Directions: From Portland take Rt. 302 into Windham. Stay on 302 through Raymond and watch for the sign for Sebago State Park. Turn left onto the State Park Road, pass the State Park entrance and go over a bridge (which is the Crooked River) Turn left at Watkins Road and the picnic area will be on the left. There are not signs for the picnic area. If you cross a second bridge, you missed the picnic area, but if you turn around the picnic area will be obvious hen you turn around.
Notes: From this launch site, Crooked River goes to the left, the Songo River would be straight ahead, and to get to Brandy Pond you would go to the right (thought the locks) There are no fees to park or launch here, but if you wanted to spend more time on the water and go through the Songo Locks up to Brandy Pond, there is a fee. The sign said $6.00 per boat, but when I have gone before they have given kayakers a deal, but that may not be the case now. It is a cool experience to go through the locks. I have posted about that before on my Songo River/Brandy Pond trip. From here you can also paddle down the Songo River and out to Sebago Lake. I was reminded that bringing a garbage bag with me is a good idea. There was one area of the river where some floating bottles had collected as well as a couple of children's toys. I definitely see this river as clean, but I think that there is a lot of boat traffic in the Songo River area and people are careless. Please make sure you take out any trash/bottles you bring in. Because the river is narrow and well protected it is a great place to go when it is too windy to go other places. I cannot wait to return here this fall as the foliage begins to change!
Crooked River is appropriately named. It winds back and forth as it takes you away from the Songo Locks and up to Rt. 302. (Some people launch from 'Old Rt. 302' where there is an old bridge, but I felt that the hill there was too steep and launching from the picnic area at Songo Locks was safer. If you want to check out the other launch site the coordinates are: 43.958997, -70.565660. I have not launched from there, but I know people who have.) You can spend a lot of time paddling up this river. I did not make it all the way to 302, but it looks like you could not only make it to 302, but go beyond it, making for a great paddle. It would also be a great place to start early in the morning paddle up the Crooked River, return to the picnic area for lunch and then spend the afternoon paddling down the Songo to Sebago Lake (great sand bar for swimming) or take time to go up through the locks and into Brandy Pond. This could be a place to go if you want to spend the whole day on the water. On the other hand, this could be a place where you put in, paddle for a little while and return for a quicker paddle.
This place is quiet and much less busy than the Songo River, especially during tourist season. It is quiet and there are places along this river where a calmness comes over you and there is an automatic connection to nature. There are a few homes/camps along the river, but it is very peaceful. There are a couple of places that a kayak can enter that boats cannot and in those places I was lucky to see some wildlife.
These are pictures taken this weekend. Early on I spotted this guy. I love the feathers!