Maine Outdoors & Adventure - Spring 2021

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Spring 2021



Spring 2021




any Mainers know “camp” as a summer sanctuary of sorts. A place where you can kick up your feet and go for a dip, should the sun be just right and the black flies few. Going “Upta camp” is a tradition largely attributed to the deep roots of sporting camps in Maine. Dating back to the 1800s, sporting camps catered to outdoor enthusiasts, offering activities like hunting, fishing and canoeing. Traditional Maine sporting camps weren’t just a place to go and do, but also a place to get a hearty home cooked meal and rest your head to the tune of nature’s soundtrack. According to the Maine Sporting Camp Association, in the early 1900s there were 300 sporting camps around Maine, with a few of the originals still operational today. In total, over 40 sporting camps open their doors each year in hopes of preserving the unique culture while continuing to stimulate the state’s economy. Many of these sporting camps today have a range of accommodations, offering modern lodges complete with hot water and WiFi as well as more traditional off-the-grid experiences for those who are brave enough to withstand midnight trips to the outhouse. Katy Wood and Bud Utecht, a registered Maine guide, became the new owners of Buckhorn camps on Middle Jo-Mary Lake in 2020, a lodge with roots dating back to the late 1800s when it was operated as a private sporting camp. “Purchasing Buckhorn Camps was like restoring a piece of my soul,” said Wood, who spent many years working at Rainbow Lake Camps with her sister. “It’s a dream come true to play in the woods all day. I pinch myself when looking out the window over the moose meadow.” Wood’s father, Andy Pease, was CFO of Webber Energy Fuels in Bangor. One of his roles at Webber was real estate acquisition.

Back in the 70’s he saved Rainbow Lake Camps in T2 R11 from being torn down. Webber bought the camps and operated them until 2019 as a private sporting camp, entertaining clients and business partners. It’s clear the heritage of sporting camps is also made special because of the generations of hands and hearts that play a role in keeping the spirit alive. Wood’s story of growing up in the sporting camp community is not unique. In fact, the preservation of such camps relies not just on following in the footsteps of elders but passing on the joy and stories from yesterday. “The sense of community is very important to us,” said Wood. “Our guests look at both of us and say, ‘You two are right where you need to be.’” While keeping the sporting camp spark alive is integral to the survival of this tradition, the Maine Sporting Camp Heritage Foundation (MSCHF) points out several challenges camps face along the way, including changes in land ownership, complicated land management policies, high taxes and limited access to land and water, forcing regulations to owners and visitors alike. While advocacy is important to MSCHF, the nonprofit also exists to provide affordable financing to sporting camps for projects like upgrading facilities, acquiring land and even assisting in the purchase of property. This year, COVID-19 also brings an extra layer of precautions to sporting camps. Maine sporting camps follow state guidelines and CDC recommendations for safety. But the advantage to operating a lodge in Maine is the seemingly endless acreage of these sporting camps, creating a naturally distanced experience. “A true adventure to the North Maine Woods is like no other,” said Wood. “With our 3 million acre back yard, we are ready to help guests go back in time when they visit Buckhorn Camps.”

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Spring 2021

t a n o i t a c a V r e m m u S y M

! s ’ y b r e h t a e W COURTESY OF WEATHERBY’S

“Ting, ting, ting, ting.”, the breakfast bell rang. I threw off my wool

cabin blanket, jumped out of bed and put my fishing vest right over my pj’s and ran to the main lodge. Curlyfry, Molly, Gus and Tipperly the lodge dogs met me and licked my fingers silly! I had hot chocolate and the chef made me frisbee sized chocolate chip pancakes with real Maine maple syrup from a tree! We met our fishing guide who had all our gear ready for us and a cool boat called a Grandlaker, he said his grandpa made them by hand. He took us on West Grand Lake to his secret spot next to an island. We fished and fished and fished…there were so many they almost jumped in the boat! One of my fish was 21 inches and he said I made the record book..which means I’m famous ‘cause they put my name in the newsletter! Who wants my autograph? We caught some keepers for our fish fry lunch and our guide cooked them at our secret picnic spot over a magic fire. He made guide coffee for Momma and Daddy with an egg in it (not kidding), cooked fish, steak and potatoes. I had the best lemonade ever; I swear it was fresh squeezed. After lunch it was so hot that he took us to Caribou Rock to jump off into the lake…I felt like I was flying. We fished all day and caught bass with big mouths and small mouths. Daddy said the ones with big mouths remind him of Momma! We all laughed but Momma didn’t think it was so funny, she just gave Daddy that look and they smiled at each other and kissed…ick. We even got a landlocked salmon which jumped and jumped and jumped. Back at the lodge the adults relaxed on the big open porch sharing stories with the guides while I played a new game called horseshoes out back with my new friends. The chef called out to us and asked if we would gather some kindling (it’s little sticks) for the firepit to cook our dinner. Since it was Friday it was Lobster and Steak night cooked outside! Have you ever cooked 23 lobsters!! They had a pot big enough for three of us to climb into. We ate in a fancy dining room with ceilings as high as the sky and a secret swinging door into the kitchen. The wait staff were so friendly and helped me crack my lobster and promised if I ate my dinner, they would build us a bonfire with S’mores. So of course, I ate mine, well most of it. I might have snuck some of it out in my pocket for the lodge dogs but don’t tell Mr. Jeff, the owner. Around the bonfire while snugged in our blankets we roasted ‘mallows, named the stars and even found Pisces which means “the fish”.

Best Summer Evah!

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Spring 2021

Spring 2021





rookfield Renewable develops innovative natural power solutions that accelerate the world toward a carbon-free future. We do so by combining 100 years of operating experience as a developer, owner, and operator of renewable power facilities with a commitment to health, safety, security and environmental stewardship. As Maine’s largest generator of renewable energy, Brookfield Renewable proudly operates hydro, wind, and storage facilities throughout the state. Our Maine facilities provide more than 840 MW of power, a generation equivalent to powering more than 500,000 homes annually. Now and into the future, our facilities remain critical in helping Maine meet its carbon emissions targets. When it comes to environmental stewardship and river restoration, we are committed in our work with state and federal agencies and environmental stakeholders to advance these goals. We operate fish passage facilities on Maine’s largest rivers, including the Penobscot, Kennebec, Androscoggin, and Saco. Furthermore, we are passionate about the role we play in highlighting the natural beauty and recreational benefits of this great state.

THESE CHALLENGING TIMES GROW THE VALUE OF OUTDOOR RECREATION Did you know? We operate more than 200 recreation sites throughout Maine and provide daily releases from May through Columbus Day on Class 2, 3, and 4 whitewater. Each year thousands of private and commercial paddlers enjoy Maine’s pristine waterways as a result of these scheduled releases. In addition, we provide recreational access to some of the New England’s best flyfishing locations including the Rangeley Lakes region renowned for their native Brook Trout. We provide real-time flows and elevations for our facilities via our waterflow website at Remember, river systems are wonderful resources, but they can also be dangerous. Conditions can change quickly and without notice. While the waters above and below a dam may look safe, conditions below the surface can present serious risks. Be aware of your surroundings and observe all warning signals, sirens, and barriers. Please respect all signage, recreation rules, and be a good environmental steward wherever your next outdoor journey takes you!



