June 26, 2019
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Katahdin Woods and Waters finally has its own map

Aislinn Sarnacki | BDN
Aislinn Sarnacki | BDN
Katahdin is seen from an outlook on the Katahdin Loop Road on Aug. 9, in the Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument.

The first recreational map for Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument available for purchase was recently released by the Maine-based company Map Adventures LLC, offering outdoor enthusiasts a detailed look at the trails, roads, boat launches and campsites of KWW and surrounding communities.

The waterproof map, which costs $9.95, is now available at retail outlets throughout the Katahdin region and online at www.mapadventures.com. It was created in partnership with Friends of Katahdin Woods and Waters, a nonprofit group that promotes and supports the new monument, which was established in August 2016.

Courtesy of Map Adventures LLC
Courtesy of Map Adventures LLC
Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument map published by Map Adventures LLC in partnership with Friends of Katahdin Woods and Waters in May 2018.

“We want people to get out there and explore the monument,” said Andrew Bossie, executive director of Friends of KWW. “We’re very psyched and proud of how [the map] came out.”

Anyone who joins the Friends group before June 30 will receive the map as part of their membership. Annual memberships are $20 for students, $35 for adults and $60 for families.

The map publisher, Map Adventures LLC, is based on Peaks Island and was founded in 1994 by husband-and-wife team Steve Bushey, who serves as head cartographer and strategist, and Angela Faeth, the designer and project manager. Since then, the company has published more than 100 detailed maps, including popular trail maps for Baxter State Park and Acadia National Park.

“As a mapmaker, I try to channel what the locals feel is important or care about in the area.” Bushey said. “We worked with a lot of people on this map.”

The new map is meant to inform and guide KWW visitors, whether they’re traveling by foot, snowmobile, skis, bike or canoe. The map includes trail mileages, topographical lines and a list of suggested tours or adventures.

“Other parks that we’ve mapped have a longer history of recreational use, an infrastructure of trails, and visitor centers,” said Bushey. “The exciting challenge was to create a map to help visitors safely navigate a national treasure that’s still in its infancy.”

While one side of the map is an up-close, detailed view of KWW, the other side of the map gives a view of the overall region, including the towns of Millinocket, East Millinocket and Patten, and many recreational opportunities — including trails — that lie just outside KWW.

“It’s always been our mapping style to show the adjacent communities because that’s where people often eat and sleep and come from and go to,” Bushey said. “There’s a real relationship there.”

The recognition of that relationship is one reason Friends of KWW selected Map Adventures LLC for this project.

“Our mission for the Friends group is not just focused on the monument, but the surrounding communities as well,” Bossie said. “We recognize that part of what made this monument possible is the challenge and change of the economy of these paper companies. We want to make sure we’re focused on the better tomorrow, not only for the monument but these communities as well.”

The map, which went through about a dozen drafts, took about 700 hours to create, Bushey estimates. The work included interviewing local residents about their favorite outdoor adventures and destinations in the region, as well as tracing new and little-known trails and roads with GPS devices. The drafts were reviewed by many individuals and groups, including Friends of KWW and the International Appalachian Trail Council.

“A lot of people have their fingerprints on this map,” said Bushey.

“I think that within [KWW] there are probably 80 miles of trails, if not more,” he continued, “and outside of the park, on the these two maps, are probably another 100 miles of trail. It’s quite amazing, the number of trails.”

The Loop Road in KWW opens to traffic Friday, May 25, according to KWW Superintendent Tim Hudson. Flooding of the road in two places due to beaver activity delayed its opening this spring, but the road damage has now been fixed.

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