Friday, November 4, 2011

Lamoine State Park to the Ovens, Mount Desert Island Maine

It’s hard to imagine a more peaceful location than Lamoine State Park on a still day. Not many boats remained anchored, but those that were reflected perfectly. Between the boats, a few loons swam. And off in the distance, the mountains of Acadia made a beautiful back drop.
We’d come to Lamoine State Park to enjoy the low tide. In the summer, under similar conditions, I’ve paddled between Lamoine Park and Lamoine Beach watching the ocean floor rise and fall beneath my boat. I felt like a bird on the wing. Several times we’ve gone to Lamoine State Park for snorkeling at low tide, admiring the many crabs and sea stars on view.
But with a fall sun hanging low in the sky, the underwater viewing was limited, though I did spot a few sea stars.
Meanwhile, out on the water, we kept seeing distant white spray. Hoping to spot some sea mammal, we crossed to Googins Ledge where we were a little disappointed to learn that the source of splashing was Eiders displaying for each other.
Then, since we were part way across the ¾ mile narrows, we decided to continue on and see the Ovens. The Ovens, a series of brick oven-shaped caves, are located by Sand Point on Mount Desert Island (home of famous Bar Harbor).
They’re a well known attraction and a fun destination. The Ovens are publicly owned, but the land around them is private, making kayaks one of the most convenient ways to visit them.
A rainbow of minerals have leached out of the Ovens over the years.

This arch is known as the Cathedral.
If you’d like to know more about the Ovens formation and geology, check out this article by the Maine Geological Survey. Clicking on the pictures on the Maine site brings up captions, and in one case, more pictures.
On our trip back we paddled by Lamoine Beach, quiet except for one dog walker. The wind had picked up, adding texture to the water and obscuring the bottom. On shore, seagulls struggled to open mussels, and overhead an eagle flew by.
Lamoine State Park is such a pretty, peaceful area; yet twice this summer Frenchman's Bay has been paired with "kayaker fatality". In one case, the kayaker launched from Lamoine State Park. While the exact cause of death was not published and preventative actions are subject to debate, one thing is clear; as happened with us, this is an area where folks start on one side and are soon tempted to cross to the other. Before they do, they should be sure to have the skills and equipment for a cold water rescue.
Summary: Start 10:40AM, finish 12:30PM, 5.4 miles. Low tide 11:40AM. Lamoine State Park has fees in season. Outhouses available at Lamoine State Park. Lamoine Beach, and Hadley Beach are also good launch points for the ovens. Hadley Point Beach, on Mount Desert Island is probably the closest launch site.

1 comment:

  1. Love the ovens...two posts of mine include info, photos, history, and experiences there:

    THE OVENS on Mt. Desert Island, Maine or
    http://carolyncholland.wordpress.com/2008/02/22/the-ovens/

    IN SEARCH OF THE ARABELLA: A Story of Two Boats
    http://carolyncholland.wordpress.com/2008/04/16/in-search-of-the-arabella/

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