Spring 2021

Old Fisher Folk ●

Tips for casting a line safely as you get older PHOTOS & STORY BY GENIE JENNINGS


hile it is not true that our activities ‘keep us young,’ it is true that they keep us from being old. I am a fly fisherman. For as long as possible, I will continue to pursue that heart-jolting tug on the line. The health benefits of fly fishing are many. It’s a great reason to get outside and move around. It is imperative to have physical activities that you enjoy doing as you get older. Water provides both a spiritual and physical lifting. The essence of the sport requires complete absorption with the fly, whether watching or feeling its progress. This intensity of concentration means that fly fishermen live in the moment. We leave the waters renewed. But our bodies do not last forever. We can do our best to keep them healthy and strong, but they are going to wear out someday. In order to keep doing the things I love as long as I can — and maybe even trying some new adventures along the way — I’ll have to make some adjustments. Here are a few tips to overcome the challenges of aging so we can all keep casting a line for as long as possible.

Challenge: Loss of balance

Walking on rocks, slippery and/or uneven ground, and sand is increasingly more precarious as we lose our ability to balance. At the same time, these activities provide the exact stimulation needed to increase one’s ability to balance. A walking stick of some kind is essential. I use my wading staff going in and out of the woods, then let it float so it is readily accessible when I decide to move.

Challenge: Getting cold

We become more susceptible to changes in temperature as we age. Gradual chilling might not be noticed. Your body might be colder than you think. Before you move, shift your attention to your feet and legs. A responsible person might consider limiting the amount of time spent in the water.

Challenge: Loss of stamina

We lose energy more quickly as we age. Becoming exhausted is dangerous. We make bad decisions. Physical problems become intensified. When things start to become harder for us, some changes could be helpful. We can make shorter trips, fish a half-day, or break up the session with a rest period. We can upgrade our accommodations to make things easier.

Challenge: Dehydration

There are reasons, such as the fear of incontinence, that make it difficult for older people to drink sufficient water. However, lack of water creates the same dangers as exhaustion.

Challenge: Aching joints

Active people are hard on their knees, hips and shoulders. In some cases, they are replaceable, and after surgery and months of therapy life can resume as it was. Again, shorter trips and listening to your body is key.

Challenge: Loss of companionship

This is a major problem as we grow older. Try to find someone to share your activities. If you must go alone, leave a note that includes when you left, your destination and when you expect to return. Take water, your cell phone and a whistle with you. (Do not leave them in your car.) Hire a guide. In addition to knowing the river, techniques and flies to use, your guide will be standing next to you, ready to help if needed.

Old age can, and ultimately will, take many things from us. It cannot take our love of nature and fishing. We must adapt, but we do not have to relinquish the joy fishing gives us. Until we do.

- Tightlines. Namaste.

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Spring 2021



oating is a recreational activity enjoyed by thousands of people. Spring and summer are prime times of year for boating, though people who live in temperate climates may be able to enjoy boating all year long. Everyone who takes to the water, novices and experienced boaters included, should be familiar with boating safety guidelines. In fact, it is a good idea to take a boating safety course prior to boating for the first time or as a refresher if it has been a while since reviewing the rules of the water. Boating safety goes beyond learning basic operation and navigation. Safety guidelines also involve getting a vessel safety check. The U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary offers complimentary boating examinations. They can verify the presence and condition of safety equipment required by federal and state organizations. Boaters also may be able to conduct virtual vessel exams. This means boat owners can perform a self-inspection of the boats based on digital prompts. Licensure and registration of boats are part of responsible boat ownership both in the U.S. and Canada. Along with boating inspections and water rules, some other ways to stay safe involve educating oneself of the larger dangers on the water. These generally involve risky boater behavior, such as failing to wear a life jacket or having an inadequate number of life jackets for passengers. Alcohol use while boating also can be problematic. Being under the influence can adversely affect boaters’ reaction times and decision-making abilities. According to the 2018 U.S. Coast Guard Recreational Boating Statistics Report, alcohol

continued to be the leading known contributing factor in fatal boating accidents in 2018, accounting for 100 deaths (19 percent) of total fatalities. Curbing alcohol use while boating can help avoid accidents and deaths. Excessive speeds also can derail nice days on the water. The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department says that, although there are no numerical speed limits on the water, excessive speed can cause accidents in crowded areas. Speeding makes it difficult to react to obstacles — including underwater wildlife — and bring the boat to a stop within a safe distance of others. Boating season is heating up, and that means making safety a big part of operating and enjoying a vessel.

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Spring 2021



ainers love their big, outdoor toys. When the white stuff stops falling and the snowmobile trails start turning green, we know there’s still more fun to be had. That’s when outdoor adventure seekers get out their ATVs. ATVs utilize a lot of the same land as snowmobiling, with a few exceptions. Here are some tips to discover more about the fun, adventurous hobby of riding an ATV.

Tips for Beginners When riding an ATV, you’ll always want to be vigilant of where your feet are. Utilize your foot pegs to keep your feet upright and out of the way of the machine as well as any obstacles on the ground. Nerf bars are a good accessory to invest in if your ATV doesn’t already have them. They provide extra traction to ensure your feet don’t hit the ground. Steering on an ATV is a little different compared to other off-road vehicles. The handlebars will resemble that of a dirt bike or motorcycle but steering a four-wheeled machine is a lot different than steering a two-wheeled one. When going around a tight corner, you may have to lean or stand to balance the vehicle and prevent it from flipping. The controls will also be different compared to a dirt bike. The throttle will resemble that of a thumb button commonly found on a snowmobile. It’s important to push slowly when getting used to your machine. You never know how sensitive it will be. Familiarize yourself with the controls before taking it out on the trails. The clutch and brakes are also located by your hands and you’ll want to make sure you know which one is which.

Why ATV in Maine? The state of Maine is a beautiful piece of land filled with picturesque imagery in all four seasons of the year. Its beauty is so recognizable, it’s no secret why the state has become a tourist attraction for outdoor adventure. “The state of Maine is fabulous for riding because it has thousands of miles of trails with varied scenery,” explained a representative from the Southern Maine ATV Club. “We take trips every year to different parts of the state to ride.” It’s important, however, to respect the land that you use. “The biggest threat to our sport is the growing population that thinks that because they spent thousands on an ATV that they have the right to ride wherever they want, whenever they want. We have been losing tails and trail systems due to lack of respect for the landowners that graciously allow us to use their land. And no one wants to help the clubs work to maintain the trails, [they] only want to ride on them. The small group of volunteers that work on the trails are getting burned out.” Maine’s unique landscape aids in the state’s “Four Season” accessibility. There are fun activities to be had outside all year long. To really appreciate the beauty the state possesses, get out in the woods and see the elegant wilderness in all of its untouched glory. The trails stretching across Maine provide access for everyone to see firsthand why Maine is dubbed Vacationland.

