We set out on Loon Lake on a calm July evening, with scarcely a ripple on the surface of the water. The only sound was the steady dip of paddles into water and the plaintive cry of loons on this aptly named lake. We left behind our thoughts of the long drive getting here—on bumpy logging roads through clearcuts and third- or fourth-generation spruce/fir regrowth. Few people visit Loon Lake; most pass by on their way to more famous canoeing destinations.
Loon Lake is a wonderful place. Unlike the nearby Allagash River and Allagash Lake, this is generally off the beaten path yet readily accessible by vehicle. Loon Lake offers about 10 miles of shoreline to explore, plus a paddlable section of the Loon Stream inlet. Big Hurd Pond provides another 3.5 miles, plus islands. Loon Lake and Big Hurd Pond have quite varied shorelines, with coves to explore, marshy areas providing great bird habitat, rock outcrops draped in moss and ferns, and majestic white pines overlooking the water in places. Though we did not see the nest, we saw an adult bald eagle and several immatures, so we suspect a nest is nearby. We lost count of osprey and loons. Prominent fish species: (Big Hurd Pond): brook trout, white perch, and yellow perch.
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