Katahdin Iron Works

Are you looking for a fun day of exploring in the Moosehead Lake Region?

Then head on over to the Katahdin Iron Works site.


The Katahdin Iron Works operated from 1845 to about 1890 in this very remote location of Maine, that wasn’t so remote back then.

The community of Silver Lake was reached by a railroad and the site had a 100-room hotel. Imagine that.

It was touted as, “Absolutely the healthiest spot in Maine,” where hay fever was unknown.

The ironworks made high quality iron for railroad cars and the U.S. Navy thanks to a large supply or ore nearby.

Today only a skeleton of one blast furnace and a charcoal kiln survive.

But that’s just fine to get the perspective of what the site must have been like back in the late 1800s.

The area would have been teaming with horses, oxen, people, and the sounds of the blast furnaces.

I sat on a rock and listened to the river flowing by, the quiet and the singing of the birds was only interrupted by a double logging truck that barreled across the wooden bridge.

When you go, be sure to take time for the scenery. Stop and hike; pack a picnic and eat along the many spots to pull off.

If the proprietor of the Silver Lake Hotel were around today he’d probably still tell you it’s still, “Absolutely the healthiest spot in Maine.”

It is pretty and I certainly felt better after spending a day in the woods.

The K.I.W. road is an active logging road. Slow down and move over for the trucks.


Gate on the Greenville side of the Katahdin Iron Works Road. Stop and pay the toll.

For more info and how to reach the KIW site see this link from the Maine Park Site:



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Books by Tommy Carbone:

  • The Lobster Lake Bandits – Mystery at Moosehead
  • Growing up Greenpoint – A Kid’s Life in 1970s Brooklyn

Available wherever books are sold.

In Maine, ask for my books at Sherman’s – Maine Coast Book Shops – PortlandBar HarborCamdenDamariscottaBoothbay HarborFreeportBar Harbor



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