One of the knocks on the new Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument is that, in somewhat classic Maine fashion, it can feel like “you can’t get there from here.”
That’s not the case, of course. But our governor has refused to put tourist-information signs on roads that lead to the monument, which doesn’t help matters much. And because the monument is still new, information isn’t nearly as accessible as it will be in years to come.
But some cool changes are underway already.
The Friends of Katahdin Woods & Waters National Monument has made its first gift to the monument: An interpretive map and guide to the monument’s loop road.
“Though not yet a year old, the organization is already making donations to supplement — not replace — federal funding for Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument,” said Lucas St. Clair, board president of Friends of Katahdin Woods & Waters in a news release. “This $5,000 project was made possible entirely through member donations. We heartily thank our charter-year donors, whose monetary contributions we are converting into tangible improvements in, and services to, the monument.”
The map was designed by Bill Duffy of Northern Geomantics. Measuring 18 by 24 inches, it includes a topographic map, interpretive text and photos that are keyed to scenic and historic stops.
Board member Anita Mueller directed the map project.
“With stops along the 16-mile Loop Road, the interpretive map provides context to the historical, biological and geological significance of the monument’s southern landscape and highlights recreation opportunities including birding, biking and hiking, all adding value to the visitor experience.”
If you’re interested in getting your hands on one of the new interpretive maps, you can pick one up (for free!) at the monument’s visitor contact stations in Millinocket and Patten, at locations along the loop road, or at the Katahdin Area Chamber of Commerce.
You can also look at an electronic version here.
And while we’re talking about the monument, here’s a quick tease about what you’ll find in our BDN offerings in the coming couple of weeks: Plenty of stories from around Katahdin Woods and Waters.
My colleague Aislinn Sarnacki and I are heading north later this week on a feature-finding mission, and will return with plenty of tales to share, both from within the national monument and from spots nearby.
If you’re familiar with the area and want to suggest hikes or other things for us to check out, feel free to contact either of us: firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com