Friday, June 24, 2016

Horne Pond, Limington

***Update: Someone I know went here after this post and said the boat traffic this weekend was significant and would not have  been great for paddleboarding, but another person said it is great for paddleboarding on days that are not busy. 


Body Of Water: Horne Pond, Limington, ME [Maine Gazzetteer Map 4,  D4]

Directions: From Portland take Brighton Ave./Rt 25 through Westbrook and Gorham.  From the center of Gorham (Intersetion of 114 and 25, where Gorham House of Pizza and Amatos is located) stay on Rt 25 for 1.2 miles to the rotary.  Stay on Rt 25 for 13.8 miles (through Standish and into Limington, passing by 'Limington Falls Rest Area on the left."  After the rest area you will pass the intersection of Rt. 25 and Rt. 11, slow down.  Turn Right onto North Road and take the first dirt road on the right.  Look for this sign:

This is a very narrow dirt road.  I think it is also called 1st road.  You will drive on this road for a while, over 0.5 miles then you will see signs that say Friendly Lane, keep on the dirt road and follow signs that say gate ahead.  You will come to the Moy Mo Da Yo Recreational Area.  (I didn't get a photo of that part, sorry!)  The public FREE boat launch is to the left. 

Boat Launch:  Free... to the left of the recreation area that charges $5 per vehicle for use of their beach area.  This is one of the better public launches I have seen/used.  The men who I spoke with said it has been recently redone.  It is a cement ramp and has a dock. 





Parking: If this launch site is not busy, park in the large boat trailer/vehicle parking area.  I was told that some days it get really busy and on those days they ask paddlers to unload at the launch then park in the parking lot that is used for the rec area or in the upper lot. 

Wildlife: Loon, Ducks, turtles, fish (The water is so clear you can see fish in the water!) 

Bathroom: There is a porta potty next to the boat launch

Notes:
There ARE kayaks and canoes here to rent from the recreational area.  I believe you would need to pay for entry and for the rental fee.  There were two gentlemen at the gate to the park who were very helpful.

So... before I share too much about the pond I have to share a funny story.  Well, funny to me.  I had found this pond using google maps online.  When I saw it I thought it said HOME Pond.  Can you see that too, or is it just me? So... I was thinking that I would start the blog post with something clever like, 'There's no place like Home...Pond...'... But.. as I drove to it, the navigation system in my truck labeled it as Horne Pond... which is accurate...  But I can say.... There's no place like HORNE Pond! 



To be honest this was my second destination of the day.  My first stop was a place that I love and have not posted it on the blog.  I am reserving it for an upcoming project and also like having some secrets!  So, after my first spot I decided to check out Horne Pond.  I had looked it up online and found some info on Moy Mo Da Yo Recreational Area, including that there was a fee.  So, I decided that I would drive there, check it out, and see if it was worth paying a fee to launch.  Soooo...when I arrived and learned the boat launch is open to the public AND free... I decided I had nothing to lose by putting my kayak in the water.  
(I washed off my boat, paddle, cart, etc. between destinations.  Remember, do your part to prevent invasive plants!) 

This is the beach area belonging to the Rec. area that is beside the boat launch.  When I first put in there were a coupe of families there, but when I returned, many more had arrived.  The water here is shallow and the bottom is sandy.  This would be a great place for families with young kids who want to spend a day at the beach.  

I would also highly recommend this place for people learning to paddleboard.  It was very calm, despite the other pond I was on earlier having gotten choppy.  I also think because of it's shallow and sandy nature, that people learning to paddleboard would feel comfortable here.  (I may be projecting...but if I were trying to learn to paddleboard, this would be my learning spot!) 




The shores of this pond are lined with camps/houses.  There are some places that do not have houses, but those shorelines are short.  Some of the empty shorelines seem to belong to the recreational area.  I think they offer some trails that go to different parts of the pond and there are a couple benches at the edge of the pond. 

I liked this camp... made me think and wonder about the storytelling that has gone on here.   

This mother duck has her webbed feet full!   These babies were itty bitty, so cute! 

I wanted to show the calmness of the water as well as how clear it is here.  I was very surprised at the clarity of the water.  I could see fish under the surface.  

There were a lot of dragonflies flying around...this guy stopped to say hello.  

While there were a few lilies in the water, I was surprised that the vegetation in the water wasn't thicker.  

I was also surprised that this pond is big enough to support a pair of playful loons.  These two approached me as I floated and seemed to try to swim stealthily above the water with their bodies lower in the water than what I am used to seeing.  I did not see any signs of a nest, but they are so well camouflaged I may have missed it.  


This pretty plane flew overhead... and later a helicopter went by as well.  

I believe this is a bass bed.  There was a fish circling the sandy area but left as I approached.  There were several of these with a fish standing guard.  (Or swimming guard?)  

This is a broader view of part of the pond, again, it was very calm!  

Because I love paddling places that have a lot of nooks and crannies to explore, I am not sure this destination rises to the top of my list of places to paddle, but... If I wanted to introduce people to paddling sports (and needed a place to rent equipment) this would be at the top of the list.  Again, if I were trying to learn to paddleboard, this would be a place I would go.  

While it isn't necessarily wise to encourage people to paddle alone... there are many people who do so.  (I am one of them)  If you are trying to increase your experience and confidence in paddling alone, this would be a good spot.  There are lots of houses along the shore, lots of people (at least today) in case you needed help, and again, it is shallow so if you do tip over, you won't panic (I hope!)  May also be a cool place to practice wet exits, etc.  

Definitely worth checking out, specially for new paddlers and families! 

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