Maine’s 100-Mile Wilderness is northernmost portion of the Appalachian Trail and often considered one of the most rugged and remote regions along the hike. The vast area is home to hundreds of ponds, lakes, and mountain views to enjoy. You could spend a lifetime exploring it and probably never experience everything there is to see, but here are a few adventures to be had.
Hike the Appalachian Trail
Obviously, the many of the people who venture into the 100-Mile Wilderness are hikers beginning or ending their attempt at the famed Appalachian Trail. As arguably the most inaccessible portion of the AT it’s also where many hikers choose to opt out before finishing. The 100-Mile Wilderness itself is officially a Trail corridor that is 1000 feet wide and surrounded by seemingly endless forest. Along the hike you’ll pass a tremendous array of trees, wildlife, mountain scenery and lakes. If you can hack, it’s one of the most rewarding hiking experiences in the country.
SUP Allagash Lake
Allagash Lake resides in the North Maine Woods section of the Wilderness and spans 4,210 acres. The overlooking Allagash Mountain provides a great scenic backdrop as you paddle your way across the Alagash Steam into the main body of the waterway. The lake is restricted to non-motorized watercraft, so paddleboarding is fair game. It also offers an abundance of native brook trout and togue for anyone wanting to stop and fish. The deepest point of the lake is 85 feet deep and contains fascinating sides for anyone willing to dive down deep, but the waters remain fairly brisk all throughout the year.
Kayak Penobscot River
The Penobscot River runs inside of and along Maine’s 100-Mile Wilderness. It provides ample opportunity for exploration on a kayak. The waters here range from rapid to extremely calm, so depending on your level of experience you’re bound to find a patch of water right for you. The views of Mt. Katahdin in the distance alone are enough to make the effort worthwhile. Most of the Penobscot River that falls within the Wilderness is the western branch, a popular destination for hikers and water lovers alike. You might have to contend with swimmers and paddlers, depending on the time of year.
Climb the Peaks
There are at least seven named mountain ranges tucked inside the 100-Mile Wilderness. Choosing to climb any one of them offers spectacular views. The grandest mountain of them all is the aforementioned Mt. Katahdin, located at the very end of the Appalachian Trail. With a 4,000-feet gain in elevation it can take up to 12 hours to complete, depending on your skill level. Expect to encounter lots of scrambling and switchbacks before reaching Baxter Peak, the tallest of Katahdin’s five peaks.
Bike the New Maine Trails
The Appalachian Mountain Trail Club has been hard at work over the last few years adding dozens of trails across 75,000 acres in the 100-Mile Wilderness. Their efforts have not gone unnoticed by the biking community. They’ve already established 80 miles of incredible mountain biking trails, featuring fast-moving single-track and fantastic downhill descents. With plans to add an additional 160 miles over the next few years, the biking opportunities are only going to get better. Get in now before it becomes too packed!