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Scenes like this, clean water, a strong economy and vibrant communities are made possible by healthy forests. Your choice to use local or heat-treated firewood helps support healthy forests. PHOTO COURTESY MAINE FOREST SERVICE


eople who care for forests have had a laser focus on firewood as a major threat to their health and productivity for almost 20 years. The rapid spread of emerald ash borer in the US and Canada is what brought firewood so sharply into focus. Years ago, it became clear that firewood speeds up the spread of emerald ash borer; about three-quarters of the early infestations in Michigan were tied to this pathway. Asian longhorned beetle spread has also been linked to the movement of infested firewood. What else can you carry with you when you move firewood, instead of leaving it at home and buying or gathering local wood? Consider this list: oak wilt fungus that threatens our oaks; the colorful planthopper and expert hitchhiker, the spotted lanternfly, that threatens not only trees but also important crops and certain adult beverages; the human and tree health threat browntail moth. These invasive pests are just the beginning of the long list of threats to forest health. The kicker is that the list of what we know moves with firewood is long, but new threats continue to come in from other places and infest the forests around ports and other settled areas. Over the last century, an average of 2.5 new insect species arrived on our continent every year. And high-impact forest pests, like emerald ash borer, sudden oak death and Asian longhorned beetle, were found at a rate of about 1 every 2.5 years, according to a December 2010 article in BioScience. So, what’s in your firewood? Maybe the next threat to Maine’s pristine lakeshores and great trout habitat, to Maine’s tourism, recreation and forest economies, to Maine’s scenic mountains and shores, to Maine’s way of life and the way life should be—to the reasons you traveled in the first place. There is a cost to buying firewood at your destination or bringing certified heat-treated firewood, but the costs of moving firewood can be far greater and irreversible. Maine has a ban on untreated firewood from out-of-state, but it is important to use local or heat heat-treated firewood even within Maine. If you have questions, check out the Don’t Move Firewood FAQs at Please, enjoy what Maine’s outdoors has to offer, and use local or heat-treated firewood. Leave your firewood at home. If you’ve already moved firewood, don’t leave it or bring it home – burn it! If you can’t burn it all within 24 hours, bring it to the nearest drop-off site (you can find a list at

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Spring 2021

Trails to Discover The state of Maine is littered with trails from north to south, including some trails that cross the border into New Hampshire and Canada. Options in Maine grow the further you travel north, with more unpopulated land to take advantage of and explore. To the west, don’t miss the opportunity for a stunning ride and history lesson near Moosehead Lake. “Take a ‘bucket list’ ride to the solemn B-52 Memorial where in 1963 a heroic crew of seven crashed on Elephant Mountain while attempting newly introduced cold war flight maneuvers,” suggests Bob Ludwig, the trailmaster for Moosehead Riders ATV Club. “[You can] learn more from ‘Final Flight – The North Woods’ written by Joseph Wax that documents the flight and mid-winter rescue by Greenville residents and others.” The trails in the Moosehead Lake area do not stop at the B-52 crash site. “Greenville is an active ATV hub in northwestern Maine on the shores of the 30-mile long pristine Moosehead Lake,” said Ludwig. “Nearly 90 miles of trails are maintained by the Moosehead Riders ATV Club for the enjoyment of responsible riders from all of New England. Riders can connect with adjacent club trails southbound to the foot of 56 308-foot towers at the Bingham Wind Farm in Kingsbury Plantation. Westbound trails lead to Lake Moxie, The Forks, 3,700-foot [tall] Coburn Mountain and Lake Parlin. Northbound riders can choose remote First Roach Pond in Kokadjo or awe at the historic Mt. Kineo in Rockwood before continuing on to Jackman.” If you head to the far northern end of the state, check out the Saint John Valley Heritage Trail that rides along the border of Canada, spanning nearly 17 miles of crushed stone trail from Fort Kent to St. Francis. Be on the lookout during your ride for horseback riding as well as other offroad vehicles. On Maine’s eastern coast, be sure to explore the 87-mile long Down East Sunrise Trail. The path, equipped for all-terrain vehicles as well as mountain biking and cross-country skiing, runs from SR 214/Ayers Junction Road, less than a mile south of Mt. Tom Road in Pembroke, all the way to Beals Avenue in Ellsworth. It’s a beautiful, curvy section of land that will really put the “allterrain” in ATV to good use. You’ll travel through countryside as well as creek beds. Southern Maine isn’t left out of the party with the must-see SanfordSpringvale Rail Trail. It spans about 6 miles from the Alfred/Sanford town line to the Lebanon/Sanford town line. This southern route provides ample water views in the short 6-mile span.

Safety Tips There are a few cardinal tips provided by the ATV Safety Institute to follow in order to remain safe while riding your ATV. The first of these rules being to always wear an approved Department of Transportation helmet, goggles, long sleeves, long pants, over the ankle boots, and gloves. This will provide the most support for you in the event of an accident and will help keep you safe. In addition, you’ll want to stay off of paved roads unless to cross where allowed. After all, an ATV is designed to be operated on uneven, rough terrain. That’s half of the fun! Enjoy the dirt and mud and stay off of the main roads. Please keep in mind that riding is only allowed on designated trails and at a safe speed. Attempting to navigate a new area at a high speed is incredibly dangerous and could result in injury. It’s important to ride an ATV that is right for you. There are different sizes for a reason. If it’s your first outing on one, it may be in your best interest to not ride such a powerful machine as the Polaris Sportsman XP 1000. Keep in mind that ATVs are designed to either be single person or two-person rides. Carrying more than what your ATV is designed for is extremely unsafe behavior. If you’re thinking of trying out an ATV for a little outdoor fun and recreation, please consider taking a hands-on ATV riding course that will provide you with proper riding procedures and techniques to keep you safe during your trip.

Spring 2021



reating trails is about connections, sometimes many of them. To build the Hills to Sea Trail, 47 miles stretching from Unity to Belfast, more than 60 landowners agreed to allow hikers to pass across their properties. Years of conversation and collaboration on the part of those generous landowners and the Waldo County Trails Coalition resulted in a spectacular resource available to all. Midcoast Conservancy’s Whitten Hill and Northern Headwaters trails are part of this extraordinary network. Providing connections to special places across midcoast Maine is at the heart of Midcoast Conservancy’s conservation mission. With nearly 100 miles of trails on 55 preserves located from Montville to Newcastle, Palermo to Friendship, there is a trail for everyone. Majestic hemlock forests, waving lupine fields and rocky coastlines await exploration and promise spiritual restoration to all. Hidden Valley, in Jefferson, is a 1,000 acre preserve that is laced with 30 miles of multi-use trails and has huts, yurts and tent sites for overnight camping. All of Midcoast Conservancy’s preserves are the result of connections: with landowners, with communities, and with people who are inspired by our natural world. These connections make it possible for us to live up to the promise of our preserve signage: All are welcome. Come visit!

