Sunday, October 9, 2016
Nezinscot River, Turner, Maine
Body of Water: Nezinscot River, Turner, ME [Maine Gazzetteer Map 11, C4]
Directions: From Portland, head north on 95 to Exit 75. Take a left after the exit onto Rt. 4/202. Stay on Rt. 4 for about 16 miles into Turner. Turn right onto Rt. 117 and the municipal building is on the right, just after the municipal building there is a short 'road' that goes down to the water. This is the boat launch. (See map below)
Boat Launch: Gravel Road down to gravel slope into the water.
This is looking from the water up towards Rt. 117. There is a big bump between the gravel and the tar. If your vehicle is low to the ground, you may prefer to park at the municipal building and carry your kayaks over.
Parking: Parking area at the launch is small. I was able to pull over to the side and it left room for another vehicle to get in if needed. I saw a couple of other people out paddling and they said they parked at the Turner Municipal Building. (Which would be a very short walk.) I am not sure if there is designated parking at the municipal building for people accessing the river. It may be worth a call, especially if you are hoping to paddle/park here during the week.
Bathroom: None (There are a few gas stations/businesses along 202/Rt 4 you could take advantage of!)
Wildlife: Turtles, Blue Heron, beaver, eagle, possibly deer
Safety Note: Hunting Season has begun! Wear your orange!!
Also, you may want a map or use your gps to navigate the twists and turns of this river.
Notes: A family friend had paddled the Nezinscot last year and since then it has been on my list of places to go. I thought that this weekend with the foliage changing that it would be a good time to go. It was a beautiful place. I would caution people who are unfamiliar with this river, that it has lots of twists and turns, and while there is only one clear route that will allow you to keep paddling, there are a lot of places that appear to be different channels, but are dead ends. In some of the dead ends, I wondered if I could have gotten through in conditions where the water levels were higher. The water is low.
After putting in I went left towards the dam. The water level was below the top of the dam, but I would suggest people be very cautious paddling here when water levels are higher. There are no preventative things to keep people away from the dam. (Other places have cables with orange barrels or other safety buoys but here there are none, so use extra caution.)
This is the view as I went under the Main St. Bridge looking toward the dam.
After looking at the dam I turned around and looked back up the river, under Main St. and under Rt. 4.
This is the boat launch from the water. You can also see where I parked.
The leafs had some good color, bu there were still some greenery.
This heron was not interested in being the subject of my photography. Almost as soon as I spotted it, it would fly away.
It was well camouflaged in some places.
I was REALLY excited to get this photo. I love herons and have tried to get a decent photo of them taking off. I am pleased with this one.
I was happy to see some turtles still around, trying to soak up the last of the sunshine.
It is hard to tell but this is an eagle, that came soaring across the sky. It was a big one!
As I paddled I tried to stay to the right, so that I would not get lost. It was a good strategy, but did take me to some dead ends. But... I liked it because those areas seemed like places where I would see wildlife.
The heron once again trying to get away from me. I felt badly I wasn't trying to annoy him, but he was not pleased!
Many of the dad ends felt more like ponds, less like a river.
No question about it... fall is here and not going anywhere!
I like the reflection here... can see the claws in the reflection!
This is where it started to feel more like a river. (I will say there was no noticeable current. That may be different when water levels are higher.)
This is where I got really excited. This is where the river really felt like it was taking me away from civilization and seemed to become a tunnel of sorts.
This part of the river was really quiet. I could hear some dogs off in the distance, but didn't hear any traffic.
In one part of the river the water was very stagnant and the leafs had collected... it was pretty cool.
There was a group of mushrooms at the base of a tree that I thought were pretty cool... like the texture.
A VERY narrow place to paddle through to get to a more open area...
One of my favorite shots of the day! (This wasn't far from where I turned around. The river looks like it could have kept going, but I had plans and needed to get back. Next time I will allow more time!)
I love paddling under trees...
A well hidden nest!
The heron returned for another visit...
The Nezinscot was a pretty place to paddle. I saw several beaver houses...and a few signs of human life as well. There are a few houses along the banks and several places where people have set some chairs to enjoy the river. I would come back here to explore again. It is a nice place!
Thanks to Judy for the tip!