Scraggly Lake Public Reserved Land and Sawtelle Falls Trail (North Penobscot County)

I spent Saturday and Sunday camping and hiking at the Scraggly Lake Public Reserved Land in North Penobscot County.  The 9,000 acre remote park is located northeast of Baxter State Park.

Scraggly Lake has several drive-up, first-come first-serve campsites, including a 12 site campground near the boat ramp.  The lakefront campground was in excellent condition and only one other site was occupied (likely due to nighttime temperatures in the 30's and a weather forecast which had called for scattered showers).   

After setting up camp, I set out on foot to hike the Owl's Head and Owl's Head Connector Trails.  As the name implies, the connector trail connects the campground to the Owl's Head Trail.  It's a well-marked and scenic trail through woods and alongside the lake, although in parts it was flooded.  I started down the Owl's Head Trail, but encountered deep snow and only had ankle high hiking shoes, so I elected to skip Owl's Head and explore some of the side logging and ATV roads.  I found extensive moose and grouse scat and moose and bear tracks, and saw a few grouse during my hike.  After 6.4 miles, I returned to my campsite for the night.  

The campground was quiet that night except for the sounds of loons on the lake.  I encountered a fox in the middle of the night when I went to explore a sound outside of my tent.  

On Sunday morning I hiked the short but scenic Ireland Pond Path, a 0.5 mile round-trip hike.   The small pond was scenic, but I was struck by the large number of row boats and canoes chained along the shore nearby, each with a violation notice affixed to it.  

Returning to my car after Ireland Pond, I decided to hike along the road beyond the parking area.  The road at this point turns into more of a snowmobile trail, and a large tree had fallen across it, blocking vehicle access.  I found additional moose scat and tracks and spotted another grouse during the hike.  

An official park map of Scraggly Lake can be found here, and here is a map of my hikes in Scraggly Lake.

On my way home, I stopped and hiked the Sawtelle Falls Trail.  The unmarked and unsigned trail starts at a pull-off on the side of Scraggly Lake Road, 1.9 miles from Grand Lake Road just over a bridge.  Ownership of the trail is unclear, but an old topographic map shows there was once a campsite shortly after the trail begins, and an old damaged outhouse still sits at that location.  The 0.6 mile (1.2 mile round-trip) trail leads to a beautiful two tiered 12 foot waterfall, which was roaring today due to the high water levels.  Someone had been at the property recently clearing a significant number of downed trees.  Here is a map of my hike.  


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