Winter Activities

Two people cross-country skiing on a sunny wooded trail
Cross-Country Skiing at Katahdin.

NPS/S.Adams

Cross-Country Skiing and Snowshoeing

Trail grooming (begins early January) starts at the north entrance of the monument and offers outstanding opportunities for cross-country skiing and snowshoeing. Cross-country skiing is also permitted on ungroomed trails throughout the monument. Use caution, as snowmobiles are permitted to use some of these trails and logging trucks will be very active on several roads around the monument during winter. Be careful when skiing on hiking trails due to the often uneven and steep nature of trails, ice falls blocking the path, and trail routes obscured by snow. Please do not snowshoe or allow dogs to walk in cross-country ski tracks.

Download the 2017 Cross-Country Ski Trails Map (PDF 1.13 MB)

Scenic Drives

Katahdin Loop Scenic Road is closed to all motor vehicles starting on November 14, 2016. Roads will re-open after spring melt when conditions permit. Check the Current Conditions page for updates.

Please be advised that there are several active winter logging operations on roads accessing monument lands, including Swift Brook Road, Grondin Road, and Sherman Lumber Road. These roads may or may not be privately plowed for timber harvests on lands near the Monument. It is recommended to avoid using these roads in winter while logging operations are active.
 
Snowmobile on a bright snowy trail through the woods.
Snowmobiling at Katahdin.

NPS/S.Adams

Snowmobiling

Snowmobile travel is allowed on approximately 22 miles and is managed by local snowmobile clubs under special use permits. Please see The Maine Snowmobile Association's website for the latest information on routes and conditions.

Snowmobile regulations include:
  • All Maine state snowmobile laws are enforced in the monument. Maine registration is required. As a reminder, tracked side-by-side (ATVs) are not permitted on monument roads unless they are licensed.
  • Snowmobiles are not allowed on Katahdin Loop Road or generally on any monument roads and trails west of the East Branch River, except the ITS route which crosses approximately 2.5 miles of monument land west of the Whetstone Bridge crossing of the East Branch of the Penobscot River.
  • Snowmobiles are not permitted off of the groomed trails or on any hiking trails.
  • Be aware of active logging trucks on plowed road crossings. Log trucks have the right of way
  • Beware of anyone not on a snowmobile (skiers, snowshoers, fat tire bikers, and hikers) who may be on the groomed trail.
  • Turn on your white headlight and red taillight 1/2 hour after sunset to 1/2 hour before sunrise, and whenever visibility is less than 500 feet (152 m).
  • Towing people on sleds or skis is prohibited.
  • It is illegal to operate snowmobiles while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
  • Drivers must be at least 14 years old to operate snowmobiles in the monument.
  • Anyone under 18 years old must wear approved protective headgear.

Winter Hiking

Monument trails become icy and/or snowpacked in winter. Be prepared for unfavorable conditions and early darkness.

Dogs on Leash

Dogs on leash are permitted on groomed and ungroomed trails. Please keep dogs out of ski tracks and clean up after your pet. Dogs are not permitted in huts.

Fat Tire Biking

Biking is currently permitted on all monument roads and trails. Please do not ride in the cross-country ski tracks and yield to all other trail users. Biking is strongly discouraged on snowmobile trails or access roads where active logging is underway. As with all winter activities, know your route and prepare for weather conditions.

Ice Fishing

Ice fishing is permitted within the monument lands when conditions permit. Please be cautious on frozen bodies of water and ensure that ice thickness is sufficient to support your weight. Portions of river, streams and pond shorelines may be privately owned. Please respect private property. State of Maine fishing licenses are required for Maine residents 16 years or older and non-residents 12 years or older. Fees vary based on resident/non-resident status, age, and length of license. Licenses can be purchased at many area retailers, as well as online through the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife.
 
Man sitting in a chair in front of a wooden hut in the snow.
Enjoying one of Kathadin's two winter huts.

NPS/S.Adams

Winter Huts

Two primitive community huts are available by reservation. The huts are only accessible by skiing, snowshoeing, biking or hiking. For the 2017 season, the huts are available to the public free of charge. Reservations and maintenance are provided by the Elliotsville Plantation, Inc. (EPI) under permit with the National Park Service.

Reservations required. Please contact Susan Adams, EPI Recreation Manager at 207.852.1291.
  • Haskell Hut is situated approximately 5.5 miles in via the International Appalachian Trail (IAT) from the northern terminus of Route 159. Haskell Hut has a maximum daily user limit of 8 people.
  • Big Spring Brook Hut is located in a more remote location is approximately a 10+ miles ski in from Rt 159 via the Maine IAT to the Orin Falls Messer Pond Road (Blue Diamond Trail). Its remote location demands a more experienced user. Big Spring Brook Hut has a maximum daily user limit of 16 people.
The huts have outhouses but no potable water. The huts offer sleeping platforms (bring your own sleeping pads and bags), basic pots and pans for cooking, propane lights, cookstove and woodstove (dependent on current fuel supplies and usage). The site is carry in/carry out, Leave No Trace. Campfires permitted with a Maine Forest Service Fire permit, in designated area outside each hut.

Winter Camping

From December through March, a limited number of campsites and lean-tos are available for primitive camping only. Campers must register by calling 207-852-1291.

Campers must be prepared for extreme weather conditions and must be self-sufficient.
  • Camping is limited to the established campsites.
  • Carry in/carry out only. Please collect, bag, and pack out all trash, including food scraps.
  • Bringing in firewood is prohibited. For this year, dead and down wood for campfires may be gathered in areas adjacent to the campground.

Last updated: January 8, 2017

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

PO Box 446
Patten, ME 04765

Phone:

207-456-6001

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