This past weekend, hikers in Maine celebrated the official opening of the state’s newest backcountry hiking loop trail.

The new 30-mile Great Circle Trail is located on the Nahmakanta Public Reserved Land, sandwiched between the Katahdin and Moosehead Lake regions.

The trail connects the Turtle Ridge Loop and Debsconeag Loop trail with the Appalachian Trail, creating one large trail network.

Shelters along the Great Circle Trail at Wadleigh Pond. (Maine Bureau of Parks and Lands Photo)

Officials with the Maine Bureau of Parks and Lands say the trail has been in the works since 2005. They say it can be hiked either in “bite-sized” sections or as a multi-day adventure using eight remote campsites near the trail.

Along the loop, the trail passes four waterfalls, 11 remote ponds and lakes, two gorges, one mountain top, and several scenic ledge overlooks.

Officials describe the trail as moderate, with some strenuous sections. They say rocks and roots in the trail tread are the major obstacles.