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. For more on the story, go to IAT Maine website.