Sunday, July 14, 2019

Kayaking Seboeis Public Reserved Lands

Seboeis Public Reserved Lands provides over 21,000 acres of lake, wooded islands and shore front areas offering water recreation and camping. 

My older son and I kayaked here today and checked out some of the campsites for potential future visits.  The road leading to the boat launch was unpaved but manageable in our 2WD minivan.  The boat launch itself is paved and has clean relatively new looking pit toilets.

From the lake we enjoyed incredible views of the surrounding mountains, including Katahdin. We paddled out to Dollar Island, which has a primitive campsite, but the campsite was occupied (camping is first come, first serve).  Considering the small size of the island and the fact it does not have a toilet, we aren't certain this would be a great place to camp despite the great location.

We then paddled over to Sand Cove and enjoyed some time wading in the shallow water near a sandy beach. While paddling over, we noticed a small deer swimming in the lake.

For more information about the area, you can visit the official website here

Here is a map of our kayaking today.

Dollar Island.

View of mountains from lake.

Deer swimming.
Secluded beach in Sand Cove. 

BSA Camp Roosevelt and the Fitts Pond Trail

I spent 6 nights last week camping at Camp Roosevelt while my son attended Boy Scout Camp.

Camp Roosevelt is located in Eddington, Maine on Little Fitts Pond and offers several BSA summer camps as well as off-season rentals to scouting units (see its website for more information).  It has a large and relatively new dining lodge and campsites with cabins.

Our troop stayed at the Gary Robbins campsite, which was close to the dining hall and waterfront area.  Unlike other sites, Gary Robbins has regular restroom facilities with flush toilets and its own showers, and the cabins have electrical outlets.  We shared the site with another troop, so I elected to stay in a tent all week as the male adult leader cabin was a bit crowded.  (This worked well until it rained hard Thursday night and Friday morning.  The upside is that I was able to identify those spots in my tent which I hadn't sealed properly.)

I accompanied my son while he worked on his hiking merit badge, during which we hiked the Fitts Pond Trail (here is the trail map).

Food at the camp is provided by Jeff's Catering.  The food was very good and they were very accommodating of special dietary needs (e.g. gluten free).

Cabins at Gary Robbins campsite.  Each cabin had two rooms and could sleep 6-7 people.
View of Fitts Pond and the swimming area.

The Fitts Pond Trail.

Blackcap Mountain can be accessed from the Fitts Pond Trail and is open to the public in the off-season.
Our six scouts.

Friday, July 5, 2019

Hermon Pond and Souadabscook Stream

This evening my sons and I kayaked four miles on Hermon Pond and Souadabscook Stream from the Jackson Beach boat ramp almost to where Bog Road passes over the stream. 

The last time we visited Hermon Pond the mosquitoes were bad.  Tonight, however, we hardly noticed them.   Despite the holiday weekend, the lake was not crowded and we only saw a few other boats. 

When we looked at a map of Hermon Pond, it looked like we would be able to access Ben Annis Pond from Patten Stream a short distance from the boat ramp.  When we looked at Patten Stream, however, we questioned the degree to which we would be able to get through as it seemed very narrow. 

Souadabscook Stream was considerably wider.  We would have gone further but were running up against sunset so needed to get back. 

Here is a map of our trip.

Loon with baby loon.

Souadabscook Stream

Souadabscook Stream heading back out towards Hermon Pond. 

Thursday, July 4, 2019

Black Mountain and Schoodic Beach, Donnell Pond Public Reserved Land

Donnell Pond Public Reserved Land consists of 14,000 acres of mountains, lakes and forests offering hiking, camping and water recreation.

Today my son and I hiked the Black Mountain Cliffs Trail from the Schoodic Beach parking lot up to the summit and back down to Schoodic Beach.  The trailhead for Black Mountain Cliffs starts from the Schoodic Beach trail a short distance from the parking lot.  It is a moderately strenuous hike on the way up, with a few steep sections.  The trail passes through a few wet areas, is muddy in parts and passes through some short narrow and grassy sections.

Several online reviews of the trail commented on Black Mountain's forested summit, and while this is true, there are a few opportunities to view the surrounding area.

The trail down was significantly easier than the way up, was less steep and wasn't as muddy as the ascent.

Given that it was a 90 degree day, it was great to be able to stop at Schoodic Beach for a short swim before completing the final 1/2 mile back to the parking lot.

Here is a trail map from our hike. The overall hike was a little over 3 miles. 

The trail was steep at certain points on the ascent.

There were a few short, grassy sections.

There were a few points near the summit that offered views of Acadia.

It was great to swim near the end of the hike.  Black Mountain is in the background. 


Sunday, June 30, 2019

Hiking in the Rain - Porcupine Watching at Bangor City Forest

I like hiking in the rain. With the right equipment, it's enjoyable and tends to be a lot less crowded.  A good raincoat and waterproof boots help significantly.  

Today I went hiking in the rain at the Bangor City Forest and during the four miles didn't see another person. The mosquitoes were pretty bad but since I had a raincoat and bug netting the only exposed part of my body were my hands, which I had sprayed with bug spray. 

I found a porcupine snacking on some plants near the side of a trail and spent around five minutes watching him from about 5 feet away before he realized that I was there.

Here is a trail map for today's hike. 

This porcupine spent several minutes eating before noticing me.

Here the porcupine is rubbing his eyes.

At one point he shook vigorously and then went back to eating.  
East-West Trail. 
Waterproof boots are essential in wet conditions.
This is a FujiFilm XP120 camera.  I love this camera, as its waterproof to 65 feet deep (you can use it while scuba diving) and shockproof to nearly six feet.  It has 5x optical zoom and several different shooting modes.  I take most of my pictures with this camera. 

Saturday, June 29, 2019

Sanford Trails

Sanford, Maine has an extensive network of scenic trails that run throughout the town.   

For those of you that have been following my blog, you know my son has been training for his first marathon.  Today was the big day, and Mainly Marathons created a 1.88 mile trail using Sanford's trails and some quiet neighborhood streets.

I had the privilege of running with my son for two of his 14 laps towards the end of the race.  One of the great things about the loop system is that the other runners get to know you throughout the race, and it was incredible the amount of support they gave my son as he ran past on his final lap.  Despite being sick with a respiratory virus the final two weeks before the race (including today), he was able to finish strong. 

Mainly Marathons hosts marathons across the country, with the option of multi-day series events.  As this was the last race of a seven day series, there was a strong sense of community among participants.  The marathon was well run and provided runners with excellent support.

For more information on the Sanford trail network, see the town recreation department site.

For more information on Mainly Marathons, see their website.

Trail map of the race from Mainly Marathons' website
The marathon consisted of fourteen laps on a 1.88 loop trail

The route passed Stump Pond

Part of the route used quiet residential streets

Saturday, June 22, 2019

Orono Bog Boardwalk and Bangor City Forest

One advantage of having an outdoor club at work is that it gives people an opportunity to get to know each other outside of work while engaged in a healthy activity.

I went on a 2.7 mile hike at the Orono Bog Boardwalk and Bangor City Forest with my workplace's outdoor club.  We had a good group of people which made for an enjoyable trip, despite the large number of mosquitoes.

We elected to take the East West loop trail to the Bog Boardwalk, and then the Tripp Road to the Deer Trail and back along the Tripp Road.  This provided a nice sampling of the different trail types in the forest.

Here is a trail map of our hike today.  For a full map of the forest, you can visit the official site here.

The bog boardwalk passes through a wooded bog area...

... and continues to an open bog with expansive views of the area.