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

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Roberts Pond, Lyman

Body of Water: Roberts Pond, Lyman, ME [Maine Gazetteer Map 2, B5]
*Note: you could use these same directions to access Wadleigh (Also seen in places as Wadley) Pond.  There is a culvert that connects the two, but it was a bit too short/narrow for my liking.  It appeared it was passable, but If I was going to access both, I think I would portage.  (Which is saying something, because I never portage!)  

Directions: From Portland go south on the turnpike.  Take Exit 32 (Biddeford) After coming off the exit turn right onto Rt 111 for 3.5 miles then turn Right onto Hill Road for 2.1 miles.  At the stop sign, turn left for 1.7 miles onto South St. which becomes South Waterboro Rd.  Turn right onto Clarkswoods Rd for 2.7 miles then turn right onto Frye's Bridge Road for about 0.5 miles.  

Boat Launch:  The launch area I chose to access was closest to the north end of the bridge.  It is a fairly steep bank with loose rocks.  To the left in this photo there was a bit of the path that was a bit more 'solid.'  The rocks made me a bit nervous, but I managed fine.  I did use my cart to get my kayak from the parking area to the launch as it is a short walk.   It would be easy with two people without a cart, but I would say launch one at a time is probably best given the width of the launch area and the loose rocks. 

This is looking back at the bridge.  The launch pictured above is just in front of the bridge on the right.  You can kind of see the decline in this photo too. 

Here are pictures of the launches to Wadleigh Pond.  I did not paddle on Wadleigh, but since I was there and plan to go back to paddle Wadleigh I will include them here.  The first is taken from the launch closer to the southern end of the bridge, close to the parking area you will see before the bridge, and the second is taken at the southern end of the bridge, which to me, looks like an easier launch site.  (But again, I didn't use either.)
Wadleigh Pond Launch 1(north side of bridge)

Wadleigh Pond Launch 2(south side of bridge)

Parking: Roadside, along Frye's Bridge Road.  There are two areas for parking along the road.  One is before the bridge on the right (coming from south) the other is after the bridge on the left.  To access Roberts Pond, I think it is easier to park in the area after the bridge on the Roberts Pond side of the road.  If I was going to access Wadleigh Pond I think I would park in the same spot.  

Fees: None

Bathroom: None

Wildlife: Blue heron, red tail hawks, wood ducks, mallard ducks, turtles, beaver (signs of them at least!), I would suspect deer visit here as well as eagles

Notes:  Roberts Pond was a really nice surprise!  I usually prefer to get up early to paddle, but I had spent the day in Boston on Friday and let myself sleep in and have a lazy Saturday morning.  So as I looked for a place to paddle, I wanted to go someplace I had not been,  someplace within an hour of where I live, and a place that could offer a little protection from the wind as it was a bit breezy.  So, between my Gazetteer and google, I chose Roberts & Wadleigh Ponds.  In looking at the map on google it looked like this:
Image from Google

But... when I looked at the Gazeteer, it was a bit different... it looked like this: 
(Image from the Maine Atlas and Gazetteer)

and when I got there, it seems that the people who live here agree with the Gazetteer...

 Looking at Wadleigh Pond from the bridge it says: Welcome to Wadleigh Pond. Please Keep Clean. 

(I believe that there are some invasive plants in Roberts Pond.  I am not sure if there are invasives in Wadleigh, but I would assume since the two are connected by a culvert, there are invasives in both... but a good reminder to keep trash picked up  and to wash our boats between paddles!)

So When I first arrived I parked at the parking area on the south side of the bridge.   I got out and walked across the bridge and I saw this to my right (Wadleigh Pond):

and this to my left (Roberts Pond):

Since Roberts Pond looked less populated and the water looked a bit more calm, I decided I would go with Roberts and would return to do Wadleigh on another day.

This is looking back at the launch.  As you can see here the bank is a little steep and has some loose rocks, but there was enough solid footing to get in and out okay. 

Looking to my right after launching was a marshy type area.  I love being able to explore in those kinds of areas, good chance of seeing wildlife! 

The water level was low here... so paddling in this area proved to be an adventure at times, but well worth it.  

There were several wood duck boxes on the trees along this pond.  

I was pleased to see this guy pretty early on!  You can see that he is walking in muck, where in most seasons, with more rain, I would suspect this would be all water.  
 I tried to paddle to get closer to him... and had some success.  I took this video of the heron.  I was hoping I would see him catch a fish, but there was an ATV in the woods behind him and as it got closer and louder, this guy decided to fly instead!  If the embedded video does not work, click here to view it on youtube!

 I continued to paddle around the marshy area, and I am not going to lie... there were a couple of places I had no business 'paddling' through... the water was so shallow that I ended up doing the kayaker's shimmy and shake/scooting along to get through those areas.  Luckily I did not get stuck!  (Despite tempting fate a little bit!) 

I got into one area that required scooting and got to see this duck box up close.  

There were a couple of small islands that had some funky vegetation.  These evergreen trees were cool, the needles were more ....wispy ... than most, I liked them! 

In the middle of the pond there were a couple of exposed stumps.  I  suspect that in most years they are submerged.  Given the waterlines I saw on rocks I would say that the water here was at least a foot lower than usual.  But I liked seeing the stumps hosting other plants. 

I didn't see as many turtles as I see in other places, like Tenny River, but.... these guys were happy to model for a couple of shots.  

As I headed towards the back of the pond (heading west)  the wind picked up a bit and created some small waves...or maybe large ripples is a better description.  The wind pushed me along and paddling away from the launch site was pretty easy. 

