My Book!!

One opportunity that the blog has brought me is the co-authoring of a guidebook, Paddling Southern Maine! It is something in which I take a lot of pride! My writing partner, Sandy Moore, and I have created a book with 54 amazing trips that are within about an hour of Portland! Out motto as we wrote the book was wanting to 'get people to spend the day on the water and not in their cars!'

If you want more information on our book please visit www.paddlingsouthernmaine.com. Sandy and I are available to attend/present various functions/events. Please email me at mainekayakgirl@gmail.com for more information!

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Bridgton, Maine: Moose Pond (Shawnee Peak/Pleasant Mountain)

Body of Water: Moose Pond, Bridgton, ME [Maine Gazetteer Map 4, A3]

Directions (from Portland, ME): Take Rt. 302 north.  Go through North Windham, Raymond, Casco, and Naples into Bridgton.  Once in Bridgton you will stay on Rt. 302 (which means turning left onto Main St.at the light.)  You will drive through the down town part of Bridgton and will continue on Rt. 302 towards Fryeburg.  After passing Highland Lake on your right, continue for three or four miles.  You will come to the causeway/bridge at the base of Shawnee Peak/Pleasant Mountain that separates the two sides of Moose Pond.

Boat Launch: The boat launch is on your left when you first come upon the causeway.  The boat launch is quite wide, big enough for good sized boats.  There is a person there who monitors the use of the pond and checks watercrafts for millfoil. 


Parking: Free.  Park along Rt. 302 on the right side (when facing the mountain.)  We had four vehicles in  our caravan and were able to have plenty of space to park. 

Wildlife: The day I went here we saw a bald eagle shortly after getting into the kayaks.  It was too far away to see well or photograph, but we saw it dive and catch a fish!  We did not see any turtles, but I suspect it was because we were there early on an overcast day and the turtles like to sun themselves. There were so many water lilies.  I have never seen so many lilies in one body of water.  (We paddled on 8/5/2011.)  We saw ducks and Canada geese.  I also caught a quick glimpse of a frog.  (I have been told that there are a lot of loons here, but we did not see any. I wonder if it was because of so many lily pads.)

Notes: Moose Pond is a big pond. Rt. 302 separates two parts of it.  You can access both sides from the water by going under the bridge.  The bigger part of Moose Pond is on the side with Shawnee Peak.  This side will be more choppy on windy days.  Bigger motor boats are allowed and use the bigger side of the pond.  We spent most of our time there on the smaller side of the pond.  (Opposite of Shawnee Peak.)  The smaller side offers many coves to explore.  There are some rocks that are slightly below the surface in some places.  While we were able to clear them a lower water level may have left us a little tippy.  There were a few islands in this part of the pond that were fun to paddle around.  Rt. 302 is busy so I do recommend unloading kayaks at the boat launch and then parking; carrying kayaks across Rt. 302 may be a challenge.  When we were ready to leave the pond, the boat launch was quite busy.  We tried to be respectful of the other water-goers by waiting our turn and staying out of the way of the vehicles with boat trailers. 

I am including some pictures of our trip to Moose Pond.  The quality of the pictures do not do the pond justice.  I need to learn more about how to use the manual settings on my camera when it is overcast. 

The kayaks are lined up and ready to go!  (My friend Holly was the first to get in hers!) 

One of my friends insisted I put a picture of myself on the blog, so here I am:

After leaving the blat landing we paddled to the right and followed the causeway to the bridge. 

Going under this bridge was a piece of cake.  (No signs of spiders either!)

There is a picnic area on an island in the middle of the causeway. (non Shawnee Peak side) I am not sure if there is parking in the rest area, but there were a few picnic tables and this particular spot had, what appeared to be, a little charcoal grill.


This is a stump that is covered in moss.

  You can see off into the distance and also some large pine trees.  The pond is quite large, and because we went in early August, you can see the lily pads. There were some rocks along the shore.   I love that part of Maine...seeing large boulders along the shoreline. 


These Canada geese were eating the tops of these plants/grass.  It was fun to hear them, their beaks, as they ate. 

The sun started to peek through the clouds, making this Peak a bit more clear. 

There were several ducks on one part of the pond.  The rest seemed to avoid us, but this one seemed preoccupied with getting her lunch!  

On the smaller side of the pond there was a place that looked like either a camp or perhaps an association meeting place.  I liked that these chairs were all lined up to look over the water.  There is something about sitting on the edge of the water... not as good as being ON the water, but nice!


 Water lilies!  

There were some tiny lily pads with tiny white flowers.  I had seen the tiny lily pads before, but never the little flowers. 

This is one of the islands in the pond.  It was more green than this, but it doesn't show in the lighting on this overscast day.


This was the Moose Pond Crew for this day! (minus me, I am behind the camera!)


 This is the bigger side (Shawnee Peak side) of Moose Pond. As you can see it is much more open and didn't have nearly as many lilies. This side is used more by boaters for tubing/water skiing. 

 
  
 A close up of a lily.  

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