Just as the United State’s National Park Service celebrated 100 years of service, President Barack Obama added one more addition to the country’s protected regions, with the induction of Maine’s North Woods as the Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument.1
The official designation came on August 24th, 2016, the day before the official centennial of the National Park Services, and protects roughly 87,500 acres of land in Main’s North Woods. The park runs from the western border of the nearby Baxter State Park to the East Branch of the Penobscot River. This vast and new park will encompass a biological diverse region of woods, mountains, and rivers.1
ON August 23, 2016, the land was donated by Roxanne Quimby, the founder of Burt’s Bees, along with her charitable foundation Elliotsville Plantation, Inc, to the US Federal Government. Quimby initially campaigned to have the park established as a National Park, but due to the struggle of receiving approval from the US Congress, she shifted her focus to making the region a National Monument, which can be done by executive order.3
The park will be managed by National Park Service Facilities and Parks Manager Tim Hudson, a veteran member of the NPS.2
The main route to the park is Route 11, aka the Katahdin Woods and Waters Scenic Byway. Visitors can all travel along Route 159 to Grand Lake Road to enter the Park’s northern section. If coming from the south, you can travel from Route 11 to Swift Brook Road.1
The park is 2-hours west of Acadia National Park and a 1-hour drive north of Bangor, Maine.
Entering the Park
Currently, the park does not have an entrance fee and is free to all visitors. There are no public facilities in the park such as campsites, restaurants, or visitor centers, so visitors should pay special mind to protecting the park’s natural landscape and to remove all refuse and trash when they leave. Sanitary facilities are limited as well and there are currently no paved roads within the park.1
The park is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.1
For more information, please visit the National Park Service’s official Katahdin Woods and Waters Webpage, which will be updated as the park develops with new features, guides, visitor centers, and regulations.
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1. Fact Sheet: President Obama Designates National Monument in Maine’s North Woods in Honor of the Centennial of the National Park Service
2. Katahdin Woods and Waters, National Park Services
3. In Maine, Land From Burt’s Bees Co-Founder Is Declared A National Monument, NPR