Access to Eagle Lake is right off a public road, Route 233. When we arrived, we could see the upper lot was full and about thirty cars were parked along the street sides. So we were surprised to discover parking right by the boat launch in the smaller lake side lot.
Most of the others were bicyclists, looking to loop the lake on grand carriage trails. Others had longer adventures planned; one group asked us which trail headed to Jordan Pond where they planned to lunch. (I'm not sure why they asked us, since clearly we weren't headed to Jordan Pond. But possibly since we were pumping up our paddle boards we were a stationary target. )
As crowded as the parking area was, you soon find privacy along the carriage trails and on the lake.
Along the east shore we found this rock shelter. In 1885 a small hotel, the Curran House was built beside the dam on the north side of the lake. The hotel built a small wharf from which the steamboat Wauwinnet transported guests to wharf on the east side where a railroad climbed Mount Cadillac. Pictures of the hotel, steamboat and railroad can be found in a History of Bar Harbor Water Company pdf (the Eagle Lake story starts on page 75.) Those pictures show no stone buildings, so my guess is the rockwork was built by the Civilian Conservation Corp (CCC) in the 1930's as an enhancement to the carriage trails.
All in all a lovely, quiet paddle.
|A bicyclist by the dam, where Curran House once stood|
We left our boards inflated so we could check for snakes at the Ellsworth Launch on the Union River. Midday none were found, which was not really a surprise, they'd be more likely sunning on the rocks on a cooler day or in morning or evening light. However several eagles were having great success fishing.