Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument is located in Maine’s north woods, adjacent to Baxter State Park. Katahdin Woods and Waters protects part of an extraordinary natural and cultural landscape: the mountains, woods, and waters east of Baxter State Park (home of Mount Katahdin, the northern terminus of the Appalachian Trail), where the East Branch of the Penobscot River and its tributaries, including the Wassataquoik Stream and the Seboeis River, run freely. Campsites, lean-tos and huts located throughout the monument provide opportunities to stay overnight while hiking, biking, paddling and participating in other recreational activities.
Campsites, lean-tos and huts are dispersed throughout Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument. All roads within the monument are unpaved. Some sites can only be reached by hiking, biking, paddling, skiing or snowshoeing. There are no flush toilets within monument boundaries. Sites may have vault or pit toilets; other sites require following Leave No Trace practices for human waste. Most sites have picnic tables and a stone or metal fire ring. Campfires may require a permit from the Maine Forest Service.
Campsites at Upper East Branch, Lunksoos and Sandbank Stream can be accessed by road during the summer. Upper East Branch and Lunksoos campsites require a short walk from the parking area to the campsites. Sandbank Stream is the only location that will accommodate small RVs and campers. All other sites and lean-tos require hiking, biking or paddling for access.
Roads within Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument are typically open to motorized vehicles from late May to mid-November. Exact dates vary depending on road conditions. At other times of year, access is by foot or bicycle only.
It is not possible to drive from the north entrance to the south entrance through the monument. Some sites may be accessed only from the north and others only from the south, unless you are paddling or hiking long distances.
Do not bring firewood from more than 50 miles away. Help protect forests from the spread of hidden, tree-killing insects by obtaining firewood from local vendors near the monument. Please visit Don't Move Firewood for more information.
Campfire permits are required at all sites except Lunksoos and Sandbank Stream campsites. Contact the Maine Forest Service at 207-435-7963 for a permit prior to your visit.
Pets are permitted at campsites and must be leashed at all times. Leashes must be six feet or less in length. Pets are not permitted in lean-tos or huts.
The main stem of the East Branch Penobscot River drops over 200 feet in about 10 miles through a series of rapids and waterfalls. Spectacular views of Mount Katahdin, located in neighboring Baxter State Park, can be seen from the Katahdin Loop Road. Within the monument, smaller peaks offer views of a vast forested landscape.
Baxter State Park, home of Mount Katahdin, is adjacent to the western boundary of Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument.
Experience Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument by paddling the East Branch Penobscot or Seboeis Rivers, hiking on the 30 miles of the International Appalachian Trail that pass through the monument or by biking former logging roads. Wildlife watchers might see moose, black bears or a variety of birds while driving the 16-mile Katahdin Loop Road. Winter activities include snowmobiling in designated areas, cross-country skiing and snowshoeing.
The reservation fee is non-refundable. Please cancel your reservation if you do not plan to use it. You may cancel or modify your reservation online up to one day prior to your reservation start date.
PO Box 446 Patten ME 04765
For campground inquiries, please call: 207-456-6001
Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument is located in north central Maine, approximately a 2-hour drive west of Acadia National Park in Bar Harbor and 1-hour drive north of Bangor, Maine. Both areas are served by regional airports.
Traveling north or south on I-95, you can access all parts of the monument from exit 244 (Medway) and exit 264 (Sherman). Once you exit I-95, you will travel on Maine Route 11 to access the monument. Or, coming south on I-95, you can also access the monument from exit 276 (Island Falls).
Maine Route 11 in this area is also known as the Katahdin Woods and Waters National Scenic Byway . It is the main access route to the monument.
From Exit 244, head west towards Medway and turn right onto Route 11 (also called Grindstone Road). If you cross the East Branch of the Penobscot River, you have missed the turn for Route 11. Continue north on Maine Route 11 to Patten. In approximately 15 miles turn left on Maine Route 159 and the Grand Lake Road to access the North Entrance via the Messer Pond Road (also known as New River Road).
From Exit 264, follow signs for Maine Route 11 north towards Patten. In approximately 10 miles, turn left onto Maine Route 159 and the Grand Lake Road to access the North Entrance via the Messer Pond Road (also known as New River Road).
From Exit 276, proceed west to Patten on Route 159 for approximately 8 miles. At the junction of Maine Route 159 & Maine Route 11, follow the above directions for Maine Route 159 and the Grand Lake Road to the North Entrance.
From the intersection of Maine Route 11 & Maine Route 159 in Patten, it is approximately 30 miles to the North Entrance. To access the monument, take the second left turn after you cross the East Branch of the Penobscot River near Grand Lake Matagamon. This becomes the Messer Pond Road (also known as New River Road) and dead-ends in approximately 4 miles.
South Entrance and Katahdin Loop Road
From Exit 244, head west towards Medway and turn right onto Maine Route 11 (also called Grindstone Road). If you cross the East Branch of the Penobscot River, you have missed the turn for Maine Route 11. Follow Maine Route 11 for approximately 20 miles and then turn left onto the Swift Brook Road. Use caution with this turn as sight distance is limited. The Swift Brook Road, which is a gravel road, will lead you to the Katahdin Loop Road in approximately 10 miles.
From Exit 264, follow signs for Maine Route 11. For the south entrance and the Katahdin Loop Road, turn left at the next intersection to stay on Maine Route 11 south (also called Grindstone Road). In approximately 5 miles continue straight when the road curves left. This will lead you to the Swift Brook Road and access to the Katahdin Loop Road. At this point the paved road will become a gravel road.
From Exit 276, proceed west to Patten on Maine Route 159 for approximately 8 miles. At the junction of Route Maine 159 & Maine Route 11, follow the above directions for access to either the Swift Brook Road and the Katahdin Loop Road.
From the intersection of Maine Route 11 & Swift Brook Road, it is approximately 12 miles to the Katahdin Loop Road. Follow signs within the monument proper.
Traveling on Swift Brook Road
Use caution when traveling on the Swift Brook Road, which is a gravel road. All gravel roads in the area are shared with logging and equipment trucks. It is important to drive slowly, keep to the right side of the road, and yield to oncoming trucks. If you are traveling north on Maine Route 11, use caution when making the left turn onto Swift Brook Road as there is limited sight distance.
Please be considerate of your speed as you pass the residential area near the intersection.
There is no public transportation to the monument.