Mattawamkeag Lake

Island Falls, Maine

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In addition to paddling Mattawamkeag Lake, one can also paddle the very scenic, fairly wide Mattawamkeag River. Except for a few fishermen, the river sees little boat traffic. The river is an excellent choice whenever the wind is up on the lake itself. Because the river meanders, the wind has few lengthy straight sections to build up waves. When we paddled here one August afternoon and evening, three-foot swells greeted us out on the lake, while a few ripples were all that the river could dish up. The late-summer current was so lazy that the slightest breeze would blow you back upstream. From the boat access on the Mattawamkeag River, you wind around in a generally eastward direction toward the lake. Occasional weedy fields interrupt the generally wooded shoreline. Boulders line the shore in places, and some protrude from the water out into the river. Although tree diversity is quite high, silver maples are most abundant. Hemlock, balsam fir, spruce, white pine, northern white cedar, sugar maple, yellow birch, and many other species grow along the fertile river bank. Several potential campsites lurk under the dense canopy of large hemlock and other conifers. At one point, a nice rope swing trails out over the water from a large yellow birch. Prominent fish species: white perch, smallmouth bass, and pickerel.
Quiet Water Maine: Canoe and Kayak Guide, 2nd Edition

DESCRIPTION FROM:

Quiet Water Maine: Canoe and Kayak Guide, 2nd Edition

by John Hayes & Alex Wilson (Appalachian Mountain Club Books)

In addition to paddling Mattawamkeag Lake, one can also paddle the very scenic, fairly wide Mattawamkeag River. Except for a few fishermen, the river sees little boat traffic. The river is an excellent choice whenever the wind is up on the lake itself. Because the river meanders, the wind has few lengthy straight sections to build up waves. When we paddled here one August afternoon and evening, three-foot swells greeted us out on the lake, while a few ripples were all that the river could dish up.

The late-summer current was so lazy that the slightest breeze would blow you back upstream. From the boat access on the Mattawamkeag River, you wind around in a generally eastward direction toward the lake. Occasional weedy fields interrupt the generally wooded shoreline. Boulders line the shore in places, and some protrude from the water out into the river. Although tree diversity is quite high, silver maples are most abundant. Hemlock, balsam fir, spruce, white pine, northern white cedar, sugar maple, yellow birch, and many other species grow along the fertile river bank. Several potential campsites lurk under the dense canopy of large hemlock and other conifers. At one point, a nice rope swing trails out over the water from a large yellow birch. Prominent fish species: white perch, smallmouth bass, and pickerel.

©  John Hayes & Alex Wilson/Appalachian Mountain Club Books. All Rights Reserved.

Activity Type: Flatwater Kayaking & Canoeing
Nearby City: Island Falls
Skill Level: Easy
Duration: Day trip, camping available
Class: Class I
Season: Best spring through fall
Local Contacts: Maine Forest Service, East Branch District
Local Maps: USGS Mattawamkeag Lake, Oakfield
Driving Directions: Directions to Mattawamkeag Lake

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Apr 2018