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Franklin County Nature Preserves

Bald Mountain Public Reserved Land, Rangeley. Bald Mountain’s one mile trail to the summit offers panoramic views of Rangeley, Cupsuptic and Mooselookmeguntic lakes and the Height of Land. Especially popular in the fall with autumn colors, the area contains more than 200 species of wildlife in its 1,873 acres. A short trail leads to the bald summit ledges.

Pond in Bigelow Preserve (2003)

Pond in Bigelow Preserve (2003)

Bigelow Preserve Public Reserved Land. Located just east of the village of Stratton about 40 miles north of Farmington, it includes over 36,000 acres of public land. The preserve encompasses the entire Bigelow Range, which includes seven summits. The highest of these at 4,150 feet is West Peak, one of only 10 Maine summits over 4,000 feet in elevation. Bounded on the north by 20,000-acre Flagstaff Lake, the preserve offers many opportunities for outdoor recreation, including hiking the Appalachian Trail. Access is gained over gravel roads off Route 27 in Carrabassett Valley, and by the Long Falls Dam Road from North New Portland.

Chain of Ponds in a 1932 Map

Chain of Ponds Public Preserved Land, Chain of Ponds Township (T2 R6 WBKP). This area borders Natanis Pond and Long Pond, both once named Chain Lakes. Maine Route 27, also known as the Arnold Trail, follows the eastern border of the ponds to the Province of Quebec just a few miles west.

Eddy Pond from the AT

Eddy Pond from the AT

Four Ponds Public Reserved Land, in Sandy River Plantation and Township E, lies just east of Mooselookmeguntic Lake. The Appalachian Trail traverses the length of this 6,000-acre unit with a lean-to at Sabbath Day Pond and a campsite at Little Swift River Pond. Fishing and swimming are popular activities. Winter visitors pass through on snowmobiles on their way from Rangeley to Weld. Access is by the Appalachian Trail off Route 17 in Township D or Route 4 in Sandy River.

Hunter Cove, Rangeley. Three miles of trails through cedar swamp, spruce-fir forest, mature poplars, field-grown white pines, and alder thickets on the shores of Rangeley Lake’s Hunter Cove. The sanctuary is part of the state game preserve and is maintained by Maine Audubon.

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This entry was last modified: February 15, 2014 10:50 PM

One Response to Franklin County Nature Preserves

  1. Lincoln Cory says:

    The AT is close. My brother Bart and I have hiked a good part of it in Maine. The
    trail was well marked and the food was what we could find. Dinner always good.

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