Parking on the ME Appalachian Trail

Section 2 - Nahmakanta Lake to West Branch of Pleasant River Displayed from North to South

Maintained by:
  Maine Appalachian Trail Club http://www.matc.org/ info @ matc.org Katahdin to Grafton Notch


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Mile
Marker
 
Hiker Rated
Parking Safety
Directions Comments Number of Vehicles Map   &  
Weather  
Source
0.0
Nahmakanta Lake Access Road
  Poor            Great




This is the same location as road access 40.8 in section 1. You use the same directions for the access using Jo Mary Lakes Road passing the Henderson Checkpoint (see 32.5 - Pollywog Stream). Continue past the checkpoint about 6 miles to the three way intersection. At this junction bear right and go about 1.5 miles to the second road on the right. Turn right and go about four miles to the bridge over Nahmakanta Stream. The trail crosses the road just before the bridge. Park on the right here.

I have not traversed this road beyond Henderson Checkpoint and these directions beyond that point were provided by Glenn Benkert, gbenkert @ fuse.net on notes he provided me with 11/07/02. The total distance from Millinocket is 45 miles and you should allow 1:30.

There also is directions on ME AT Map #2 for travel to this point from Greenville, ME coming from the west, however, I have never travelled this route and can not confirm conditions or driveability.
Northbound: It is a pleasant 8.3 mile hike of rolling terrain that the AT traverses and could be done as a nice hike to Pollywog Stream Bridge. The car shuttle is about 13 miles.

Note that this is the third of six access points that all use the JoMary Gate. I highly recommend JoMary Lake Campgound, which you pass on the road from JoMary Gate for all six access points as a base for accommodations for all dayhiking in this area & has trailer rentals on site, also hot showers, full bathrooms with hot water, canoe rentals, loons & an outstanding view of Mt. Katahdin across Upper JoMary Lake. I stayed here in Sept. 2003. Their website is http://www.campmaine.com/jo-mary/. 3/14/06
I have not been to this location so cannot verify parking accomodation at this location.
askus3 @ optonline.net
2/15/08 1
at @ rohland.org
Very hard to find/get to unless you have good directions. We did quite a bit of turning around before we figured it out. Our GPS had us on some very scary logging roads which were unpassable. Jo Mary road is a dual use road and there is a fee to use it (about 10.00/person). Good news is they had some good maps. 08/02/10
irvnmand @ hotmail.com
15.2
Jo-Mary Road
  Poor            Great



 
From Millinocket, travel south on ME 11 - 17 miles. Here you make a right turn onto JoMary Road and come to the JoMary Gate. From here on it is all private gravel logging roads (logging trucks have right of way and barrel down the road - use caution to avoid getting hit by logging trucks and moose) and a fee (per person) is charged to use them. In 6 miles you come to a fork with Johnston Pond Road (.4 mile after Jo Mary Lake Campground entrance on the right), take right fork continuing north on Jo-Mary Road about 7 miles. Allow 30 minutes for the drive from the JoMary Gate to the first AT crossing of this road 13 miles in. Northbound: Due to the poor condition of the roads and the great distances involved, I would from this point north not use the road access points between here and Abol Bridge. Instead there is quality accommodations at 32.5 - Pollywog Stream Bridge (Nahmakanta Lake Camp - .7 mile off the trail, if you can negotiate a one-night stand here) and 4.9 - on ME AT Map #2, labelled "old Mahar Tote Road" (Whitehouse Landing - .2 mile off the trail) these two locations will bring your weight carried down, so it is a manageable trip in either direction. The AT in this stretch is relatively easy to traverse (no major climbs) and it crosses a wilderness of spectacular beauty and solitude.

JoMary Lake Campground. I highly recommended this as a base for accommodations for all dayhiking in this area & had trailer rentals on site, also hot showers, full bathrooms with hot water, canoe rentals, loons & outstanding view of Mt. Katahdin across Upper JoMary Lake. You pass this CG en route to this access points. I stayed here in Sept. 2003. Their website is http://www.campmaine.com/jo-mary/. 3/14/06
3 Make sure you park well off the road as the lumber trucks barrel along this road. Also, yield to them when travelling along these gravel logging roads.
askus3 @ optonline.net
2/15/08 1
at @ rohland.org
22.1
Kokadjo-B Pond Road
  Poor            Great



 
ME AT Map #2 mentions that the 3rd road access point to the AT from JoMary Gate is this road close to Crawford Pond. This road connects into JoMary Road but I never used it and could not give you directions to this location. Again the best base for dayhiking in this area is JoMary Lake Campground, 6 miles in from ME 11 and the JoMary Gate. 3/14/06 I hiked past this road crossing but did not take note of parking availability.
askus3 @ optonline.net
2/15/08 1
at @ rohland.org
29.0
West Branch Pond Road
  Poor            Great



 
From Millinocket, travel south on ME 11 - 17 miles. Here you make a right turn onto JoMary Road and come to the JoMary Gate. From here on it is all private gravel logging roads (logging trucks have right of way and barrel down the road - use caution to avoid getting hit by logging trucks and moose) and a fee (per person) is charged to use them. In 6 miles you come to a fork with Johnston Pond Road (.4 mile after Jo Mary Lake Campground entrance on the right). In Sept. 2003, I drove to this AT road access using directions given to me by Darryl at the JoMary gate. He is the expert to talk to if you can about how to negotiate these logging roads. The ME AT Map #2 gives directions to this location from Greenville to the west, but I nevr approached from that direction and can not confirm them or the driveability of these roads.

