Little known and rarely explored, this string of connected lakes— Turkey Tail, Middle Jo-Mary, and Lower Jo-Mary—are treasures. A few summer homes intrude on Turkey Tail and the south end of Middle Jo-Mary, but those are quickly left behind if you paddle north toward Lower Jo-Mary. These lakes include about twenty-five miles of highly varied shoreline to explore, but the area we find most interesting is the winding channel of Cooper Brook between Middle and Lower Jo-Mary lakes.
This slow-moving creek and the marshy Cooper Brook Deadwater it becomes provide superb marshy wildlife habitat. We saw two moose here, lots of beaver activity, ring-necked ducks, wood ducks, great blue herons, an American bittern, and songbirds galore. If you paddle from Middle Jo-Mary to Lower Jo-Mary via this creek, you actually travel upstream initially, then downstream—though the current is hardly perceptible. Prominent fish species: salmon, lake trout (Lower Jo-Mary only), brook trout, white perch, yellow perch, and chain pickerel.
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