RAINBOW LAKE & DEBSCONEAG LAKES WILDERNESS canoe camping in Maine
Sep 6-13, 2009 - DEBSCONEAG LAKES WILDERNESS, ME. Got free fire permit ahead of time by phone by calling the ranger station in Old Town. Get Maine Gazetteer by DeLorme before going - shows campsites, dirt roads, etc. Granite rocks & boulders litter shorelines & can be seen down in the clear waters. Lakes with cottages might have light float plane & small motorboat use, most lakes not accessible by road. Old canoes & rowboats stored at most lakes. Views of Katahdin from most lakes. Elevations in 500'-1,000' range - so Katahdin rises over 4,000' above. Shorelines mostly white cedar, pitch pine, red spruce. No moose sightings, lots of tracks tho. No rain. Bell Chestnut Prospector canoe in Royalex - tough but a bit heavy on portages, should have used a Kevlar canoe in hindsight.
Sep 13 - Carried to 3rd. Carried to 4th then out past Chewonki.
Sep 12 - Daytrip. Carried to 1st Debsconeag Lake, paddled into Debsconeag Deadwater section of W Branch Penobscot River. Stopped at sandy Omaha Beach with great view of Katahdin, unfortunately mosquitoes were vicious. Paddled up to Debsconeag Falls. Up Hurd Pond Stream then back to camp on 2nd D where we saw 3 otters. 8 hours.
Sep 11 - Carried over to 2nd Debsconeag Lake, set up on the only campsite below waterfall. Hiked to Big Minister Pond & paddled it in old canoe stored there. Evening paddle on 2nd - saw group of 8 loons & a bald eagle. Most wildernessy lake on the trip.
Sep 10 - Tried paddling Nahmakanta Stream - class 1& 2 rapids but too little water & we gave up. Drove 1.25 miles to 4th Debsconeag Lake. Carried to 3rd Debsconeag Lake & camped at the only campsite, high up with nice view of lake & sunset.
Sep 9 - Carried out. Drove a few miles to Nahmakanta Lake where we camped. Relaxed.
Sep 8 - Paddled past Rainbow Camps. Hiked up to Rainbow Mtn where there are excellent views of Katahdin & mountains to the N, lakes to the E. 2 float plane landings. Swim at beach.
Sep 7 - Paddled shoreline of Rainbow Lake. Appalachian Trail follows S shore. Short hike to Big Beaver Pond. Float plane lands. Rainbow Camp has several cabins on S shore, rest of lake is wild. Swim beach.
Sep 6 - Rt.11 W of Millinocket ME. Paid $20 (& again on way out a week later, only fees of the trip) to pass thru Jo Mary Checkpoint then drove N on increasingly narrowing dirt roads to a small grassy parking area. Carted canoe ~0.5 mile on old road, ditched cart as we had to turn L on green-marked rough trail. paddled out onto lake & checked out campsites on islands but returned to near where we put in & camped with excellent view of Katahdin.