MILLINOCKET, Maine — The Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument turns three years old on Saturday.
"Henry David Thoreau was right there in 1857," muses Superintendent Tim Hudson.
"The Monument," as it is known in the region, fights the same challenges as other National Park Services properties. The Service wants people to visit -- but not too many.
Last year, about 18,000 visitors came to the site. This year, the park is experiencing a five percent increase, which means 19,000 visitors are expected before the year is through.
"We have a three-year plan for the management process. We're having public meetings. We're starting to look at management zones, with a lot of public input," said Hudson, while noting that a thousand people have attended the series of meetings.
There is one overriding comment from the public.
"They would like to be able to find it easier," Hudson said.
The signs, which will point the way from I-95 in Medway, Sherman and Island Falls, have arrived. The contracts require them to be put in by November. Hudson hopes that the contractors will begin the work "any day."
The 17-mile Park Loop Road is an easy way for someone to take a look at "The Monument." It is accessible in the family sedan and offers views of Mt. Katahdin in adjacent Baxter State Park.