Ap­palachian Trail

North­east Som­er­set, Maine

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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.

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