From the Johnston Pond Road junction with JoMary Road, I documented these directions for future use in case Darryl is not around. Ask at the gate if this route is still navigable, but we did it with regular passenger cars.
0.0 Junction with JoMary Road - go straight uphill.
2.7 Turn left at snowplow (big plow shovel in the ground)- towards B Pond
3.4 JoMary Pond Campsite on left
4.0 junction on left to Gauntlet Pond, bear right
6.4 make left turn on West branch ponds Road - turn unmarked
7.6 junction on left, bear right (straight) - road narrows
8.7 junction on left, continue straight
10.3 junction on left, continue straight
14.4 AT crossing - not obvious and easy to miss.
     Continue past a curve to the left .3 miles beyond AT for place to park on right and then walk back.
From JoMary Gate allow 50 minutes for this 21 mile trip.
That is why I did not use the road access at 22.1 as the 13.8 mile hike southbound from JoMary Road to West Branch Pond Road took us 7 hours to traverse and the terrain was relatively level other than Little Boardman Mountain. 3/14/06 2
.3 miles west of AT crossing is very limited parking.

askus3 @ optonline.net
From Greenville.... Take the Lily Bay road towards Kokadjo, Maine Atlas page 41.
Just before Kokadjo, take a right on the Frenchtown Road.
Follow Frenchtown Road approx 10 miles to West Branch Pond Camps.
Reset odometer at the driveway for West Branch Pond Camps and proceed as follows.
0.2 miles continue straight ahead.
0.8 miles bear right.
1.1 miles cross bridge at 3rd West Branch Pond.
1.5 miles continue straight ahead, DON'T follow main road which bears right here. Rough road ahead to Slaughter Brook.
2.2 miles Cross Slaughter Brook
2.4 miles bear right
3.5 miles Reach gate. Be sure to park OUTSIDE the gate, even if it's opened. It DOES get locked daily. Walk 0.4 miles to the AT crossing.
4WD not necessary, but good ground clearance is needed for about a mile of rough road near Slaughter Brook. Be sure to park OUTSIDE the gate, even if it's opened. It DOES get locked daily. Room to park alongside road, just outside of the gate. Walk 0.4 miles to the AT crossing. Turning right on the AT will take you South to White Cap Mtn. If you make prior arrangements, you can enjoy dinner at West Branch Pond Camps. Must call well in advance though, they don't accept walk-ins. 03/05/12 1
Trailbum @ webtv.net
This road is apparently also called Logan Brook Road. The green arrow on the attached map indicates the trail crossing. Parking is very limited right there but reportedly there is parking further west on the road. 09/25/12 1
dlcul @ conncoll.edu
43.3
Katahdin Ironworks Road
  Poor            Great



 
From Millinocket, travel south on ME 11 - 28 miles (11 miles south from Jo Mary Road). Here you make a right turn onto Katahdin Ironworks Road (gravel) and come to the Katahdin Ironworks Gate in 7 miles. From here on it is all private gravel logging roads (logging trucks have right of way and barrel down the road - use caution to avoid getting hit by logging trucks and moose) and a fee (per person) is charged to use them.

This access point is good for the AT northbound to West Branch Ponds Road as well as a dayhike into the Gulf Hagas. This AT dayhike is a 14.5 mile AT section. It is hilly and strenuous. You climb over 3,654 foot White Cap Mountain which is the highest point between the Bigelows and Katahdin. The total elevation gain for this hike is 3,150 feet.

Allow from ME 11 to Gulf Hagas Parking lot on KI Road: 30 minutes for the 13 miles. For the entire car shuttle from West Branch Ponds Road, it is 1:45 to go 45 miles. Only the 11 miles on ME 11 are paved. Also, remember time will be consumed to stop at the lumber company gates to pay tolls.

Southbound: From KI Road, you have a required minimum 2-day, one night backpack.

The dayhike into the Gulf Hagas is worth the extra day excursion.

This is the last AT hike where I would use the JoMary Lake Campground as a base of accommodation. So a four night stay there for several days of hiking on the AT is recommended.
20
From the parking lot take a .2 mile blue spur trail to access the AT at the West Branch of the Pleasant River on the south bank. Do not park where the AT crosses KI Road as it is a blind curve and no parking is available.

askus3 @ optonline.net
2/15/08 1
at @ rohland.org

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