Black Mountain Road
Franklin, ME 04634
About Tunk Lake
This beautiful, 2000 hectare natural lake is wild, unspoilt and accessible to all visitors. Tunk Lake is considered the third deepest lake in the state and is exceptionally clear in its landscape. Nothing says "natural" like a lake with a depth of more than 1,000 meters and a surface of 1.5 million square feet.
Tunk Lake is seven miles from the nearest village, and only a few dozen private cottages share a 10-mile wooded coastline. The value of this natural resource is known for its natural beauty and is recognized throughout the lake. State Route 182 is one of the most scenic roads in Maine with a scenic view of Lake Tunk and its surroundings.
I had a long time here in a spacious cottage called Wickyup, and my descendants now own the "Wicky up II," which was built as a replacement for the original cottage that had burned down.
This is the kind of lake where people jealously guard their piece of paradise and protect it from damage from overdevelopment. Almost the entire shore of the lake is now public land, with the status of nature conservation.
This property is almost impossible to acquire here and will probably last for a long time, but it is worth a visit nonetheless.
Only a few property owners live at Tunk Lake, who occasionally rent out their vacation homes to happy vacationers on a weekly basis. The lake is rarely crowded and often rocky, but when the wind suddenly blows strongly, canoes and kayaks glide across the lake, keeping the waves from sinking to the shore.
This remote, primitive campsite is located on the Partridge Peninsula at the southern end of the lake and is accessible from the water. Tunk Lake is also located in the northern part of Maine, north of the desert island of Mount Desert Island. The summit is a popular destination for mountaineers, hikers and mountain bikers as well as hikers and kayakers.
The boat ramp is abbreviated for many who arrive in small motorboats with fishermen. Jet skis are allowed on the lake to keep the water calm and serene, to breed pigeons and waterfowl.
The clarity of the water makes snorkeling on Tunk Lake particularly rewarding, and because the water is so transparent, the bottom is often much deeper than it appears. The coast is mostly rocky, although surprising sandy beaches appear irregular along the coast. There is a public beach near Donnell Pond, but many stay surprisingly wet after the first wading. A few hardy ones are always ready to slip into the cold, inviting water.
The current drain from the boat ramp leads a short way to Spring River Lake, which is watered by the few inland salmon that can spawn in the lake and the many lake trout that breed here. Each year, salmon are delivered to Maine by the Department of Fish and Wildlife, the agency that also maintains the boat ramp.
This catch is introduced to protect the stock of sea trout and to allow them to spawn when they are mature. Lake trout naturally reproduce in cold water and are accompanied by a large number of other fish species, such as Valais, perch and other fish species. Ice fishing is also very popular and is allowed on January 1st every year, but only for a limited period in winter.
Hiking trails in the surrounding area have long been an invitation to adventurous hikes. A series of small unofficial trails lead to the summit of Mount Tunk, and locals recommend putting snowshoes on the ice.
Hikers are advised to take a compass with them, as the spruce can get lost easily, especially in the winter months, due to the altitude.
Other paths lead to a large public space hidden in the mountains, and another signage is in the works to build a new hiking trail on the top of the mountain, right next to the main trail.
This unspoilt wilderness is at best civilized, but rocky granite projections and bulges support the growth of low-growing native plants. In autumn, hikers who reach the top of the mountain look out over the many lakes whose banks turn a blazing red as the blueberries change colour on the moors.
The city of Ellsworth is one of the oldest cities in the state of Maine, with a population of about 1,000 people. The Old Town was home to Colonel John Black, the first governor of New England, and he farmed much of the land in the area for harvest. He also married the daughter of another landowner and became a landowner himself, responsible for building a road from the city to the lake and a number of other roads and bridges.
Blackwoods Byway winds through the woods of Ellsworth and manages the woods as part of the Maine State Park System, the state's largest public park system.
Col. Black built the museum today, and Ellsworth owns one of the largest collections of Blackwoods trees in Maine, with more than 2,000 trees. The house, outbuildings, gardens and adjacent parks are open to visitors even if they walk the many paths through the park.
Not far east of Ellsworth, in the small town of Franklin named after Ben, is Cherryfield, home to one of the last remaining galamanders, a pair of oxen specially designed to lift and carry large granite blocks. It houses a museum, museum, garden and public library. The complex has a pavilion in which it is located, which recalls the original home of Col. Black and his wife Anne at the time of his death in 1812. Cherryfields is a popular tourist destination for visitors to the state of Maine and the USA
Cherryfield has a sour swamp area where blueberries are grown, which provides the largest employment in the region. The fields around the city are not planted with cherries or blueberries, but with corn, wheat, soybeans, corn starch, sugar cane and other crops.
More than 40 houses in the city centre are on the National Historical Register, and Cherryfield is known for its historic buildings such as Old Town Hall and Old Town Hall.
The city was formed after the early inhabitants of the city dammed up the Narraguagus for hydropower. This self-guided hike is a picturesque way to spend a pleasant afternoon and take some photos. Not far away is the critical spawning habitat for Atlantic salmon and it is protected by the US Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) and the National Park Service.
Even without knowing its origin, Tunk Lake is a pleasure that no Downeast visitor wants to miss. Nothing says much about the history of the lake or where it got its name, but "Tunk" is one of several Indian words that refer to water. Originally it was called "Tunk Pond" and was later named after its original owner, the town of Tunks Pond, Maine.