By Katie Smith
For five years, Tim Hudson has been the expert when it comes to Katahdin Woods and Waters. Hudson has been the superintendent since 2016 when the 87,563 acres were proclaimed as a National Monument.
We chatted recently with Hudson about some of the new and exciting developments coming for visitors to enjoy, as well as recap some of the improvements made last year that have had a positive impact on Katahdin Woods and Waters.
The most exciting piece of news: There are going to be seven walk-in campsites added at the Lunksoos Camps area along the East Branch of the Penobscot River. “These sites are being added through a ‘Reserved Right’ in the deed to that property that allows certain developments to be added by the previous owner until August of 2021,” said Hudson.
The sites are available first come, first served as you can’t make a reservation so keep that in mind during your travels.
This is all being done by private funding, as no federal funding is involved. Hudson said the building of the sites will be starting in June and should be completed by August. “Two are group sites and one site is fully accessible,” he said.
Many improvements were made last year which increased visitation to Katahdin Woods And Waters, including the opening of three trails that had been in the works for the past two years, according to Hudson. The monument now offers 10 camping sites as well, which visitors took advantage of last summer and fall.
The roads are always being improved as the area, but it is a work in progress. “We take it one step at a time. We’ve cleared brush out of the northeast section of the park which was always there to access, it’s just better now — an improvement on what was already available,” Hudson reported.
Additional bridges have also been added to KWW, along with some work on the streams that run through the area. “We replaced some culverts with open channel bridges,” Hudson said. This was done to restore the movement of Atlantic salmon in the area.
Adding three outhouses to the area last year was also a great upgrade to make visits more enjoyable. “We’ll be adding another vault toilet this year which will be keeping the sewage out of the ground,” said Hudson.
And the 22 signs that were added last year have made it a lot easier for guests to find their way around the monument.
Last year, the park received $380,000 in federal funding for a possible expansion. Hudson said this funding is intended to allow the monument to pursue the purchase of two parcels of land which were part of the original proclamation, but not owned by NPS.
There is so much beauty to explore when you visit the Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument. People come to enjoy the fishing and wildlife on the beautiful trails. Plan a hike, throw your bike in the back of the truck in the warmer months and enjoy the cross country skiing, snowshoeing and snowmobiling in the winter time. The snowmobile routes run north to south to the east of the East Branch of the Penobscot River.
With all new amenities like the toilets, signage and improved trails, Katahdin Woods and Waters is sure to attract those from Maine and beyond.
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