Recreational opportunities within Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument change with the seasons. Visitors can enjoy traditional activities, including canoeing, kayaking, hiking, bird watching, fishing, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, and snowmobiling on designated trails. Hunting is allowed on lands east of the East Branch of the Penobscot River.
In the monument, there are several short and long-distance hikes from trailheads on the Katahdin Loop Road and Messer Pond Road.
Hunting is permitted (with a Maine state license) on lands east of the East Branch of the Penobscot River. These areas are designated in dark green on the Monument map. Bear baiting, trapping and chase dogs are not permitted. You can find a link to the map here: https://www.nps.gov/kaww/planyourvisit/maps.htm.
Currently campsites, lean-to shelters, etc. on monument property are available on a first-come first-serve basis. Dogs are not permitted in the cabins or shelters. At this time there is no fee to use the lean-to shelters or huts. Campfires can only be kindled with a valid Maine Forest Service campfire permit and only in designated locations such as established campsites and lean-to's. A free permit is easily acquired prior to a visit by calling the Northern Regional Office of the Maine Fire Service at 207-435-7963 or visiting them at 45 Radar Street in Ashland, Maine.
Camping in non-designated sites is not permitted at this time.
Future plans: Decisions for future campsites and cabins will be part of the development of a General Management Plan for the new monument that we will be working on the year with public input.
Overnight parking permits are required at all trail heads or other areas except for Upper East Branch Campsite, Lunksoos Campsite and Sandbank Campground. For all other areas please email Susan Adams, Elliotsville Foundation, Inc. Recreation Manager, or call 207-852-1291 for a free overnight parking permit 48 hours prior to your visit. You will need to provide the following information:
The use of pedal only bicycles is allowed on park roads, in parking areas, and on routes designated for bicycle use. Bicycles are only allowed on public roads and abandoned and administrative roads with two tracks. No bicycles are allowed on single track trails. Gravel logging roads adjacent to the monument normally do not allow biking. Future uses and trail design for the monument will be part of the management plan scoping process.
You can stay involved by signing up for e-news updates about community listening sessions and public input here, or continue to check back in to the website.
For information about the use of e-bikes, see the park compendium.
Snowmobiling routes run north to south to the east of the East Branch of the Penobscot River. The exact routes may change slightly from year to year based on activities on surrounding land to ensure connectivity. Snowmobiling is allowed west of the East Branch only to access the crossing of the Penobscot River.
The East Branch of the Penobscot and the surrounding tributaries offer excellent fishing opportunities. A valid Maine state fishing license is required.
Last updated: June 11, 2020