In this Aug. 9, 2017, file photo, the East Branch of the Penobscot River flows over Pond Pitch in the Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument in northern Maine. Credit: Robert F. Bukaty / AP

A new National Park Service report showed that Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument attracted 41,000 visitors who spent $2.7 million in nearby communities last year. That spending supported 38 jobs and had a cumulative benefit of more than $3 million.

Visitation continues to grow each year. Superintendent Tim Hudson said the numbers increased about 10 percent last summer and have prompted the park service to propose adding the monument’s facilities to a national park reservation system. Currently, all campsites and lean-tos are available on a first-come, first-serve basis.

“We had one group recently that said, ‘If we had a reservation system we’d come, but we don’t want to take the chance that we won’t get a spot,'” Hudson said.

The national reservation does include a fee, but there are no costs to use the facilities. Public comment is being taken on the reservation system until July 15.

This article appears through a media partnership with Maine Public.

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