Katahdin Ironworks Checkpoint: 207-965-8135
Jo Mary Checkpoint: 207-723-8944
Hedgehog Checkpoint: 207-554-0464
Screw Auger Falls
The Gulf Hagas area is part of the Appalachian Trail corridor, which is federally owned and managed under the auspices of the National Park Service (NPS) and the Appalachian Trail Conference (ATC). Gulf Hagas is a primitive area and help for lost or injured hikers may be many hours and miles away. Inexperienced or ill-prepared hikers and families with young children should be cautious about tackling the Gulf Hagas Rim Trail, which is a difficult and often slippery hike. Consider stopping at the Hermitage, a beautiful old growth pine stand owned by the Nature Conservancy, or at Screw Auger Falls.
You can access Gulf Hagas from Hay Brook, where there is a small parking area. It is a short distance from the parking area to the West Branch of the Pleasant River. The river is about 150 feet wide at the trail crossing point. There is no bridge. In the summer; the current is usually mild and the water usually about knee deep (for an adult of average height). In the spring, and following heavy rains, the current is swifter and the water deeper. The Hermitage is about ½ mile from the parking lot. Screw Auger Falls is about a mile beyond the Hermitage. The trail is moderately difficult.
Before you hike the Gulf Hagas Rim Trail, you should have a trail map, which can be purchased at the checkpoints, or a USGS topo sheet, and a compass. Sturdy footwear (not sandals or sneakers) appropriate seasonal clothing and an adequate supply of food and water are strongly recommended. From Screw Auger Falls, the Gulf Hagas Rim Trail is about 3 miles to the junction with the old Pleasant River Tote Road. This section of trail is considered difficult and rocks can be quite slippery. From the junction of the Rim Trail and the Tote Road, it’s about 2 miles of moderately difficult hiking along the Tote Road back to Screw Auger Falls.
The Maine Appalachian Trail Club (MATC) is a volunteer organization, dedicated to managing, protecting and maintaining the 267 miles of the trail from Grafton Notch to Mt. Katahdin. These volunteer citizens work hard to maintain the trails and signs in Gulf Hagas. Signs and trail markers may seem like tempting souvenirs, but theft and vandalism are illegal and rude. It spoils the natural beauty of the area and can result in other hikers losing their way - a serious threat to their personal safety. Search and rescue efforts are costly for Maine taxpayers and dangerous for the searcher.
Please do not steal signs or cut down trees along the trail. You are responsible not only for your own safety, but for the safety of others; be considerate of those who follow.
Ki-Jo Mary General Knowledge
GASOLINE AND SUPPLIES
Gasoline is not available anywhere in the KI Jo-Mary Forest. It can be purchased in Greenville, Dover-Foxcroft, Milo, Brownville, Brownville Jct., and Millinocket. Remember to fill up before you enter the area. Auxiliary gasoline must be transported in fire safe containers.
Limited quantities of food and other supplies can be purchased at the Jo-Mary Campground. To be sure you have the quantity and selection of supplies you need, however, we recommend shopping before arrival. Most items, as well as public telephones and post offices are available in the surrounding communities mentioned above.
The spirit of friendship and cooperation is deep among outdoors people and most are willing to help, should you get into trouble. Always come prepared to be completely on your own, however, since help may be many miles away.
The KI Jo-Mary Forest checkpoints have radio and/or telephone contact with the outside world and each other. The staff is not specifically trained to provide Emergency Medical Services, but they can summon help during an emergency. Please remember: Checkpoints are not staffed during the late fall, winter, and early spring.
IN CASE OF FOREST FIRE:
- Do not panic.
- Contact the nearest checkpoint immediately. Landowner foresters or logging contractors can also help.
- Report the location of the fire, what is burning, and the approximate size of the fire. The time you first observed the fire and any other specific information you can provide are also extremely helpful.
- If the checkpoints are closed for the season, contact the Maine Forest Service directly or notify the nearest forester or logging contractor.
