Location: Chain of Ponds Township, Franklin County
Description: The Chain of Ponds is a unit of Maine’s Bureau of Parks and Lands featuring some lakeside primitive campgrounds. It consists of Natanis, Long, Bag, and Lower ponds, joined by narrow necks that form the chain.
Activities: Camping, canoeing, wildlife viewing, birding, photography, fishing
Favorite Season(s) to Visit: Spring, summer, fall
Why It’s Special: Benedict Arnold passed this way on his March to Quebec with a thousand Colonial troops in 1775. Even if you’re not a history geek, you’ll like the Chain of Ponds as a beautiful, quiet spot to paddle, with great views of the surrounding mountains.
Tips: You can stop by the Bureau of Public Lands office on Main Street in Farmington to get specific info on the campsites (and find out if the receptionist thinks there are any open sites that weekend). There’s a private campground at the far western end of ponds, past the BPL sites, if all else fails: http://www.natanispointcampground.com
More info and directions: Follow Route 27 north past Stratton and Eustis. Once in Chain of Ponds Township, look for the brown and yellow BPL signs. There are two pretty rough dirt roads that lead down to two separate sets of campsites.