Learn more at




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Spring 2021




Spring 2021


Mainers turn to outdoor adventures during COVID-19 BY CRYSTAL SANDS


aine is a state known for its natural beauty and outdoor recreation, but when Covid-19 led to a shutdown of most indoor activities, Mainers and Maine visitors turned to outdoor activities more than ever. Thanks to quick pivots to adjust to new safety guidelines, many Maine companies and organizations that focus on outdoor recreation are seeing a boom in business. Rob Benton is the climbing school manager at Acadia Mountain Guides Climbing School. Acadia Mountain Guides offers rock climbing lessons, guided tours, ski tours and outdoor adventure camps with locations in Bar Harbor and Orono. Benton says there has definitely been an uptick in business since the pandemic began last year. He says there was a huge upswing in the first few months of summer 2020, as Mainers were just coming out of the first lockdown. But the growth wasn’t just for the summer. Benton says that their avalanche and ski course is full each time it is offered, and he says, “There has really been a boom in backcountry skiing.” The Fields Pond Audubon Center in Holden has also seen an uptick in outdoor activities, even though indoor classes and activities have had to be cancelled or adjusted to online settings. Before the pandemic, the center offered a variety of regularly-scheduled talks and walks related to the Maine environment. Although the center has had to close its indoor spaces to the public during the pandemic, David Lamon, manager at the Fields Pond Audubon Center, says more and more families are taking advantage of the outdoor opportunities the center has to offer. “We have seen a tremendous increase in the use of the Fields Pond property and trails since the COVID outbreak,” Lamon says. “This is true at all of Maine Audubon’s Sanctuary properties throughout the state.

It’s been especially nice to see so many families spending time outdoors together!” Lamon says the Fields Pond Audubon Center adjusted when they noticed the differences in activity and the increased use of the nature trails. “During last spring when we noticed the increasing use of our trails at Fields Pond we began a weekly ‘Mystery Wildlife Trail.’ Clues are left out on a specific trail for families to find and see if they can figure out that week’s mystery animal. It’s been a fun way to engage with people in a distanced way.” Of course, even outdoor activities have had to be adjusted somewhat in times of Covid. Benton, of Acadia Mountain Guides, says the company had to close down its in-person sessions that would normally take place in a classroom. Instead, part of the educational session is offered online, and then students meet with instructors outside. This has come with some drawbacks because instructors are not able to visit with students as much — and get to know them. Benton says, as an instructor who enjoys connecting with his students, this has been one of the toughest adjustments to make. But the opportunities are important, and Mainers are taking advantage of the way places like Acadia Mountain Guides have adjusted to meet their needs in a time of crisis. The Fields Pond Audubon Center has adjusted as well and continues to offer creative ways for visitors to engage in nature. This May, Lamon says the Fields Pond Audubon Center will offer a series of bird outings. Of course, safety is always a top consideration. “We’ve limited the group sizes for all of our outdoor programming and require social distancing and masking,” Lamon says. “We also send a pre-program Covid risk questionnaire to all participants, asking them to stay at home if they can answer ‘yes’ to any of the questions. We want everyone to be safe and feel safe.”

A long stretch of bog bridging leads hikers through a floodplain swamp, at Fields Pond Audubon Center in Holden and Orrington. PHOTO BY AISLINN SARNACKI | BDN

Spring 2021





aine has some of the finest fishing in the Northeast. Whether fishing for native brook trout on Kennebago Lake near Rangely or for landlocked salmon on Grand Lake Stream near Princeton, there are many fly fishing only waters in the state that require anglers to fish with artificial flies.

A small company in Southern Maine caters to anglers by building the tool necessary to tie intricate fishing flies. Since 1975 HMH in Biddeford has been making fly tying vises. These vises hold the fish hook so with the fly tier’s skilled hands, elements of fur, feathers and synthetic materials come together in hopes of fooling a fish to think it is food and eat it. Registered Maine Guide Jon Larrabee and his small team hand build over 500 vises a year that are shipped around the world. “Off the top of my head, just this year we have shipped vises to Iceland, New Zealand, Russia, England and Austria,” Larrabee stated in February. In the HMH shop there is a world map with push-pins marking where HMH has shipped to. “Looks like we have not made it to Antartica yet,” Larrabee says, “but we come close with Tierra Del Fuego.” The HMH Vises carry the Made in Maine logo with them around the world. All the major components are made in the State of Maine. “We have our castings made in Standish and Lewiston. The knobs and round parts are turned in Westbrook,” says

Larrabee. “Here in the shop we drill, machine and assemble all the steel bases before they are painted.” After all the parts are cast, machined, hardened or painted, then comes assembly. If the part is brass, it has to be polished; stainless steel parts are brushed. There are a lot of cumulative steps before final assembly, but with all the parts prepped, the actual assembly of a vise takes about 5 minutes. But before the vise is shipped there is one critical step that Larrabee does himself. “Every vise is tested with multiple fish hooks. From large 2/0 hooks to tiney #20 hooks, if I can’t bend the hook or the hook slips, then the jaw is no good,” he says. Every vise is tested 100% by the company owner. So if you are coming to Maine for a summer vacation on the coast and want to fly fish for stripers, or are headed north to fish the East Outlet of Moosehead Lake and what to try your hand at tying your own flies, you need an HMH Vise. There are various retailers in the state that carry HMH. Kittery Trading Post, Eldridge Brothers Fly Shop, Bretton’s Bike and Fly, Cabela’s, Allpoints Fly Shop, Trident Fly Fishing, L.L. Bean and Annaka Fly Shop all stock HMH vises and tools, as well as the other materials you need to tie flies. They also will know what is biting and on what fly!

For more information about HMH Vises, visit



Spring 2021



aine may not be famous for its night sky, but it should be. A visit to Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument makes that crystal clear. The skies over Maine’s newest national monument have been acknowledged as the darkest skies east of the Mississippi. This isn’t just local bluster. The International Dark Sky Association has designated Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument as a dark sky sanctuary, one of only 14 such locations worldwide. “I’m always amazed by how limitless the night sky looks as seen from Katahdin Woods and Waters,” said Kelly Beatty, International Dark Sky Association board member and former senior editor of Sky and Telescope. “Words like ‘breathtaking’ come to mind whenever I find myself steeped in the deep dark of this truly rare place.” What can you see? Stars and constellations—a hunter, a bull, two bears, and a lion. The Milky Way and often planets. Satellites, for sure. Occasional meteors or the rarer northern lights. The good part is you don’t need a telescope to witness these celestial wonders. Simply look up. There are several good observing locations in Katahdin Woods and Waters. The classic viewing spot is the Overlook at mile 6.4 on the Loop Road. Start the evening watching the sun set behind Mount Katahdin, then settle back as the stars unfold over distant Millinocket Lake. This is the location of the Stars Over Katahdin star party, held each fall with knowledgeable astronomers who share their telescopes. Other good observing locations include Sandbank Stream Campsite or the Lunksoos Boat Launch in the park’s southern region. In the northern end, try the junction of Messer Pond and Old River roads, or perhaps the Oxbow Picnic Area. Backcountry explorers can view from

the Wassataquoik or Lunksoos lean-tos. Can’t get to the park? Amazing skies are visible from almost anywhere in the area. Get away from streetlights, shut off your own lights, and look skyward. To further understand what you’re seeing, numerous resources are available. Great phone apps include Stellarium, Heavens-Above, and Star Walk. For site-specific information, visit the Friends of Katahdin Woods and Waters website and check out their Dark Sky Guide. In Maine’s north woods, mobile service is sometimes problematic. There are Astronomy and Sky and Telescope magazines as well as guidebooks such as the Peterson Field Guide to the Stars and Planets by Jay Pasachoff or NightWatch by Terence Dickinson. Remember to bring a flashlight with a red filter; red light has the least negative affect on your night vision. Once you’ve perused your books, magazines, and apps, put them away and just spend time under the stars. You’ll need about 20 minutes for your eyes to fully dark adapt. Once they are, you’ll be amazed how well you can see in the dark. Start off by looking westward. Just like the sun sets, the stars set too. So start there before they disappear. High in the southwest you’ll find the hourglass shape of Orion the Hunter. Three stars in a row mark his belt; two bright stars above the belt represent his shoulders, while two bright stars below are his legs. Orion’s easterly shoulder is the red star Betelgeuse. West of Orion are two other ruddy-colored objects: the lower one is Aldebaran, the angry eye of Taurus the Bull with its v-shaped face. The upper one isn’t actually a star—it’s Mars, which will slowly move from Taurus into Gemini through the spring months.