MAINE FOREST SERVICE;
24 Hour Emergency - 1-800-750-9777
Old Town 207-827-6191
Old Town 207-695-2223
PISCATAQUIS COUNTY EMERGENCY:
PENOBSCOT COUNTY EMERGENCY:
TRUCKS HAVE THE RIGHT OF WAY
Drive Slowly and Carefully
Watch for Trucks and Pull Over
WOODS ETIQUETTE & COMMON COURTESIES
Rules of the KI Jo-Mary Forest are few and straightforward. Your cooperation and good common sense will help keep them that way. Please observe the following guidelines, so all that visit here can enjoy the experience.
Visitors must log in and out on every visit
Drive slowly and carefully - this is not only for your safety, but will also save wear and tear on your vehicle.
TRUCKS and other heavy equipment HAVE THE RIGHT OF WAY. Always. - Watch for trucks and yield.
Whenever you stop, pull well off the road. Do not block side roads - even unused roads may be needed in case of fire or other emergency. Do not park within 150’ of bridges.
KI JO-MARY FOREST LANDOWNERS
- AMC Maine Woods Initiative LLC**
- Pine State Timberlands, LLC
- Cassidy Timberlands*
- Northwoods Maine LLC**
- Katahdin Iron Works Corporation
- Katahdin Forest Management, LLC
- McCrillis Timberland, LLC*
- Prentiss & Carlisle Company Inc.*
- The National Park Service
- Silver Ridge Land Company*
**Lands managed by Huber Resources Corp.
Ki-Jo Mary Campsites
Camping is allowed only in the more than 60 authorized campsites. The checkpoint receptionists will gladly assist you in choosing a location when you register. Fees will vary according to the number in your party and the length of your stay. A fire place, picnic table, and privy are located at each campsite. The sites are primitive and well spread out. You will find solitude, good fishing, good hunting, fresh air, clean water, good times, and many other outdoor activities if this is what appeals to you. There is no running water or electricity. Campsites are maintained weekly. We ask that you carry out the refuse you carry in. Occasionally a campsite may be discontinued. Such closure allows the natural environment to recover from the impacts of frequent and concentrated activity.
No party will be allowed to camp more than two weeks in one location. No trailer, tent, or other equipment is to be stored on any campsite. Items left unattended for more than three consecutive days may be removed at the expense of the owner. If primitive camping is not appealing to you, you may stay at one of the sporting camps in the KI Jo-Mary Multiple Use Forest. Campsite reservations are not required, but recommended for Friday and Saturday nights. Requests should be made at least one month in advance. For the areas served by the KI and Hedgehog checkpoints, call the KI checkpoint at 207-965-8135. For areas served by the Jo-Mary and Henderson Brook checkpoints, call the Jo-Mary checkpoint at 207-723-8944.
FIREWOOD - CAMPFIRES
You are welcome to use dead and down wood for your fire at an authorized location. Extreme caution is always the rule. Remember a small fire is best for cooking and a DEAD fire is best when unattended. All outside fires must be within the steel fire rings provided at the authorized campsites. Building your own rock fireplaces is not permitted. By Maine law, it is illegal and punishable by a $50.00 fine to have an unauthorized cooking or warming fire, or for leaving any fire unattended.
FISH AND WILDLIFE INQUIRIES
All fish and wildlife inquiries for regulations or licenses can be directed to the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, 284 State Street, Augusta, Maine 04333. Regional offices are also located in Greenville 207 695-3756 and Bangor 207 941-4440.
Ki-Jo Mary Regulations
The rules and regulations of the KI Jo-Mary Multiple Use Forest are few and simple. Your cooperation and good common sense will help us keep them that way.
- Every visitor must log in and out at one of the checkpoints on each visit.
- Drive slowly and carefully. Watch for trucks and pull over. TRUCKS HAVE THE RIGHT OF WAY.
- Be careful with fire. Build fires only in the authorized fire rings provided.
- Camp only at the area reserved for you.
- Whenever you stop, pull as far off the road as you can conveniently. Do not block side roads; even unused roads many be needed in case of fire or other emergency.
