Nahmakanta Public Reserved Land
With roughly 43,000 acres, Nahmakanta Public Reserved Land is the largest in Maine. Located in the Katahdin Region, this vast wilderness area includes a 12-mile-long stretch of the Appalachian Trail as it winds along the southern and westerly perimeter of Nahmakanta Lake.
The reserved land includes two dozen lakes and ponds, meaning plenty of secluded swimming holes and fishing spots. A handful of primitive campsites are situated on the eastern and western shores of Nahmakanta Lake and at its southern tip, as well as at the smaller Wadleigh and Pollywog Ponds. Some are vehicle-accessible, while others require you to paddle in—perfect for canoers and kayakers seeking complete solitude.
Not everyone explores the region by paddling or trekking in though. Nahmakanta Public Reserved Land is popular with those seeking both Maine ATV trails and snowmobiling routes, too. ATV use is allowed on the land’s extensive shared-use roads, which run from Pollywog West in the north to Turtle Ridge in the south, intersected by several roads running for some miles east-west in each direction.
Home to an extensive old-growth forest, Nesuntabunt Mountain affords beautiful views of Nahmakanta Lake below it and Mt. Katahdin. The trails up Turtle Ridge—less than five miles from either trailhead—reward hikers with glorious views of Mt. Katahdin and the surrounding wilderness. If you’re a more experienced hiker, consider exploring the pristine wilderness of the road-free Debsconeag backcountry.