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Thread: Suggestions on lake canoeing / camping in Maine

  1. #1
    Junior Member BriFly's Avatar
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    Suggestions on lake canoeing / camping in Maine

    Hey folks. My dad (just retired) is coming to visit in mid to late Summer this year. I was hoping to take him on a canoeing / camping trip in Maine -- in a nice secluded lake or cluster of lakes (preferrably where motorboats are prohibited). We would likely set up camp in one spot, then take short day trips in the canoe.

    Can any of you suggest some good places in Maine for such a trip?

    Thanks in advance.

    -BriFly

  2. #2
    Senior Member trailbiscuit's Avatar
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    Round Barn Campsite on Flagstaff Lake is a great spot. Sites right on the water or on an island.
    "You must go and you must ramble through every briar and bramble till your life is in a shambles. Maybe then you will know. You were born to blunder, born to wander, born to wonder. Even when you’re six feet under, there’s a place that you must go." - John Hiatt

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    Senior Member marty's Avatar
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    Hi Brifly -

    Many of the lakes in Maine can get really rough with high waves. Having a camp on one, I know that first hand.

    That being said, there are two lakes in Western Maine's Rangeley Lakes that I strongly recommend:

    1. Mooselookmeguntic Lake. Stephen Phillips Memorial Preserve has several wilderness sites at the main campground, on Student's Island and elsewhere along the lake. There will be some motorboats, but it is still quiet. Much of the lake is in preserve. Student's Island is a pretty good choice for home base as it is close to the mainland, so you can probably get to shore and your car on really windy days. No question this lake gets REALLY rough sometimes. Here is the URL for Stephen Phillips: Stephen Phillips

    2. Richardson Lake. South Arm Campground rents numerous wilderness sites along the lake. There will be some motorboats, but it is still quiet, just like Mooselookmeguntic. There are few camps except at the ends of the lake, but most of it is in preserve. Richardson has amazing sandy beaches on its eastern shore. Here is URL for South Arm: South Arm Campground. Note that you may have to temporarily allow pop-ups for this site to work, if you have a pop-up blocker.

    If you are interested in these places, PM me and I can probably answer your questions.

    Regards,
    Marty
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  4. #4
    Senior Member marty's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by trailbiscuit
    Round Barn Campsite on Flagstaff Lake is a great spot. Sites right on the water or on an island.

    I second Trailbiscuit's fine choice. Forgot all about that place. Stayed there back in the late 1980's. GREAT views and good hiking!
    Well time went by
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    We went to the top for just one day
    And fell off the other side


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  5. #5
    Senior Member miehoff's Avatar
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    Round Barn

    Was looking for a link to that campground...I have been interested in remote camping along lakes/rivers for some time now.

    So is there a website or some info for Round Barn?
    Miehoff

  6. #6
    Senior Member marty's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by miehoff
    Was looking for a link to that campground...I have been interested in remote camping along lakes/rivers for some time now.

    So is there a website or some info for Round Barn?
    Try clicking on this URL, pull up the map and look for Round Barn on the south shore of the lake: Bigelow Preserve

    Regards,
    Marty
    Well time went by
    We got our way
    We went to the top for just one day
    And fell off the other side


    Artist: The Fools
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    Senior Member miehoff's Avatar
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    Thanks

    The map is some strange .pl file. I have no idea how to open it.
    The site does have contact info, so I might call.
    Do you have a common file format that you could sent me that shows the map?
    Miehoff

  8. #8
    Senior Member marty's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by miehoff
    The map is some strange .pl file. I have no idea how to open it.
    The site does have contact info, so I might call.
    Do you have a common file format that you could sent me that shows the map?
    Sure. Mine saved as a .pdf file. Please PM me with your email address and I will send it to you today or tonight.

    Marty
    Well time went by
    We got our way
    We went to the top for just one day
    And fell off the other side


    Artist: The Fools
    Year: 1992

  9. #9
    Member hardyb's Avatar
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    Lobster Lake Maine

    Head to Lobster Lake, it's about a 2 mile paddle up Lobster Stream from the West Branch of the Penobscot. camp sites are managed by the state of Maine. The only access is by boat, it has campsites with long natural sand beaches, a great place to get away. A great alternative is to stay one night on Lobster lake then paddle down the Penobscot to Chesuncook Lake and stay at different camp sites along the way. This section of the Penobscot is very mild with only a couple of sections of class I-II water. It is worth checking out.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Stan's Avatar
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    I like the Lobster Lake - Chesuncook Lake suggestion and am planning to do that one some day. However, the one caution I have is that Chesuncook Lake can be exposed and there are several miles to paddle from the Penobscot to the nearest logging road. Of course, if time is not a constraint you can only hunker down until calmer conditions, maybe even at the Chesuncook Lake House which is only accessible by boat, seaplane or snowmobile.

    We enjoyed Roach Ponds last summer. Our group stayed at Medawisla Camps, now owned by the AMC, but if you'll check DeLorme, you'll see there is a campsite at Third Roach Pond. Quiet Waters of Maine describes this pond and a number of others.

    The North Maine Woods has an infinit number of camping and paddling choices, well, enough to keep one busy for a lifetime or until you find that favorite spot. Perhaps this link will help you find more ideas.

  11. #11
    Senior Member spencer's Avatar
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    Scraggly Lake.
    Island campsite.
    Close to Baxter.

    need I say more?

  12. #12
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    I will second Flagstaff lake, the views of Bigelow are great. All of the established campsites are great and there are plenty of sandy beaches to camp on (no fires without a permit at any location other than an establisehd site. There is an upper bay at the NW end connected to the main lake by a channel that is very remote.

    The entire lake is shallow and can get choppy when its windy.

    The one caveat to Flagstaff is that the USGS maps of the lake were done at very high water, so some of the channels shown on the maps dont exist.

  13. #13
    Senior Member DougPaul's Avatar
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    There is a nice little 3 day loop that we took a number of years ago. No car spot required.

    * put in at the N end of the Fourth Machias Lake (parking lot)
    * head down to the Third Machias Lake (the stream was very easy)
    * Through the Getchel Lakes ("Getchel Pugs"). Sections very shallow--had to unload canoe.
    * Through Wabassus Lake
    * Through Pocumcus Lake
    * Across Syladobsis Lake to takeout near S most point
    * Walk 1.5 mi to get car.

    There were several designated unimproved camping areas, IIRC, we had to get free permits. One was just before the turn into the Getchel Pugs and another was beside the stream connecting Pocumcus and Sysladobsis Lakes.

    The stream between the two Machias Lakes was very easy.

    Doug
    Last edited by DougPaul; 01-10-2007 at 11:35 AM.

  14. #14
    Junior Member BriFly's Avatar
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    Thanks for all of the suggestions. Very much appreciated. I'll start reading up on these.

    -BriFly

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