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The Rural Maine Reporting Project is made possible through the generous support of the Betterment Fund.

Despite Lack Of Signs, Thousands Are Finding Their Way To Maine's National Monument

Susan Sharon
/
Maine Public
The Orrin Stream, in the Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument, seen in May 2017.

As motorists stack up at Maine's century-old Acadia National Park, visitorship to the state's fledgling Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument - just turning three - is nowhere near as fierce, but it's growing.

"So, it's been, I think, fairly constant," says park Superintendent Tim Hudson. "We've been picking up, you know, 6, 7 per cent a year."

 

While highway signs directing visitors toward the park still haven't been put up, Hudson says more than 18,000 visitors found Katahdin Woods and Waters last summer, hailing from 45 states and 9 countries. Hudson says this year also appears to be steady.

 

It's less clear how many snowmobilers have been using the trails for the three-month riding season that starts each January. Hudson says this winter the park plans to install some counting equipment, but he says initial estimates using other metrics are encouraging.

 

"We talk to people who rent, and where people stay," he says. "I think we're going to be right in the 10,000 to 15,000 range.

 

Hudson says the Katahdin Woods and Waters highway signs should be up "before the snow flies."

 

Tune in Thursday, July 17, 2019, for a special Maine Calling live from Millinocket, where the latest on the park's development will be among the topics discussed.