Spring 2021

Turning away from Orion, high in the northeastern sky, is the familiar Big Dipper, on its side. Three stars in a gentle arc mark the handle and four stars form a rectangular bowl. The Big Dipper is actually part of the constellation Ursa Major, the great bear. The two stars of the bowl opposite the Big Dipper’s handle are called the pointer stars. A line drawn from those stars, from the bottom of the dipper to the top, point you toward Polaris, the North Star. Although not the brightest star in the sky, it’s famous for being directly above the North Pole. Polaris marks the end of the Little Dipper’s handle, which hangs back toward the Big Dipper with a fainter and smaller square for its pot. Like its larger sibling, it’s officially a bear: Ursa Minor. Returning to the Big Dipper, imagine grabbing its handle and banging it down! About half way to the ground you’ll hit a group of stars that resembles a backward question mark. The curve of the question mark is the head and mane of Leo the Lion. The dot is the star Regulus, the lion’s heart. His body is found to the left, or east, of Regulus, as a large rectangle with Regulus marking a corner. A single star, Denebola, just beyond the rectangle is Leo’s tail. While sky hunting, watch for shooting stars or meteors. These are


tiny rocks falling to Earth and burning due to friction. The Eta Aquarid meteor shower on May 5-6 will provide up to 60 meteors per hour. For hardy sky watchers, spring is when the Milky Way makes its stunning debut— just before dawn. Set your alarm for 90 minutes before sunrise to see, what many feel to be, the most spectacular part of the heavens. Our home galaxy rises in the predawn hours in the southeast, arching along the eastern horizon to the northeast. With binoculars, the Milky Way resolves into thousands of stars and deep-sky objects. Birding binoculars are good for stargazing too. Binoculars are denoted by two numbers, such as 7 x 50 or 8 x 35. The first number is the magnification, which aids with moon and planet gazing; the second is the diameter of the primary lenses—larger lenses brighten faint stars and nebulae. In three years, on April 8, 2024, Katahdin Woods and Waters will be directly in the path of a total solar eclipse. Totality will last more than three minutes—a celestial event not to be missed! Maine skies hold many charms not visible to most people living on the East Coast. A visit to the Katahdin region will introduce the wonders of a truly dark sky, a sky that the Wabanaki people have observed and revered for centuries.



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n 1936, Patty and Nuge (Allen Nugent) made their trek to establish a hunting and fishing camp on the desolate and unspoiled Chamberlain lake. Located about 6 miles down an 18-mile long lake, the cabins built in 1940 are still sitting next to the lake and offer brilliant sunsets most nights. The camp, as is the case today, was not connected to any road. One arrives by boat or canoe from the Chamberlain bridge, which connects to Millinocket, about 50 miles to the east via the Golden Road. The boat trip is about 5 miles; one can also arrive by float plane or snowmobile. Nuge quickly established himself as a legend in his own time in this world of short summers and cold winters, when the ice covering the lake is about 40 inches thick. A great foundation for ice fishing. Patty provided full support, counseling to all and special meals on her wood-burning cookstove in the lodge. Nuge easily lifted 400-pound 55-gallon drums into his boat. At the camp he had a tool and machine shed in which he could repair almost anything and invent field expedients. The cabins were built from thick logs, from local trees, with insulation packed between the logs so that the cabins, with their Franklin stoves, kept their heat in the winter. Nuge passed away while working on his tractor in 1978, with Patty maintaining the camp until 1986.


The rustic cabins have not changed in 80 years. They each include gas lights, a Franklin stove, a refrigerator, a gas stove and a deck overlooking the lake. Nugent’s Camps offer a diversity of activities in a true wilderness setting that is unmatched. Along with its farm house, five miles down the lake, they are the only cabins on the remote Chamberlain Lake -- on the way to the Allagash River. The choices of activities besides sitting, reading and meditating, include fishing and hunting (with or without guide service) and trails for walking, snowshoeing or crosscountry skiing. The lake is beautiful for swimming, kayaking or paddle boarding, with rock beaches and beautiful rock outcroppings useful for sitting, contemplating and enjoying lunch and nature. Nugent’s Camps and the surrounding wilderness are a paradise for photographers and artists. The foliage, the sunsets and the powerful colors brought on by the sun’s rays are most beneficial for picture taking. The camps could also become a spiritual retreat given its beauty, remoteness and that it’s “off the grid.”

Becoming familiar with Nugent’s Camps is a life changing experience. For more information contact, call 207-944-5991 or visit

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FOGGY MOUNTAIN GUIDE SERVICE: Setting the Standard for Bear Hunting



oggy Mountain Guide Service has been specializing in Maine black bear hunts for over 50 years. We are a national award-winning guide service setting the standard for bear hunting excellence. Black bear hunting is our livelihood, not just a seasonal sideline. It’s our full-time commitment to make your black bear hunt a complete and memorable experience. Not just a hunt but a memory that will last a lifetime!

Experience & Consistency

Trust your hunt to the most productive black bear hunting outfitter in Maine, the United States or Canada. You want a guide who produces consistent black bear kills even in years when natural adversities exist – years when inexperienced guides and hunters fail to produce. Foggy Mountain’s close-knit staff of fully licensed Maine Guides set the world standard that others can only dream of achieving. And no expense is spared to continually raise that standard.

Brandon Bishop has spent countless hours developing the bear

You have provided my son and I with a fabulous time for three years in a row. The hunting and site locations are outstanding. You and your guides could not be more knowledgeable or helpful. All of your support people are very hospitable and friendly. The conversations during meals (which are terrific) and non-hunting time were great fun and very enjoyable. Brandon, you are a true sportsman and professional. We would certainly recommend you to other hunters.

--Leon Tragger Sr & Jr, Pennsylvania

habitat and prime hunting stands in the best bear hunting territory in Maine. He and the guides that work for him, sole job is to see to it that you have the best possible opportunity to fulfill your hunting goals. As a result, record-book black bears are consistently taken in Maine year after year. Our trophy room shows the results.

Maine Bear Hunts

Hunt in perhaps the most beautiful country in the world. You will be surrounded by an explosion of fall foliage color and you will never be too far from a delicious Maine lobster dinner. Foggy Mountain’s most popular bear hunts are in Maine’s two most bear-infested regions. These areas are on private lands with access controlled by gates, as are 95% of our total hunting territories. Bear hunting success is the same in both areas, but our accommodations are different. In Maine’s Highlands, Katahdin & Moosehead Region, you’ll find housekeeping style lodging where each cabin has a full kitchen. While in Maine’s West Branch Region, we offer American Plan lodging, where meals are included.

