SUBSCRIBE | NEWSLETTERS | MAPS | VIDEOS | BLOGS | MARKETPLACE | CONTESTS
TRY BACKPACKER FREE!
SUBSCRIBE NOW and get
2 Free Issues and 3 Free Gifts!
Full Name:
Address 1:
Address 2:
City:
State:
Zip Code:
Email: (required)
If I like it and decide to continue, I'll pay just $12.00, and receive a full one-year subscription (9 issues in all), a 73% savings off the newsstand price! If for any reason I decide not to continue, I'll write "cancel" on the invoice and owe nothing.
Your subscription includes 3 FREE downloadable booklets.
Or click here to pay now and get 2 extra issues
Offer valid in US only.

Also on Backpacker.com


Enter Zip Code

Backpacker Magazine – September 2011

Rip & Go: Debsconeag Loop - Maine Public Reserved Lands, Nahmakanta Unit, ME

Cross the northeast's wildest moose country beneath fall's fiery canopy.

by: Christopher Keene

Nahmakanta Lake (Photo by Tim Seaver)
Nahmakanta Lake (Photo by Tim Seaver)
Luminous moss (Photo by iStock)
Luminous moss (Photo by iStock)

Take it With You
Download a printable PDF of this entire weekend.

GPS-Enabled Trip Report
See this trip on a map, download it to your phone, GPS, or computer, and more.

Do it
Some of Maine’s best-kept wilderness secrets are lost in translation. Literally. Take this 18.5-mile loop in the Debsconeag (deb-SCON-egg) region to Nahmakanta Lake. In the Abenaki tribe’s language: Hike from “ponds at the high place” to “plenty of fish” lake. Pack a rod, hit the Fourth Debsconeag trailhead (1), and head down a jeep trail. Bear left at the fork and north onto the blue-blazed Debsconeag Trail (2). Follow it 1.4 miles over three easy stream crossings to Stink Pond (3). As you climb above the pungent aroma, look southwest to 2,524-foot Farrar’s twin peaks, and south for 2,905-foot Jo-Mary Mountain’s rounded top. Dip into a creek-filled gap, then rise to views of Nesuntabunt (translation: “three heads”) Mountain and marshy Seventh Debsconeag Pond. Turn south at mile 4.6 and camp near the shoreline (4).

Next day, continue to Sixth Debsconeag Pond, turn west at the junction and head downhill .7 mile to Nahmakanta Lake (5). Cruise the shoreline for 1.3 miles (stopping to cast for landlocked salmon) with views of 1,560-foot Nesuntabunt’s slope ablaze with fall foliage in early September. Turn west on the West Trail (6) at mile 8.5, and continue .7 mile (with a shallow ford of 15-foot wide Rainbow Stream) to a jeep road. Go west for .4 mile to a bridge over Pollywog Stream (7) and turn right on the Appalachian Trail.

At mile 10.6, take the 150-foot side trail (8) to view 100-foot-deep, 300-foot-wide Pollywog Gorge. Horseshoe around Crescent Pond (9), cross a road at mile 12, and reach views of 3.5-mile-long Nahmakanta. Climb through old-growth red spruce and white pine to a minor summit on Nesuntabunt (10), where a 75-yard side trail leads to a view of Katahdin and the last stretch of the AT 15 miles away. Start downhill and reach the wave-lapped beach (11) in 3.8 miles. Camp or continue to a dirt road (12), turn northeast, cross Nahmakanta Stream, and close the loop’s final .9 mile.


Trip Planner

Get there
From Greenville, take Lily Bay Rd./Main St. north 18 miles to Kokadjo Trading Post. When the pavement ends, bear left at the fork and zero your odometer. Turn right at 1.8 miles. Turn left at miles 6.6, 14, and 18.4. Turn right at 19.3; park at 24.3 miles.
 
Gear up Northwoods Outfitters, 5 Lily Bay Rd., Greenville. (866) 223-1380; maineoutfitter.com
 
Maps USGS quads Nahmakanta Stream, Rainbow Lake East, Rainbow Lake West, Wadleigh Mountain ($8, store.usgs.gov)
 
 
WEB EXTRA - LAYER LIKE A PRO Dress right with our video primer at backpacker.com/layering.




Subscribe to Backpacker magazine
Sign up for our free weekly e-newsletter
Name:
Address 1:
Address 2:
City:
State:
Zip:
Email (req):

Reader Rating: -

ADD A COMMENT

Your rating:
Your Name:

Comment:

My Profile Join Now

Most recent threads

The Political Arena
Am I missing something here?
Posted On: Apr 17, 2014
Submitted By: Ecocentric
Trailhead Register
This is my 1000th post
Posted On: Apr 17, 2014
Submitted By: bigsilk
Go
View all Gear
Find a retailer

Special sections - Expert handbooks for key trails, techniques and gear

Check out Montana in Warren Miller's Ticket to Ride
Warren Miller athletes charge hard and reflect on Big Sky country, their love for this space and the immense energy allotted to the people who reside in Montana.

Boost Your Apps
Add powerful tools and exclusive maps to your BACKPACKER apps through our partnership with Trimble Outdoors.

Carry the Best Maps
With BACKPACKER PRO Maps, get life-list destinations and local trips on adventure-ready waterproof myTopo paper.

FREE Rocky Mountain Trip Planner
Sign up for a free Rocky Mountain National Park trip planning kit from our sister site MyRockyMountainPark.com.

Follow BackpackerMag on Twitter Follow Backpacker on Facebook
Get 2 FREE Trial Issues and 3 FREE GIFTS
Survival Skills 101 • Eat Better
The Best Trails in America
YES! Please send me my FREE trial issues of Backpacker
and my 3 FREE downloadable booklets.
Full Name:
City:
Address 1:
Zip Code:
State:
Address 2:
Email (required):
Free trial offer valid for US subscribers only. Canadian subscriptions | International subscriptions