- Do not leave trash at your campsite or along the roads and waters. Please carry your trash out.
TRAILERS AND MOBILE HOMES
No mobile homes are allowed to be use by recreational visitors. Only single vehicles less than 28 feet in length or combined vehicle and trailer less than 44 feet in length will be allowed entrance. Large recreational trailers may be required to travel at certain low traffic hours through any KI Jo-Mary Multiple Use Forest Checkpoint if so requested by the checkpoint receptionist.
FOUR WHEEL DRIVE VEHICLES
Four wheel drive vehicles are permitted in the KI Jo-Mary Multiple Use Forest as along as they do not travel through the woods but stay on the roads and old rights of way.
BICYCLES, MOTORCYCLES, TRAIL BIKES,
ALL-TERRAIN VEHICLES AND HORSES
No bicycles, motorcycles, trail bikes, all-terrain vehicles or horses of any type are allowed at any time of the year in the KI Jo-Mary Multiple Use Forest area. This is necessary for logging road safety and to avoid fire hazards in hard to reach locations.
WASTE REDUCTION AND CAMPERS
Forethought and a little preparation are key elements to a successful and enjoyable camping experience. This holds equally true for your trash as it does for your camping equipment and supplies.
Maine is facing a solid waste crisis that does not exclude the KI Jo-Mary Multiple forest. The problems of waste disposal persist even as we are on vacation. As a result, visitors are urged to reduce the amount of waste brought into the area.
The following waste reduction tips can be used while camping and at home. Part of waste reduction is the assurance that we as individuals and families are working toward a cleaner and safer environment to live and camp in.
WASTE REDUCTION TIPS FOR CAMPERS
- Avoid individually packaged items such as cheese “singles”, individually packaged hamburger patties, juice boxes, fruit and pudding packets…
- Purchase powdered soft drinks so that cans, bottles and foil lined boxes aren’t used.
- Purchase foods in bulk to eliminate redundant packaging.
- Avoid disposable items such as razors, lighters, flashlight, “glow rods”, butane cylinders, sterno cans, pop in the bag popcorn…
- Use long lasting and reusable items such a ceramic, metal, or rigid plastic mugs, bowls, and cutlery, liquid fuel stoves and lanterns…
- If you need plastic to keep clothes and books dry, use durable plastic that can be used again and again.
- Plastic film canisters are great for carrying salt, pepper, cinnamon, matches, lens paper…
- Purchase bottles and cans that are redeemable and be sure to redeem them.
- Wax paper can be used instead of plastic wrap to store food items. Unlike plastic, wax paper burns cleanly.
- Cheesecloth soaked in paraffin can be used to protect foods such as cheese. (It also makes a good fire starter and burns cleanly.).
- Butane cylinders are dangerous wastes to handle because they are bulky and explosive. Use liquid fuel stoves and lanterns.
THIS IS A “CARRY-IN, CARRY-OUT” FACILITYTIPS ON KEEPING YOUR TRASH BAG CLEAN
North Maine woods has a “carry-in, carry-out” policy for solid waste. Certain steps on your part will help keep your trash bag clean and odor free.
- Keep cans and jars clean.
- Crush cans so they take up less space.
- Food waste should be kept separate from other wastes to reduce odors.
A messy and smelly trash bag attracts animals. Keep yourself and your equipment safe by keeping animals away.
A NOTE ON BURNING WASTES
Some materials burn nicely such as paper egg cartons, paper bags, and most other paper or wood products.
Some materials burn incompletely in a campfire. Temperatures in a campfire are not hot enough for complete combustion of plastics - especially styrofoam. Please, pack these materials out with you when you leave.
Some materials don’t burn at all in a campfire. Glass, aluminum, tin, batteries, and food stuff just don’t burn in a campfire. Employees are forced to clean out fire rings of these unburned residues before other patrons arrive. Definitely, pack these materials out when you leave.
This is what makes sense today. Most everyone is doing it. Please join in. By Maine law there is a maximum fine of $100. for littering.