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! Our 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 click on the image of the book below.

Sandy and I are available to attend/present various functions/events. Please email me at for more information!

Monday, July 19, 2021

Branch Pond, Palermo

Body of Water:  Branch Pond, Palermo, Maine.  (Maine Gazetteer Map 13 A4/B4)

Directions:  From Portland, Drive north on 295/95, Take Exit 113 in Augusta.  Travel East on Route 3 for about 13 miles.   Turn left onto Branch Mills Road.    (Just before Tobey's Grocery)  Stay on Branch Mills Road for about 0.7 miles.  Slow down when you cross the bridge by the dam.   Just after the dam, there is a large building on the left, an old building: 

(Image from Google) 

Turn left immediately after that building.  It looks like a driveway, but it goes back to a public launch.  

Here is a pic of my truck coming out of the road: 

The road to get there is a bit rough, potholes...big potholes... so be careful.  Here is a photo from google Earth from the sky and you can see the road and open field.  There are no signs indicating that this is a private road. 

(Image from Google)

Parking:  Lots of parking, open field area  (There was A LOT of goose poop!)  
Looking down at launch from parking area:
Launch:  Gradual gravel, nice launch (The approach is uneven, be careful with your footing.  I would NOT drive down to the water because this part of the 'road' is pretty rough.)  You can also launch by the dam, but it looks like a more difficult launch point.

View of the launch from water

Fees: None
Bathroom:  none
Wildlife: Loons, geese, eagles, likely much more! 
Notes: A couple of weeks ago I was camping at Branch Lake Campground (posts coming soon!)  and this weekend I camped at Lake St. George State Park and chose to paddle Branch Pond, in Palermo.  When I go camping someplace my priority is paddling.  I like to find places I have never been.  

A few years ago I camped here and found some great places. I hoped to return to at least one of them, but also hoped to try new places.  When I look for places to paddle I look for bodies of water that have good places to explore with potential for wildlife.  I am not a fan of the big lakes... so while I was camping at Lake St. George... I did not paddle there!!! 

I looked at google earth and had seen Branch Pond.  I always google the names of the ponds and hope that an entry form the Maine Dept. of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife comes up,  Their write ups usually note public access.   When I googled Branch lake I did not find a description.  I did find a couple of things listed about fishing there.  I looked at google earth and saw the image of what looked like a public launch, so decided to check it out.  (Please note I did not see this listed specifically as a public boat launch but found other descriptions of access to the pond.) Google Earth has been a great tool for me in finding places that I can launch, places that look like I can launch.  

Branch pond was very welcoming.  It was calm and as we got on the water we saw a few islands. 

 The Sun started to make an appearance



Before we got on the water I used Flick the Tick to keep the bugs away.  
It was a pretty damp morning.  It works!! 

Before long we saw two loons and then a third loon flew in and joined the pair.  The three put on quite a show for us.  I had never seen that kind of loon behavior.  

One aspect of Branch Pond that will stand out to me is the lillies! Oh my gosh!  
They were beautiful and so plentiful!

Gladys settled in...

I think she was tired of me taking so many pics of the lilies, but come on... they were amazing!

At one point TWO eagles flew very close to us.  They landed in a tree together.  The adult got very annoyed with the young eagle.  Perhaps they are trying to push it out of the nest?

The adult flew back to the nest and the juvenile seemed to get the message to give its parents a break. 

Eventually the sun broke through and it was beautiful. 

At one point we took a break and Gladys enjoyed a quick swim.

Pausing for a break
At one point I decided to see how much Gladys would tolerate... she kept the hat on.. and even kept the shades on... 
Sadly, however, the shades are lost... she shook her head at one point and I did not catch them fast enough... they sank!  But I am glad we got a few pics!

She puts up with my craziness!!  And still seems to love me! 
Branch Pond is so pretty!

When we launched we headed away from the dam, so on the way back we explored that area a bit.  Love this funky building!

 It was a cool dam.



Gladys seemed to approve of Branch Pond

I really enjoyed this pond.  I would love to come back for an evening paddle and see if there was more wildlife!  The folks of Palermo are lucky to have this place!!