We welcomed the Northeast’s most pristine watershed to the national park system last August with itchy feet. Now go see what the fuss is about. Hint: old-growth forests, craggy peaks, hidden waterfalls, and A-list wildlife.
What is now a national monument was until last fall Lucas St. Clair’s backyard.
“I spent my childhood canoeing, hunting, and fishing here,” says the lifelong Mainer. His mother, Burt’s Bee’s founder Roxanne Quimby, donated it to the federal government last year. In 2011, St. Clair took responsibility for the campaign to turn it into a park and spent his days showing it to congresspeople, National Park Service reps, school groups, and more. In the process, he’s hiked, skied, and biked every inch of the park’s 150 miles of trail “and then some.”
Waterfalls are a major part of Katahdin Woods and Waters, and according to St. Clair, the best is Orin Falls on the remote Wassataquoik (“wass-ata-cook”) Stream. Take the only trail from Loop Road (between mile markers 15 and 16) and follow it 3 miles to the series of small drops and pools. Scout an established campsite along the riverbank because you’ll want to linger: “I’ve walked a…