Canoeing, Swimming, Easy Trails …
The Katahdin Woods and Wilderness area provides many opportunities to canoe or kayak and swim, and there are also many trails that are easily accessible and have low levels of difficulty (save the Knife Edge at Katahdin for another time!).
In Baxter State Park alone, there are canoes and kayaks to rent at every pond-side campground, as well as most of the backcountry ponds with trail access.
Most of the area ponds are modest in size, but some lakes including Matagamon, Webster, Wassataquiok and Katahdin are large enough that anglers and kayakers should keep an eye on the weather and changing winds.
A sample of popular swimming areas includes: Nesowadnehunk Stream, Ledge Falls, Abol Pond, Togue Pond Beach, Dwelley Pond, the public beach at Lower Shin Pond and the public beach at Medway Recreation Complex.
While trails of course vary in difficulty throughout the area, the hiker’s experience of them will depend on a number of factors including personal and physical health and ability; preparedness; weather; and experience.
There are quite a few trail options that are a designated with easy to moderate levels. And more often than you might think, trails end at a swim spot—a pleasant reward after swatting a few flies and avoiding tree roots!
Sandy Stream Pond from Roaring Brook is a lovely short hike, as are the trails around Daicey Pond and Kidney Pond. Other less strenuous trails are the Ice Caves Trail, the Horserace Pond Trail, the South Branch Falls Trail. And for those interested in taking a cool plunge after the trail, a hike to the falls, Big Niagara, Little Niagara, or Shin Pond are all viable options.
CROSS COUNTRY SKIING & SNOWSHOEING
The Katahdin region offers 45 miles of beautiful FREE cross-country ski trails.
Katahdin area XC Ski trails includes:
- Abol & Baxter State Park
- Bait Hole
- East Branch Sno Rovers
- Matagamon Trails, NEOC/Twin Pines Loop
- Northern Timber Cruisers
- NPS/National Monument
Cross country ski and snowshoe trail reports:
Katahdin Ski & Snowshoe Conditions
PATTEN ACADEMY ALUMNI PARK
This beautiful little park in downtown Patten is located on the site of the old Patten Academy. Right across the street from the popular eatery “The Clam’s Shop” (food-to go and ice cream), it’s the perfect place to picnic, relax under a tree or take a small stroll.
The Patten Woman’s Club raises funds each year to cover maintenance cost and beautify the park. Only a short walk from the local historical society and downtown Patten.
NAHMAKANTA PUBLIC RESERVE
The Nahmakanta Public Lands encompass 43,000 acres of sprawling forests and low mountains (the largest stands at 2,524 feet). Numerous streams and brooks course down steep slopes and run through narrow gorges. Within Nahmakanta’s boundary lie 24 “great ponds” (10 or more acres in size) and more than 50 miles of undeveloped shoreline. Learn more
Baxter State Park is a large wilderness area permanently preserved as a state park creating a park of over 200,000 acres. Baxter State Park has a diverse population of wildlife, the most common of which are the moose, the black bear, and the white-tailed deer. Learn more
GRINDSTONE FALLS & REST AREA
Grindstone Falls are located north of East Millinocket on Route 11 in Penobscot County. Route 11 follows the East Branch of the Penobscot River north to south. It’s a good road to spot bald eagles and Mergansers … Learn more
BEACH at MEDWAY RECREATION COMPLEX
This great little park has a lot to offer. A nice sandy beach along the East Branch of the Penobscot River, volley ball courts, picnic table and a boat ramp. View Map
RIVER POND HIKING TRAILS
River Pond hiking trails are maintained by Katahdin Timberlands and feature marked trails with little signs that identify the different plants and trees. The terrain is relatively flat and easy to walk. Your chances of seeing a Moose are pretty good! Learn more