Kayaking Ben Annis Pond (Hampden)
Ben Annis Pond is an isolated 25 acre pond in Hampden that is accessible via Patten Stream, a very narrow stream that connects Hampden Pond to Ben Annis Pond.
I set out to go kayaking in the mid-afternoon today. Given that it was a beautiful sunny, 85° Saturday, Hampden Pond was very crowded.
The outlet for Patten Stream into Hampden Pond is not readily apparent until you get close to it and see water flowing. It is also very shallow, forcing me to pull the kayak up the stream approximately 6 or 7 feet before getting back in.
There were several spots where my one person kayak bottomed out, forcing me to push against the stream bottom with the paddle to continue moving. Shortly before reaching the pond, I encountered a beaver dam requiring that I again exit and pull the kayak over the dam.
Having finally reached Ben Annis Pond, I quickly realized that it was worth the effort. I had it to myself, spotting a river otter, snapping turtles and an osprey catching and then feeding on a fish.