Established in 2016, Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument is one of the least developed units in the national park system. Located adjacent to the eastern edge of Baxter State Park in Maine, the 87,500-acre monument offers few amenities, a single unpaved loop road in its southern portion, and the chance to explore some of New England’s least traveled backcountry.
To get a handle on the opportunities, you’ll want to reference the few maps currently available that outline the hiking, backcountry camping, and other recreational options. Here’s a quick round-up of the best maps currently available, plus a few additional resources to help you become familiar with this latest addition to the national park system.
This two-panel map is available from the monument’s official web site and features both an overview of the area, as well as a comprehensive round-up of all the hiking trails; designated camping areas (more than a dozen); shelters, lean-tos, and huts; paddling put-in locations; and scenic viewpoints. For getting a lay of the land and its opportunities, this is a great starting point.
Developed by the Friends of Katahdin Woods and Waters, a local non-profit, this map details the southern portion of the monument and provides interpretive information for eight designated stopping points along the park’s seasonal unpaved 16-mile loop road. It also highlights the trails and hiking options accessible from the loop road.
The monument’s northern portion features miles of groomed and packed trails that are ideal for cross-country skiing and snowshoeing, as well as accessing several of the monument’s huts, campsites, and lean-tos. Grooming begins in January. Given the late snap of cold, snowy weather this winter, you may be able to glide across the snowy trails later than usual this year. The Park Service’s map of cross-country ski trails lays it all out for you.
AMC Books has two publications on the way in 2018: the Maine Mountain Guide, 11th ed., which is packed with new features and information, and the brand-new 100-Mile Wilderness Map & Guide. Check AMC’s online store early this summer to order them, or email AMC Books to be notified when they’re available.
For tips and information on the area’s hiking and other recreation opportunities, check out the following articles:
More maps, guides, and other resources will almost certainly start appearing over the course of this year and next. Keep an eye out!