Great kids’ Maine North Woods hiking guide

Hope Rowan really knows Maine’s north woods. And I have to thank her for writing a hiking guide to the Katahdin region for kids. The book, Ten Days in the North Woods, published by Islandport Press, includes stunning photos that will, for sure, send you to that region for an outdoor adventure.

Hope focuses on three areas, Baxter State Park, Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument, and Debsconeag Lakes Wilderness Area. I have spent time in all three places and can tell you they are spectacular.

We have had a camp on Nesowadnehunk Lake on the edge of Baxter Park for more than 30 years. We hiked and fished all over the park, and I have photos of our kids on the top of many of Baxter’s Mountains. We spent most of our time in the northern section of the park, because it is much less crowded.

And I enjoyed fishing on the East branch of the Penobscot River which runs through the National Monument, long before it became a national monument. That river is spectacular with lots of rock formations.

Hope uses a fictional 13-year-old girl, Hattie, to describe 10 great hikes and other vacation experiences including camping, swimming, and nature watching. The book includes a lot of information including maps and even illustrations of some of the plants and animals you might see.

She also gives you resources for lodging, recreation, supplies, and even some ideas for what to do if it’s raining.

I encourage you to buy this book for your children or grandchildren and then get up to one of these spectacular places with them.

George Smith

About George Smith

George stepped down at the end of 2010 after 18 years as the executive director of the Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine to write full time. He writes a weekly editorial page column in the Kennebec Journal and Waterville Morning Sentinel, a weekly travel column in those same newspapers (with his wife Linda), monthly columns in The Maine Sportsman magazine, two outdoor news blogs (one on his website,, and one on the website of the Bangor Daily News), and special columns for many publications and newsletters. Islandport Press published a book of George's favorite columns, "A Life Lived Outdoors" in 2014. In 2014, George also won a Maine Press Association award for writing the state's bet sports blog. In 2016, Down East Books published George's book, Maine Sporting Camps, and Islandport Press published George and his wife Linda's travel book, Take It From ME, about their favorite Maine inns and restaurants.