In late August of 2016, former President Barack Obama designated over 87,000 acres of land east of Baxter State Park as the Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument. The vast swath of land is rugged and densely forested, bordered on the west by Baxter State Park and on the east by the East Branch of the Penobscot River. The national monument offers beautiful hiking, challenging mountain biking, rewarding hunting and fishing, and camping in some truly remarkable spots.
You could spend days exploring the monument, but if your time is limited, be sure to drive the Loop Road. This 16-mile-long narrow dirt road feels remote and wild as your car winds around overgrown bends and climbs up steep hills. There are a number of pull offs along the road offering gorgeous views. Don’t miss the pull off after mile post 6, which offers onlookers a 180 degree view of Millinocket Lake and Mount Katahdin. If you feel like getting out and stretching your legs, there are a few relatively short and spectacular hikes off of the Loop Road.
There is so much to explore within the bounds of the national monument, it would be easy to spend an entire vacation there, but the surrounding area also has plenty to offer.
Feel like hiking around some of the regions more remote areas, or looking to get some guidance on the best fishing spots? Reach out to Moose Woods Guide Service. With over 125 years of combined experience, the guides at Moose Woods have an unparalleled knowledge of Maine’s forests and waterways. Book a trip and discover remote hikes and the best fishing holes that only a guide could know.
Book a trip with Three Rivers Rafting and get your adrenaline pumping by careening down the Penobscot River’s class five rapids. With rapids called intimidating names like “Exterminator,” you’ll be happy to have one of the companies experienced guides leading your trip down the river.
People come from far and wide to fish the West Branch of the Penobscot River. And one of the best places to stay along the river is Big Eddy Campground. The campground is situated where the river finally slows after five miles of whitewater through the Ripogenus Gorge. The area’s world class Landlocked Salmon fishing have been attracting anglers for over 100 years.
Hiking and fishing in Maine’s wilderness is amazing, but at the end of the day it can be nice to escape nature for more modern comforts. Big Moose Inn Cabins & Campground is the closest full-service accommodations to Baxter State Park. Situated on Millinocket lake, Big Moose offers rooms, suites, or lakeside cabins. They also have a newly renovated and outstanding restaurant. So, after a full day of hiking treat yourself to a delicious meal and a soft bed.
Grab a pair of hiking boots, a tent, fishing rod, or whatever else you might want to bring along and head to Maine’s newest natural playground. There is plenty to explore.
For more information on the Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument visit theirwebsite. Also check out their trail map.