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! Out 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 visit www.paddlingsouthernmaine.com. Sandy and I are available to attend/present various functions/events. Please email me at mainekayakgirl@gmail.com for more information!

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Lake Arrowhead Limerick/Waterboro, ME

Body of Water: Lake Arrowhead Waterboro/Limerick town line, Maine [Maine Gazetteer, Maps 2 & 4]

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.) 

Boat Launch:  Cement ramp, gradual slope into the water.  

Parking: Free. Dirt parking lot, with a decent amount of parking spaces.



Wildlife: Turtles & birds including ducks, eagles, heron, kingfishers, and more

Notes: Perhaps more than any other place I have paddled, it is important to know where you are in comparison to the launch site.  This lake is big and has several fingers to explore. I would advise having a map of the lake to help keep your bearings if you plan on exploring for a while.  (Or use a map app on your phone.)  When looking at the Maine Gazetteer it seems like there are a couple of places from which you can launch your kayak.  This site, close to the Ledgemere Hydroelectric Plant/dam is the best parking.  I had paddled here before and had put in on the side of this same road, more on the Waterboro side, but now there are no parking signs there.  This launch site is the safest place, as far as parking.  A very cool aspect to this lake, especially in the fall, is its proximity to Dole's Orchards.  I came very close to kayaking in the morning and stopping there to pick apples in the afternoon!  That would be a great day, celebrating two awesome parts of Maine! This lake does have Milfoil.  Please remember to wash your kayaks/canoes/paddleboards before going to another body of water!

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. 


There are several islands of various sizes to paddle around. 

There are parts of the lake that are more pond-like and less inhabited. 

There were a lot of water lilies on the surface of the water, which is beautiful. 



There were painted and snapping turtles. 






This 'flower' was part of some of the lily pads.  I am not sure of their name, but I think Mom called them cow lilies.  This cow lily was vibrant and I was enamored with the details. 

The light, because of the clouds, made for awesome reflections!




As I was paddling and taking pictures I heard an eagle calling.  It took me a few minutes to locate him, but I eventually laid eyes on him. 


One unique feature of this lake is the stumps that are in the water. 


Just as I was thinking I had seen what this lake had to offer, I paddled around a big island and found cattails.









I enjoy seeing the life that sprouts from the dead tree stumps. 

This interesting bird, seemingly a part of the heron family was quite shy.  Just as I was getting some photo opportunities the jet ski kids began circling and scared this bird away.  If you recognize this bird I would love to know what it is; send me an email!  (Mainekayakgirl@gmail.com)


Lake Arrowhead does have milfoil.  Residents are making a concerted effort to fight this invasive plant.  Click Here for a link to their site. 

Milfoil, while it may be hard to see in this picture, grows quickly and is very thick.  Please be responsible and make efforts to not spread this plant to other waterways. 

When I got off the water I spoke with the woman stationed there checking boats for milfoil.  She told me that many people canoe/kayak on the other side of the dam.  I did not/have not done that, but it looks beautiful.  Here are some pictures of the dam and the other side of the dam. 







3 comments:

  1. I believe that is a Green Heron in your photos. wonderful pictures as always!

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    1. Thank you for helping to identify this bird! I just looked it up and believe you are right! It was a very cute heron, complete with a blue/gray mohawk! Thanks for your compliment on the photos! Ive been looking at your blog recently too and am impressed at where you go!

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  2. Love your site. Just started kayaking this year and have been looking for some places to try. Definitely going to try this lake Saturday. Thanks for all the good info! By the way...fish nests are called "beds" :)

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