Hiking in Maine: Preserving the exceptional views is part of the vision – pressherald.com

Moxie Bald Mountain rises to 2,630 feet in the wild country of Bald Mountain Township in Somerset County, the highest point along the Appalachian Trail between the Kennebec River and Monson. Burned mostly bare by forest fires over the years, Moxie Bald’s extensive open granite ledges reward hikers with extraordinary views in every direction.

A small trail sign and the metal footings of the old 1919 fire lookout tower mark the top of Moxie Bald. The tower, one of 144 that once stood guard over Maine’s forests, was removed in 1994. From this vantage point – across the blue waters of Moxie Pond – Pleasant Pond Mountain and Mosquito Mountain stand tall, as does Moxie Mountain southwest of the pond.

A mile and a half to the north via the AT and a blue-blazed side trail is the 2,350-foot north peak of Moxie Bald Mountain, a lightly visited gem that features even more open bedrock terrain. You’re likely to have the place to yourself while you enjoy the view that ranges from the High Peaks Region and the Canadian border around Jackman to Moosehead Lake and across the 100-Mile Wilderness to Katahdin.

Pristine Bald Mountain Pond as viewed from the Appalachian Trail leanto site on the north shore. Photo by Carey Kish

To the east of sprawling Moxie Bald Mountain is Bald Mountain Pond, a pristine 1,200-acre expanse that has, incredibly, remained undeveloped over time except for just two leased camps. Popular with anglers for its trout fishery, hikers on the AT have enjoyed the place too, camping at the log lean-to on the pond’s north shore.

The Maine Appalachian Trail Land Trust, among others in the conservation community, has long considered Bald Mountain Pond as the highest priority conservation project along the entire 282-mile Maine AT corridor. The MATLT’s mission is to acquire and protect land around the AT, and over the last 20 years, the group has worked to buffer the AT with thousands of critical acres on Mount Abraham, Saddleback, White Cap, the Crockers and Mount Redington, so it’s little wonder that the Moxie Bald area was in their sights.

“Moxie Bald and Bald Mountain Pond, it’s the whole package, undeveloped and unspoiled,” said Simon Rucker, MATLT’s executive director. “You’ve …….

Source: https://www.pressherald.com/2021/10/03/hiking-in-maine-preserving-the-exceptional-views-is-part-of-the-vision/

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