Nahmakanta, the State’s largest Public Reserve at more that 43,000 acres, offers backcountry visitors a roadless forest of more than 8,000 acres, a 12-mile stretch of the Appalachian Trail, lakeside and remote campsites, and 24 lakes and ponds with more than 50 miles of combined shore frontage.
In 1990, the Land for Maine’s Future program assisted in the purchase of nearly 28,000 acres, with an additional 1,820 acres protected by the National Park Service. Numerous streams and brooks run through the hilly terrain, most notably Pollywog Stream which courses through an impressive gorge along the Appalachian Trail. The Trail also crosses Nesuntabunt Mountain, which offers beautiful views of Nahmakanta Lake and Mt. Katahdin and harbors a significant old-growth forest. A popular snowmobile trail crosses the Reserve, linking Millinocket and Greenville. Remote ponds on the property include Wadleigh, Musquash, and Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, Seventh, and Eighth Debsconeag Ponds.
When this project was proposed to the Land for Maine’s Future program, as part of a package of projects totaling 37,000 acres, it represented the single largest land conservation purchase in Maine’s history at that time. The Nature Conservancy facilitated lengthy negotiations between the State, the National Park Service, and the two timber companies that held the land. The success of this public-private partnership helped to inspire other landscape-scale conservation projects
Maine Highlands – Piscataquis, Penobscot
Directions from nearest town
Maine Atlas and Gazetteer Map 42 A-1/2/3; Map 50 E-1/2/3. Travel from Kokadjo north on Sias Hill Road, turning right at the four-way intersection onto Second Roach Pond Road. Go 5 miles and turn left on the Penobscot Pond Road which enters the unit at its western boundary. Access is also available from the east off Route 11 via Church Pond Road, but visitors will be asked to pay a day use fee at the KI Jo-Mary checkpoint. Contact KI Jo-Mary at (207) 435-6213.