At their meeting in December, the Baxter State Park Authority closed access to Katahdin Lake along the route from the east while the park evaluates the potential impacts of the new Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument.
This decision puts a hold on the use of the trail from Avalanche Field to the park boundary, which the IAT has used for about a dozen years. Anyone who wishes to begin a walk on the IAT at Baxter Peak should plan to leave the park at the Togue Pond gate in the south or the Matagamon gate in the north, although the latter, shorter route eliminates the attractive East Branch Penobscot section of the IAT. Hikers without their own vehicle can find a shuttle service in the greater Millinocket area to ferry them to Mile 12 on the monument’s Katahdin Loop Road, from where they can head north on the IAT. Southbound hikers on the IAT should make arrangements for pick-up at the same point — Mile 12 on the Loop Road — before they enter the national monument. Telephone and internet are available at Shin Pond Village.
The Maine Chapter is updating the IAT Maine trail map and the trail route description, as well as notes about shuttle services, which will be available at the MCIAT website on May 1st or shortly thereafter.
Staff of the Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument have begun the formal planning process for this newest unit of the National Park Service. The Maine Chapter is well represented in the planning process, and will keep IAT members and friends informed on important meetings and decisions that affect the trail route, campsites, and access to Baxter State Park from the east. A number of potential routes from the national monument into the park will be explored this summer and fall.
Finally, owing to these changes, the Katahdin Brook Campsite will be closed this spring, with plans to move the lean-to to another temporary location while route changes are explored and evaluated.
Anyone planning a hike on the IAT in Maine should be sure to check www.internationalatmaine.org for news and updates on the trail, and www.nps.gov/kaww/ for monument news, maps that show the IAT, access to the Katahdin Loop Road from Stacyville, campsites, and road conditions.