The Katahdin Iron Works operated from 1843 to 1890 during which nearly 2,000 tons of iron were produced each year. Though the location was remote, it was ideal due to its readily available iron ore, fuel wood and water power. KIW was Maine’s only nineteenth century iron works operation. Still standing today are remnants of this operation including a restored blast furnace and a beehive-shaped charcoal kiln originally built in 1843. For more information on the history of KIW, as well as the iron-making process, check out this great informational brochure put together by the Maine Department of Conservation, Bureau of Parks and Lands.
Katahdin Iron Works is also the home of the ever-popular “Gulf Hagas” hike. KIW supports more than 55 miles of recreational trails open for hiking, snowshoeing and cross-country skiing, as well as 17.5 miles of groomed snowmobile trails. While on these trails, enjoy the beauty of waterfalls and nature including Gulf Hagas, itself, a 3.5 mile gorge through slate bedrock. Gulf Hagas is a National Natural Landmark and part of the Appalachian Trail. Visit www.northmainewoods.org for more information.