Paddling among the trees; it must be Spring!After a few hard rain storms the streams are flowing better in the Bangor area. Check out this nifty graph of Kenduskeag Stream flowage. Sadly, the Kenduskeag Stream Race took place at the spring nadir.
On the plus side, I’ve seen almost no black flies. I was hoping this was because the dry weather earlier killed them all, but entomologists report that it is just early.
Anyway we thought we’d take advantage of the lack of bugs and availability of high water to paddle among the trees alongside Pushaw Stream. Perhaps we’d even forge through to Mud Pond.
We launched where Route 43 first crosses Pushaw Stream in Alton. It’s just a wide spot in the road, across from the Hirundo Wildlife Refuge Gift Store. From the launch to Pushaw Lake is about 3 miles of generally calm flat water with very little current. That is not always the case in the downstream direction.
It’s a good habitat for beaver, we passed several lodges on our trip.
|The Entrance off Pushaw Stream|
The connection to Mud Pond is fairly hard to spot on the Pushaw Stream side; after the first sharp bend it’s between two duck houses. I was a bit worried that we’d just be paddling through marsh. But after making it over one beaver dam the stream becomes fairly well defined, though it is often quite shallow.
Mud Pond is reasonable sized and seems to be free of residences. On the far side was a boat launch at Sewell Park.
|Two boata on a launch in Sewell Park|
In Sewell Park, signs denoted the lake as “Perch Pond,” which is a decidedly more appealing name. The Old Town Web Site, which refers to the pond as both Perch and Mud, claims there are drinking water and restrooms in the park, but we didn’t spot them. Perhaps those are seasonal.
It looked like it might be good swimming, but that’s a bit hard to tell.The pathway from Mud Pond back to Pushaw Stream is much more defined.
All in all the trip was about 6.5 miles. There were no restrooms along the way, and limited parking at the launch, significant parking at Sewell Park. Hirundo Wildlife Refuge leads frequent paddling adventures, and offers this map of water trails.