Learn more about Foggy Mountain Guide Service at, by calling (207) 564-3404 or emailing



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in the North Maine Woods Explore Deboullie Mountain BY AISLINN SARNACKI


estled in the heart of the North Maine Woods, Deboullie Mountain is one of several hiking destinations in Deboullie Public Lands, a state-owned property characterized by its small, rugged mountains, mossy forests and remote ponds and streams that are popular for fishing. Topping off at 1,981 feet above sea level, Deboullie Mountain is slightly taller than the rest of the mountains in the area, and on its summit sits a historic fire lookout tower that provides an unobstructed 360-degree view. And for those who don’t want to climb the tower, there’s a nice overlook near the top of the mountain, and another partial overlook near the tower. The hike begins with a 1.3-mile walk on the Deboullie Loop Trail near the shore of Deboullie Pond, which is home to brook trout and blueblack trout, an unusual variety that is the world’s northernmost freshwater fish. Along the way, the trail passes tiny ice caves, narrow, shaded crevasses where snow and ice can remain year round. There you can crouch low to the ground and feel the cold seeping out, a sensation similar to standing in front of an open refrigerator. Also on this section of the hike, the trail passes over an impressive rock slide trailing down the steep south slope of Deboullie Mountain. The name “Deboullie” is an adaptation of the French word “debouler,” which means to tumble down, referring to the talus (rock) fields on the mountain and bordering many of the ponds in the area. Not long after crossing the rock slide, the trail comes to an intersection where you’ll turn right into the 0.7-mile Tower Trail for a steep climb up the mountain that features switchbacks, rock staircases, a footbridge and rocky slopes. Just before reaching the summit, the trail visits an overlook. And from there, it’s just a short walk through the woods and one final rock staircase before a clearing

Aislinn Sarnacki and her dog, Oreo, hike across a rock slide at the edge of Deboullie Pond PHOTO BY AISLINN SARNACKI | BDN

where you’ll find a reconstructed ranger’s cabin, the old fire tower and a picnic table. This is a great place to stop for lunch, even in inclement weather, since there’s a nice, sturdy table inside the cabin, as well. The fire lookout atop Deboullie Mountain was originally established in 1919 in a tree, according to the Forest Fire Lookout Association Maine Chapter. In 1921, a 12-foot-tall steel fire lookout tower was constructed on top of the mountain. And less than a decade later, in 1929, that tower was replaced with a much larger, 49-foot-tall tower topped with a wooden cab. This tower, reinforced in recent years, is what you’ll find atop the mountain today. Some people climb the tower’s steel ladder to access the cab, where you can open four windows — one on each side — for breathtaking views of the region. From there, you can head back down the way you came for a 4-mile out-and-back hike, or you can make it into a 5.5-mile loop by continuing past the tower on the 3-mile Black Mountain Trail, which travels along the ridge of Black Mountain. Along the way, there are two viewpoints, one just north of the summit of Black Mountain (1,901 feet above sea level) and one looking over Black Pond. And for those looking for even more adventure, there’s a 0.5-mile side trail that visits Little Black Ponds just 0.6 mile before the loop closes near Deboullie Pond boat launch. Deep in the woods of northern Maine, Deboullie Public Lands covers 21,871 acres and features about 30 miles of hiking trails and 30 primitive campsites. Dogs are permitted but must be leashed and attended at all times while at campsites. On trails, dogs can be off leash but must be under their owner’s strict control. Keep in mind that hunting and trapping are permitted on the property, though state law dictates that firearms cannot be discharged within 300 feet of any camping area, trail or other developed area.

about the hike Difficulty: Moderate to strenuous The hike is 4 miles, out and back, and includes a long stretch of easy walking along the shore of Deboullie Pond, followed by a steep, rocky climb to the top of Deboullie Mountain, with a total elevation gain of about 800 feet. The trail includes several rock staircases but no hand-over-foot climbing or ladders — unless you want to climb to the top of the fire lookout tower at the summit. The hike can be lengthened into a 5.5-mile loop that includes a ridgewalk along the neighboring Black Mountain.

How to get there: The gravel woods roads to Deboullie Public Lands are open late spring through fall, weather depending. Yield to oncoming logging trucks. From the north, take Route 161 to the St. Francis checkpoint, paying the North Maine Woods user fee, then proceed south approximately 8 miles on St. Francis Road to reach the western boundary of Deboullie Public Lands. From the south, take Route 11 north from Ashland to Portage and turn left onto West Road (before Portage Lake). Drive a little less than 1 mile, then turn left onto Fish Lake Road-Rocky Brook Road (at the entrance of which you’ll see signs for several sporting camps). Drive about 4 miles and stop at the Fish River Checkpoint to pay the North Maine Woods user fee. Past the checkpoint, drive just under 2 miles, then turn right onto Hewes Brook Road and follow it for 12.5 miles, then turn left onto T15 R9 Road-Red River Road. Drive about 7 miles to the eastern boundary of Deboullie Public Lands. There are some intersections throughout this route that may confuse you. When in doubt, follow the red “RRC” signs with a white fish on them. These signs are for Red River Camps, which lie in the heart of Deboullie. Once in Deboullie Public Lands, navigate the gravel roads to the parking area and boat launch at the east end of Deboullie Pond. The trailhead, marked with a sign and map, is at the second parking area. To learn more, visit or call the Northern Public Lands Office for the Maine Bureau of Parks and Lands at 207-435-7963. Original story published in the Bangor Daily News on September 18, 2018. Updated September 17, 2019

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Celebrating Years

of Operations! North Maine Woods celebrates 50 years of operations in 2021. It is a non-profit organization formed by the many private landowners owning property in the North Maine Woods region. Through cooperation with Maine’s natural resource management agencies, the organization provides management and facilities to accommodate approximately 75,000 visitors annually. The organization maintains over 350 campsites for public use, provides staff and printed information at checkpoints to guide visitors, and coordinates public use with other forest management activities. For more information, visit, call 207-435-6213 or email

Landowners and Managers within 3.5 million acres of North Maine Woods • AEC Corporation (2) • Cassidy Timberlands LLC (2) • CDT Maine Timberlands LLC (2) • Clayton Lake Woodlands • Holdings LLC (5) • Conservation Forestry LLC (4) • Cushing Family Corp. (2) • Dunn Heirs LLC (2) • Dunn Timberlands Inc. (5) • Fish River Company (2) • Fallen Timber LLC (4)

• Fresh Timber LLC (5) • Griswold Heirs (2) • Greentrees, Inc. (2) • Huber Resources Corp. (4) • Irving Woodlands LLC • John Cassidy Timberholdings (2) • Katahdin Forest Management LLC • McCrillis Timberland LLC. (2) • Merriweather LLC (3)

• Pingree Associates, Inc. (1) • Prentiss & Carlisle Co, Inc (2) • Sandy Gray Forest LLC (4) • Solifor Timberlands LLC (4) • St. John Timber LLC (4) • Sylvan Timberlands LLC (4) • The Nature Conservancy (5) • Tree-Star Timberlands Ltd • Webber Timberlands (2) • State of Maine

• (1)Lands managed by Seven Islands Land Company • (2) Lands managed by Prentiss & Carlisle Management Co. • (3) Lands managed by Wagner Forest Management Company • (4) Lands managed by Huber Resources Corp. • (5) Lands managed by LandVest Inc.