Despite looking like a fairly wide area, this is  where the pond turns and goes to the north.  It narrows then turns into a stream. 

I liked seeing the underside of the lily pads as the wind blew... there were only a couple of lilies remaining...but I would expect earlier in the season the water would be covered! 

I know it's not straight, but I really like this photo for some reason! 


There were thousands and thousands of these tiny lily pads.  (I am sure there is a more technical term for this variety/species, but... I like tiny lily pads!)  

This duck bind was along the shore.  A good reminder that as fall approaches we paddlers need to be aware of hunting seasons and need to wear bright colors, hunter orange, to make sure we are seen! 
Be safe! 

This was the second heron I saw (of 5!) 

I also saw this LARGE beaver lodge.  I saw three lodges and a dam, but no beavers!  

Perhaps this is why I saw no beavers? I think this is a beaver trap of sorts... maybe the beavers here have all been trapped? 

When IW as paddling I looked across the marshy areas and saw all kinds of these puffy flower like things... they look like cattails after they go by and start blowing around, but these were a little different.  I called them cotton balls... again, not the scientific term! 

This was looking towards the stream... I wasn't how far back I would get to go so wanted to try to show that the fall colors are just starting... it is subtle, but it is starting.... 

You must look closely to see what these next two pictures are trying to show.  I had to crop them to show the details... I would suggest clicking on them to enlarge them... then you will be able to see TWO beautiful ducks flying!  I believe these are wood ducks, but I am not sure.  (Would love someone to confirm this for me!)  I was excited to see these ducks.  I have seen them in photos before, but never in real life!  (Even in all my paddling!)  Their colors were so vibrant!  (I couldn't help but think that I hope they avoid the hunters!) 

This is terribly blurry, but shows the colors of the wings...again, click to enlarge to see it better. 

I also saw a lot of these berries! Not sure what they were... I wondered about wild cranberries, but that seems a bit far fetched.  They were very pretty and very red.  (remember do not eat berries unless you are certain what they are and certain they are not poisonous!) 

These turtles were pretty safe  as the water was too shallow to get any closer.  You can see how low the water is.  

Heading more in towards the stream.  I used the water that was clear of lily pads as my route....

Passed by another beaver lodge... After having been charged by an angry beaver last fall on another adventure, I was nervous to get too close, but... no beavers made an appearance.  

More cotton flowers...

Liked the reflections..

The exposure here is awful, but this little turtle caught my eye... he was so tiny, had to be about the size of a fifty cent piece! 

Getting further down the stream...

And I got as far as I could get!  I was blocked by this beaver dam.  It was pretty long, this is just one section of it.  This was back pretty far from the rest of the pond, so it was probably a good place to turn around anyway.   (If you look at the map, there is eventually a small pond, Tarwater pond, at the end of the stream, but I don't know if it is accessible from here.  If the water levels were higher it may have been possible to go over the dam.  I may have to return in the spring to test that theory!

Paddling away from the beaver dam... you can see there were parts of the stream that were wider... 

And some parts that were very narrow... so much fun to paddle in places like this!!!  

Again, I used the open water, without lily pads, as my 'road.'  

I really wanted to show how low the water was... but even with the water levels this low, there was plenty of areas to paddle here! 

A little bright, but coming back out to the larger part of the pond after leaving the stream.  The wind was against me at this point and did require constant paddling, but I would not say it required really strong paddling.  And there are some places, some nooks and crannies, to pause if you need a break.

This is taken from the 'elbow' of this pond... the pickerel weeds are efinitely past their prime, but still add to the scenery.

Oh maple tree... your color vexes me... I am not ready to admit that winter will once again arrive... 

I liked the rust color inside this old tree trunk... 

Not sure what type of weed this is, but of course they are daisy-esque...reminding me of my mom, and had to share! 

Not sure what these are left over from, some kind of flower, but they were pretty, reminded me of raspberries! 

Looking from Roberts Pond to Wadleigh Pond through the culvert. 

I do think kayaks would fit through here... I could not tell how shallow it was and if I am being honest... I didn't want to get stuck in there with what I was certain were large unfriendly spiders!  

Before getting out of the water I paddled around the marshy area again, hoping to maybe see another heron... 

These crows were very vocal! 

I did see another heron... 

So well hidden!! 

So.. Roberts Pond was so fun!  I LOVE places that have marshy areas as well as streams to explore.  I like not knowing what awaits around every corner.  I admit there were times I got startled because as I approached ducks, who I did not see, flew off.   I saw only one other paddler here.  She was 'parked' beside one of the beaver lodges reading, told me it was her place to escape!  There are only a couple of houses/camps along this pond and a few lots where canoes/kayaks were stored complete with some chairs to enjoy the area.  Overall, I would say this is a pretty well kept secret!  (Perhaps not anymore!)

I continue to be amazed at how many places there are to explore...and even though I have paddled in many areas, there are still more to find and more to enjoy!  

I am publishing a book in the spring, about kayaking... and while we have a lot of trips in the book, there are so many others we could have also included. Roberts Pond is not in the book, but in a way that is a good thing, because I can post it here!!  (Some of my favorite locations will be in the book, but most of the trips in the book are separate from the blog!)  

After a day on the water I decided to sit out by the fire. 

A lot of my summer was spent finishing the book and I didn't take many nights to sit by the fire, but... ending a paddling day with a fire continues to be one of my favorite things!
I am grateful to have so many paddling opportunities and to have people (my readers)  to share it with!  
Happy Paddling! 


  1. Nice pictures. I think they are cranberries although I'm not entirely sure. I have eaten them before without harm; not very tasty. See

  2. Thanks! I would not dare eat them! Thanks for the link!