MOOSE RIVER BOW TRIP & SPENCER LAKE canoeing camping in Maine
Sep 23-24, 2010 - SPENCER LAKE, a little S of the Moose River. Part of the Northern Forest Canoe Trail. Start on Fish Pond, soon a channel takes us into Spencer. We stop at Hardscrabble Lodge to get a camping permit (there are only 3 campsites on "the sandbar"), best to do this ahead of time, call 207-243-3020) - had short but very pleasant chat with the caretaker, Robbie - the lake is surrounded by private land. Steep mountains rise over 1,000' on either side. A bull moose swims past our beach campsite in the evening. Rain after midnight & Friday so we decide to head home. Stopped at the brewpub again for lunch, had lousy slow service but were offered the very good food & drink for free.
Sunday - drove up in ~8 hours with stop at Kennebec River Pub & Brewery. Short paddle to our 1st campsite on Attean Pond - a sand beach site at the start of trail to Sally Mtn - as nice a site as you'll ever camp on - picnic table & deluxe outhouse (doesn't smell, regular toilet seat, no spiders) don't hurt - curiously an oak stood front & center (you just don't see oaks at this latitude & elevation).
Monday - hiked Sally Mtn, 3.3 miles RT, 1,100' climb. Paddled to W end of AP. 1.2 mile portage (wide trail, boardwalk over muddy parts, gentle elevation gain) to Holeb Pond.
Tuesday - Paddled down Holeb Stream ~1 mile to Moose River. Ran Camel Rips after a quick scout from land. Portaged 0.4 miles around Holeb Falls which drops 40'. Camped across the river below falls.
Wednesday - Portaged R 30' around Mosquito Rips. Portaged R 0.1 mile around Spencer Rips - the Northern Forest Canoe Trail joins here, a long road portage connects to Fish Pond/Spencer Lake. Ran 1st rapid at Attean Falls. Camped here overlooking the stillwater between the 2 rapids. Watched 3 canoes go over the 2nd set of rapids (class II/II+) with varied success.
Thursday - I ran 2nd set of rapids solo in empty canoe. Soon the Moose River runs into Attean Pond to complete the loop.