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North Maine Woods Inc

Hosts Sportsmen and Sportswomen for 50 Years COURTESY OF NORTH MAINE WOODS INC


irst, we want to thank everyone who came to the North Maine Woods (NMW) and the KI Jo-Mary Forest (KIJM) during the 2020 Covid-19 pandemic for cooperating with our request to self-distance and wear masks when registering. We are extremely fortunate that after registering over 100,000 visitors last year, none of our 60 seasonal employees came down with the virus! With an interest in getting outside and self-distancing, use of the NMW region increased by 17% over the previous year. Through the registration process, it is possible to track many different reasons why people come to the area. Interest in camping increased by 22%, with over 22,000 visitor days of camping activity. Many were first time visitors who expressed relief at being able to find an activity they could enjoy that didn’t include close association with other people.

Landowners Shared a Vision 50 Years Ago After 50 years in operation, most people know that NMW Inc. was created in 1971 by the private family and industrial landowners owning land in the NMW region. NMW Inc. was formed as a not-for-profit organization to manage public access and recreation, so the forest landowners could concentrate on managing their forest products. Under its non-profit statue, none of the recreational land use fees charged can be shared with the landowner members. Despite the recent increase in visitors, the management program now in place allows landowners to move harvesting crews and equipment and truck harvested wood from the region in a reasonably safe manner. The result is a truly unique opportunity for public access for traditional uses to a large area of predominantly privately owned land. With so many different landowners in the program, (see the accompanying list on page 25) and each with their own forest management style, the result is a very diverse northern Maine forest. Some owners conduct intensive harvest and regeneration programs. Some have created significant ecological reserve areas where no harvesting or road building is allowed. And then there are many owners that manage their forests somewhere in the middle of the spectrum. Combined, the region contains many different types of forest habitat which supports an array of wildlife species. Nearly 30 percent of the total area of 3.5 million acres is protected by Conservation Easements which protect various aspects of the forest. Over a dozen different easements are in place with most preventing or restricting development. The organization is also fortunate to have a Board of Directors and Administrative Committee members who are leaders in the area of business and natural resource management. Over the past 50 years, through their leadership, NMW now has well maintained checkpoint and campsite facilities, a staff of full-time professional managers and strong financial footing. In conjunction with the anniversary, NMW members are in the process of updating a comprehensive FiveYear Operational Plan to guide the program.

State Agency Cooperation Input and cooperation from Maine’s Natural Resource Agencies has been a priority for landowners since the organization was first established. Commissioners of Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife and Department of Conservation, Agriculture and Forestry have been included as members of the Board of Directors since the beginning, in an effort to ensure NMW policies are consistent with State policy. On a daily basis, NMW staff work in cooperation with Maine’s Game Wardens, Fisheries and Wildlife Biologists, Maine Forest Service Rangers and staff from Maine’s Bureau of Parks and Lands to keep visitors safe and protect the forest’s resources.

Members of the NMW Administrative Committee at a pre-Covid meeting. (Left to right) Jason Desjardin, Orion Timberlands; Chris Stone, The Nature Conservancy; Mike Jurgiewich, Wagner Forest Management; Hannah Stevens, Seven Islands Land Co.; Kevin McVey, Katahdin Forest Management; Kenny Ferguson, Huber Resources; Bart Plourde, Prentiss & Carlisle; Chris Huston, Irving Woodlands; Jim O’Malley, Landvest; Mike McLellan

Staffed Checkpoints Nine staffed checkpoints are located on the primary access roads surrounding the boundary of the NMW area. Checkpoint Receptionists register the name, address, destination and purpose for entering the region. Land Use Permits provide written permission to use the land. Information from all permits is computerized to generate detailed visitor use information, which is valuable to NMW and state agencies for planning purposes. Checkpoint staff also collects day use and camping fees which offset most costs for operations.

2019 photo of NMW seasonal staff who manage checkpoints and maintain campsites.

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Automated Checkpoints Beginning in 2005, access management changed with the introduction of an unstaffed automated checkpoint at Dickey which eliminated the need to have employees on site to manage traffic at that location. Through the use of satellite internet, video cameras and an electric remotely controlled gate arm, powered by solar energy with propane generator back-up, a new way of controlling access was pioneered. Since 2005, six more automated checkpoints have been installed, reducing annual operating costs which have helped to keep visitor fees reasonable. The process of registering visitors as they enter the region has kept theft, vandalism and forest fire dangers to a minimum, which is not the case for many forested tracts in our world. A check of forest access policies in other states and countries will show that very little private or public forest land is open and accessible to the general public for a very reasonable fee.

Campsites and Campsite Improvements NMW maintains over 350 authorized campsites spread throughout the woods from the north end of Moosehead Lake to Ashland, Fort Kent and west to the Quebec border. All campsites have fireplaces, picnic tables, outhouses and over 60 have picnic table shelters. Nine teams of employees working in six different geographical regions oversee campsite maintenance during the spring and summer. Once the grass stops growing in late summer, these crews switch gears and concentrate on campsite improvement and development projects. Over the last decade, many older outhouses and picnic table shelters have been replaced in an ongoing improvement effort to keep campsites facilities in good condition and comfortable for guests. There are also a number of designated, fire permit campsites in the western reaches which are primarily used by hunters during the fall months. That region is mostly devoid of lakes and ponds which attract fishermen and people just wanting to camp in the other seasons.

Picnic table shelters like this are constantly being worked on and improved in an effort to keep campsites facilities in good condition for visitors.

Visitor Activities Over the past 50 years, the NMW area has become a mecca for hunters with hunting related activity accounting for over 50 percent of annual use now. Pursuit of ruffed grouse, black bears and moose are bringing more hunters every year. A majority of the moose hunting permits issued by Maine’s Fish and Wildlife Department are for Wildlife Management Districts located within NMW. The area also is a favorite destination for fishermen looking to hook onto native fish from many of the remote lakes, ponds, streams and rivers. Many times, anglers can find themselves alone on many waters, in contrast to what takes place at popular fishing spots in other states. The region contains a substantial number of Heritage native brook trout waters. In addition to native brook trout, waters in the area are known to produce large lake trout, white fish and some very large muskellunge can be found in the St. John River watershed.

Hunting related activity accounts for over 50 percent of the annual use of NMW.

Guides, vehicle transporters and sporting camps For folks desiring more amenities than remote campsites provide, there are over two dozen sporting camps spread across the region. Amenities vary but usually include comfortable cabins, running water with flush toilets and showers and close proximity to good fishing or hunting opportunities. There are also a few businesses that specialize in transporting people and renting camping and canoeing equipment for people interested in Allagash or St. John River canoe trips. For others not wanting to plan their own hunts or trips, there are numerous guiding businesses in surrounding communities available to do that work. We require anyone that does business on the private properties to have a Commercial Use Permit with us, and we issued 118 permits last year. A listing of many of these various businesses can be found on the NMW website.

