Directions (from Portland, ME): From Portland take Congress St (ME 22) into Gorham. Once in Gorham, at the intersection of 22 and 114, turn right onto Rt. 114. At the traffic circle take the second exit to Rt. 112 South to the next traffic circle and exit onto Rt. 202 West. Keep an eye out for Rt. 117. Turn right onto Rt. 117 North for about 7.5 miles, then turn left onto Doles Ridge Road. Drive for about 2 miles then turn left onto New Dam Road and the boat launch will be on your right. (It's about 45 minutes from Portland.)
Lake Arrowhead is a place I have wanted to return since going a couple of summers ago. The last time I went I was with a couple of friends and didn't focus much on how we got there or on taking pictures while we were paddling. That day we explored a different 'finger' of this lake and saw some things I did not see on this trip including fish under the surface of the water protecting what seemed to be nests. (I am not sure what fish nests are called!) This part of the lake had a variety of scenery as well. There are some wide areas which feel like a classic Maine lake, but there are other areas, more intimate, where it feels like you are in a small pond. To be honest, when I paddled here over the weekend I had intended to paddle in another pond, but where I tried to put in was a bit more remote than I expected and decided it would not be a good place to go solo. Lake Arrowhead was close by and it was a great opportunity to revisit this beautiful place.
It was a cloudy day on Saturday, and I was happy it did not rain. This lake has an interesting balance of uninhabited shorelines and camps/houses/cottages. The caps along the lake seemed to get a lot of use, which makes me happy. There were a lot of people on the water, power boats, jet skis, and several pontoon boats. I saw a couple of other kayakers as well. The motorboats were respectful of my presence, the jet skis, operated by younger people (trying not to judge), were a bit less respectful and came a bit closer than they should have. But the time spent dealing with motorcraft was minimal compared to the time I spent exploring. My favorite part of this lake is that there are stumps in many places which makes for interesting views and sunning spots for turtles.