Northeast Somerset, Maine
THE BALD MOUNTAIN POND area offers a glimpse into what Maine’s forests were like more than a century ago. Only conifers and fingers of rock surround its pristine, glacier-hewn shoreline, where AT thru-hikers bunk at a leanto hidden in the pines on the north end. Arctic char—a species that once thrived in most of Maine’s lakes—still swims here, and the endangered Canada lynx roams the woods. That’s why the National Park Trust and the Trust for Public Land are campaigning to buy roughly 1,500 acres of land around the pond from a private timber company. The purchase would preserve a parcel of never-logged, old-growth forest and provide public access to previously off-limits Ossie Pond and its population of wild brookies.
Most lakes this big long ago attracted scores of cottages and towns, but Bald Mountain Pond is still, surprisingly, scarcely touched—and impressively grand. Discover what makes this lake worth preserving by launching a canoe from the informal ramp on the pool’s southern edge. Paddle 2 miles north beneath the shadow of Bald Mountain’s lumpy ridge, which stands more than 1,500 feet above the water. Take out at the Moxie Bald Lean-to (near 45.2707, -69.7453), which sits just back of the water in a miniature bay on the lake’s northwest end. Claim space for your sleeping bag, then head out on foot: Hike 2 miles southbound on the Appalachian Trail to 2,630-foot Moxie Bald for a feast of blueberries (fruiting in August) and views over Moxie, Baker, Austin, and Bald Mountain Ponds. Tack on the .8-mile (one way) side trip to North Peak for views of Katahdin’s gray ramparts (looking northeast) and the Bigelow Range (west) before returning to Bald Mountain Pond for the loons’ evening serenade.
TRAILHEAD Bald Mountain Pond Boat Launch (45.2422, -69.7311) SEASON May to November PERMIT None CONTACT matc.org
Score this view of Moxie Pond from Moxie Bald.