KI Jo-Mary Multiple Use Forest KI Jo-Mary Multiple Use Forest (KIJM) is also managed by North Maine Woods Inc. KIJM was formed in 1986 which makes 2021 the 35th Anniversary for this area. Landowners in this region approached NMW members to provide similar management for this tract, which is located between Millinocket, Brownville and Greenville. Management included the installation of four checkpoints on access roads entering the region as well as maintaining seventy campsites. Major destinations in this region include Gulf Hagas, White Cap mountain, Gauntlet Falls and Jo-Mary Lake. The Appalachian Trail bisects the land base. Primary activities for this region include hiking, fishing and camping. Today approximately 10 different landowners are represented on the KIJM Inc. Board of Directors. Those landowners are: AMC Maine Woods Initiative LLC, Cassidy Timberlands LLC, The Conservation Fund, North Woods Maine LLC, Pine State Timberlands LLC, Greentrees, Inc., Katahdin Forest Management LLC, McCrillis Timberland LLC, Prentiss & Carlisle Company Inc. and the Silver Ridge Land Company. The State of Maine and the National Park Service also own property within the region.

A stunning view of Billing Falls PHOTO BY MARK GRANT

A Busy 2021 We are looking forward to another busy year ahead so staff has been making preparations to accommodate visitors. Checkpoint receptionists are excited to see new and returning visitors come to the NMW. Campsite Crews will be making their rounds to make sure facilities are clean and attractive. If you are looking for more information, please check out our website at If you have a question, call us at 207-435-6213 or email us at

Administrative Staff: (left to right) Kelli Sturgeon, Checkpoint Manager; Al Cowperthwaite, Executive Director; Laura Sturgeon, Commercial Use Manager; Mike McLellan, Assistant Director; Sammi LaBelle, Office Manager.



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he Allagash Wilderness Waterway is the setting for one of America’s premier wilderness canoe trips, winding its way through the remote Maine North Woods, offering a 92-milelong lake and river system to explore and enjoy. The Waterway was established by the Maine State Legislature in 1966, and designated by the U.S. Department of the Interior in 1970 as the first state-administered component of the National Wild and Scenic River System. Its history dates back much further, however. The Allagash has been part of the traditional homelands of the Native American Wabanaki Confederacy dating back thousands of years. This

heritage is found in the names of its places, such as Musquacook Stream and Umsaskis Lake. In 1857, Henry David Thoreau famously visited the Allagash region guided by Joe Polis of the Penobscot Nation. They made camp on Pillsbury Island in Eagle Lake near what is now the Thoreau campsite. Today, the Allagash is visited each year by thousands of recreationists and sportspeople. The Allagash Wilderness Waterway Foundation was established in 2011 as a friends group working on resource conservation, interpretation and education, and youth engagement.

Allagash Explorer The Foundation recently published the pocket-sized “Allagash Explorer, A Take-Along Companion For Maine’s Wilderness Waterway.” Guided by a schematic map of the Waterway, users experience the Allagash through a series of stories that highlight the history, ecology, and forest industry innovation that make the Waterway so special a place to visit, be inspired by and learn from. Designed for use in all seasons, “Allagash Explorer” differs from other guides that offer paddling and camping tips, as well as from traditional narrative histories. Its intention is to provoke connections between the user and the abundant historic, cultural and natural resources of the waterway, and to encourage visitors to record their own thoughts and observations of the Waterway and its impact.

To purchase your own copy of “Allagash Explorer,” visit

Allagash Wilderness Waterway Foundation

Become a Friend of the Allagash

North Maine Woods 50th Anniversary The Friends of the Allagash offer thanks and congratulations to Al Cowperthwaite, executive director of the North Maine Woods, and his staff on this historic milestone.

You can join the mailing list and become a Friend of the Allagash to help support these efforts and add your name to a growing list of individuals who care about the Allagash Wilderness Waterway.

Visit or email for more information.


For more information about the legendary Allagash Wilderness Waterway and planning a trip, visit allagash.

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Tips For



or nature lovers, perhaps nothing is more enjoyable than packing up the camping gear, traveling to a favorite campsite and getting away from it all while sleeping under the stars. Such an experience can be transformative, turning first-time campers into lifelong enthusiasts. The opportunity to turn youngsters into nature enthusiasts who can’t wait to spend time outside may be one reason why so many families go camping. A 2018 report Kampgrounds of America found that 52 percent of campers have children, making camping among the most popular and family-friendly ways to enjoy the great outdoors. Camping with youngsters can help families make lasting memories. Parents who have never before taken their children camping may benefit from employing a few strategies to make the trip as fun as possible.

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Make a trial run in the backyard.

A night camping in the backyard won’t be exactly the same as a night in the woods, where wildlife, and particularly insects, may be less welcoming hosts. But a backyard camping night can acclimate children to their sleeping bags and their tents. A fun night sleeping under the stars in the backyard also may make kids more enthusiastic about an upcoming camping trip in the woods.

Go over safety early and often .

Use every opportunity to explain camping safety measures to youngsters in advance of your trip. Emphasize the importance of staying together in the woods, and teach youngsters how to identify potentially harmful plants like poison ivy, making sure they know to avoid coming into contact with these and other poisonous plants. Contact your local parks department, or the campground where you will be staying, for some additional advice on camping safety.

Let kids help when choosing camping equipment.

Youngsters may be more excited about camping if they’re allowed to choose certain equipment, including their sleeping bags and tents. Before visiting your


nearby camping retailer, explain to kids that tents come in various styles because they’re designed to protect campers from the elements, which can vary depending on where you’re camping. Such an explanation can make it easy to explain to youngsters why you’re purchasing certain items, even if those items weren’t kids’ top choices.

Plan the family menu in advance.

Plan the menu in advance so you can ensure everyone will continue to eat healthy. But make sure to include a few kid-friendly camping classics, like s’mores, in the meal plan as well.

Prepare a camping-friendly first-aid kit.

Bandages and topical antibiotic creams are part and parcel of any first-aid kit, regardless of where you’re going. But the elements pose a different set of challenges that require a more extensive first-aid kit. When designing a firstaid kit for your camping trip, be sure to include all the usual items but also over-the-counter medications that can treat pain, allergies, constipation, and diarrhea. An extra gallon or two of water also makes for a wise addition to campers’ first-aid kits.

Family camping trips can instill a lifelong love of the great outdoors in youngsters. A few simple strategies can help parents make such trips safe and memorable.



Spring 2021

EPIC SPORTS: Your Adventure Starts Here!



pic Sports has been a local, family-owned business since 1997. Located in the former W.T. Grants building in downtown Bangor, it welcomes all who are adventure seekers and adventurers at heart. Epic Sports considers itself a specialty outdoor and sporting goods store, with an emphasis on hiking, camping, running and seasonal equipment. The staff of Epic Sports are experts in their own right and most willing to share their own experiences. Our staff want to help you, our customer, have the best possible experience in your adventure — whether it’s a walk in the woods, a climb on Katahdin, or an adventure on another continent. Our job is to match equipment, apparel, and footwear with your trek. We carry wellknown brands such as The North Face, Mountain Hardwear, Patagonia & Prana. For your feet, Salomon, Oboz, and Vasque footwear. Gear brands include Osprey backpacks, Cascade Design, NRS, Fischer, and Tubbs. We also carry Thule and Yakima car rack systems to help carry your gear. We look forward to meeting you and appreciate you supporting the local downtown businesses in Bangor.

Find us at 6 Central St. in downtown Bangor, call (207) 941-5670, or visit for more information.