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  1. #1
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    Default Kayaking and camping

    Hey everyone I'm planning a trip to Maine at the end of next month and want so advise about where to go that's somewhat near Baxter but not Baxter. Me and my buddy are also thinking about taking our kayaks so we want to do somewhere that we can camp in the backcountry and bring out kayaks. Any advise would be great because this will be my first trip up there.

  2. #2

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    Whitewater kayaking or flatwater?
    If whitewater: The Penobscot has some great rapids upstream from the AT, just below the dam release.(class 4-5)
    Further south: the Dead is good also. (near Sugarloaf) class 4?
    Just north (and east) of Baxter is the east branch of the Penobscot.
    We paddled this in 16' Old Towne canoes quite a few years ago. It is probably class 2-3.


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    For me Nahmakanta Lake would be my pick. If you travel in from the from the Namakanta Road you can avoid the camping and road use fees. The lake campsite has an outhouse with the campsites and you can drive quite close to the water to unload the kayaks and gear. The only drawback is the dirt roads can be rough at times if you're using a low clearance vehicle.

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    Quote Originally Posted by fiddlehead View Post
    Whitewater kayaking or flatwater?
    If whitewater: The Penobscot has some great rapids upstream from the AT, just below the dam release.(class 4-5)
    Further south: the Dead is good also. (near Sugarloaf) class 4?
    Just north (and east) of Baxter is the east branch of the Penobscot.
    We paddled this in 16' Old Towne canoes quite a few years ago. It is probably class 2-3.


    If flatwater, Maine is full of lakes
    I'm thinking we will do flat water because the friend I am going with isn't very experienced with kayaking. The perfect scenario would probably be a 10/15 mile paddle to a remote island to camp and fish for a few days.

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    Registered User Wise Old Owl's Avatar
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    Ocean? we went about 3 miles out on a perfect day & stayed at KOA in Arcadia.

    other spots would be
    ssvc.info
    mountdesertcampground.com
    recreation.gov
    amcecholakecamp.org
    koa.com
    flandersbay.com
    Dogs are excellent judges of character, this fact goes a long way toward explaining why some people don't like being around them.

    Woo

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    Quote Originally Posted by Wise Old Owl View Post
    Ocean? we went about 3 miles out on a perfect day & stayed at KOA in Arcadia.

    other spots would be
    ssvc.info
    mountdesertcampground.com
    recreation.gov
    amcecholakecamp.org
    koa.com
    flandersbay.com
    Thanks but I'm looking for a completely backcountry experience with no people around for miles not a campground.

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    Saco river in Maine? Many years ago my work buddies and I would had a tradition of doing a canoe trip on the Saco over Memorial Day weekend. From memory, there were many places to pull over and camp. But beware of the bugs, they were fierce.

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    Registered User Water Rat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chagy7 View Post
    Thanks but I'm looking for a completely backcountry experience with no people around for miles not a campground.
    The time of year you are choosing to make this trip... You won't find lots of people clamoring to be out there in the mud. Based on the weather we have had you will most likely still see lots of mud. Some areas might still have snow - Another thing to think about if your friend does not have a lot of kayaking experience. The water will be very cold if he ends up in it.

    You might run in to day hikers, but April is not the nicest month for camping in Maine. The weather is still kinda iffy, there is mud, this year you can most likely add bug to that list. Absolutely not trying to be a downer - Just trying to let you know what you will most likely encounter. There is a reason why lots of people haven't jumped on answering this thread with the answers you seek.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Water Rat View Post
    The time of year you are choosing to make this trip... You won't find lots of people clamoring to be out there in the mud. Based on the weather we have had you will most likely still see lots of mud. Some areas might still have snow - Another thing to think about if your friend does not have a lot of kayaking experience. The water will be very cold if he ends up in it.

    You might run in to day hikers, but April is not the nicest month for camping in Maine. The weather is still kinda iffy, there is mud, this year you can most likely add bug to that list. Absolutely not trying to be a downer - Just trying to let you know what you will most likely encounter. There is a reason why lots of people haven't jumped on answering this thread with the answers you seek.
    Ok I understand the reason you're giving me on why not a lot of people will be out or want to go at the time we will be but sometimes you gotta take what you can get and we're both experienced in winter camping. Do you have any recommendations on where to go though? Or am I on my own with figuring it out?

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    Registered User Water Rat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chagy7 View Post
    Ok I understand the reason you're giving me on why not a lot of people will be out or want to go at the time we will be but sometimes you gotta take what you can get and we're both experienced in winter camping. Do you have any recommendations on where to go though? Or am I on my own with figuring it out?
    You have been given some great suggestions and if I had to go, I would pick Nahmakanta Lake (as was also previously suggested). You seriously will not be running many (if any) people. During the summer that would be a totally different story.

    You might want to also keep in mind that some of the back-back roads might still be inaccessible at that time. It all depends on how the next month goes and if we get a lot of rain. Mud season definitely puts a damper on some things. I get that vacation time happens when you can get it, but nature does have a way of limiting access to places this time of year. None of this is being said in an attempt to rain on your parade.

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    Registered User Water Rat's Avatar
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    ...And you mentioned fishing. Fishing season has begun, but be sure to read up on the regulations appropriate for the area where you do end up going. There are many different rules and regulations for Maine.

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    Depending on weather and if ice is out in the northern lakes you could use the Golden road and put in the Kayaks on the West Branch of the Penobscot, paddle upstream and into Lobster Lake. There are multiple camping sites that you will be alone at. I've done this in the past with my children - warmer summer weather conditions. Still there are some great camping sites on the lake. Know that Katahdin is not open for hiking till the end of May. Also Maine weather in April can be extremely varied - snow storms are not all done for the season. Be sure to check weather and don't underestimate that winter can still scream in at any time during April.

  13. #13

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    The area around Grand Lake Stream is great for kayaking and camping. If you want a real treat, kayak and portage into 4th Machias Lake and paddle down to 3rd Machias Lake - great country. I'm a sea kayaker and have been along a bunch of parts of the Maine coast, but if you aren't accustomed to sea kayaking, better to get the right boat first, practice in sheltered waters and work up to it.

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    Just north of Baxter is the Allagash which I canoed for a week many years ago. Great combination of lakes and easy rivers.

  15. #15

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    Yeah, the Allagash is the first thing that came to my mind (did it 3 times) but not in April.
    Ice out normally isn't until May 15 up there (it ends at almost the northern tip of Maine)
    If you put in at Johnson Pond, you can do a little whitewater in the beginning and camp at Allagash falls (good fishing, at least it was back in the 80's)
    You can set up a shuttle and we used to pay someone to pick up our vans at Johnson Pond and have them waiting for us at the end.
    Don't let your fears stand in the way of your dreams

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