bring in everything you need in terms of supplies.
The backcountry sites at Baxter State Park are a good option due to their close proximity to many local hiking trails.
While not within the boundaries of the monument, the Lumbermen’s Museum is located about 27 miles away in Patten, Maine. At the museum, visitors will learn about the area’s logging history from living inside a remote camp to the transportation of supplies. The exhibits at the museum provide a rich history lesson for all ages.
Katahdin Woods and Waters has groomed trails during the winter months for cross-country skiing and snowshoeing. Enjoy the peaceful, snow-covered terrain as you explore parts of the forest and Penobscot River. Trail grooming at the monument begins in early January. With about 25 miles of trails to explore there is something for all ages and skill levels. If snowshoeing, be sure to stay outside the ski tracks.
There are about 22 miles of trails for snowmobiling which are managed by local snowmobile clubs. There is much to see and explore while whizzing through the forest and along the river on your snowmobile.
While out riding, keep an eye open for moose and take in the beautiful views of Maine’s tallest mountain. The interconnecting snowmobile routes are on the east side of the Penobscot River.
If you're planning to hunt during your visit, hunting is permitted to the east of the Penobscot River's east branch. Whether you’re hunting for moose, deer, or waterfowl, wildlife in the area is plentiful.
Trapping and bear baiting are not allowed in the area. Ensure you check limits, restrictions, and other hunting regulations prior to your visit. A license is required to hunt in Maine.
Bring along your mountain bike for your visit to Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument. Take in the scenery and wildlife as you explore the monument by bike along the trails and gravel roads.
Biking is permitted on the gravel roads within the monument only, not gravel roads outside of the monument area.
The monument provides an excellent fishing opportunity along the east branch of the Penobscot River. The river has many different types of fish including brook trout, landlocked salmon, smallmouth bass, and white perch.
Brook trout and landlocked salmon are the most common types of fish caught on the east branch of the river. During the winter months, ice fishing becomes a popular activity. A fishing license is required to fish on Maine bodies of water.