Portland paddling?

Craig Johnson

Lifetime member
I am going to be in the Portland, Maine area the week after assembly and was wondering If anyone could recommend a nearby, undeveloped pond for a few hours of early morning paddling. Perhaps a resource for canoeing in the area.
Thanks, Craig
Portland is Maine's biggest city as you probably know so all of the ponds of any significance in the area were developed long ago. (There is an undeveloped pond up the street from my house in Falmouth but it is probably less than an acre in size.)

Highland Lake can be a fun area to paddle. You can take route 302 west to Duck Pond Road then turn on to Mast Road then turn left on to Lowell Farm Road then turn left at the blue hand carry launch sign on a road that is not shown on Google maps. It is very obvious and well marked.

Casco Bay can be a great place in a canoe if the wind is not strong. One of my favorite destinations is Fort Gorges as described at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fort_Gorges and http://www.forttours.com/pages/fortgorges.asp which is an easy paddle from Portland's East End Beach.

The Presumpscot River can also be fun. The information at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Presumpscot_River and http://www.presumpscotriver.org/ may help. The access from Walton Park off Allen Avenue Extension in Falmouth as described at http://www.trails.org/map_files/walton-park_description.html is good because you can either paddle up stream to play in the swift water below Presumpscot Falls or head down stream to the ocean.

Let me know if this doesn't answer your question or if you would like more details.

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Thanks for all the information Benson. We spend a week on Peaks Island in Casco Bay every year. This is the first time I will have a canoe with me since I am coming to the assembly first. I am willing to drive an Hour or two for some Canoeing. Not interested in salt water and prefer flat water. Thanks again
Hour or Two

An hour or two opens up a lot of possibilities. You might try and find a copy of the AMC Maine Quietwater Guide and the Maine Delorme Atlas.

Fryeburg Area, Belgrade Lakes, and many others fall within range. Saco River may be okay during the week or early in the morning, but it gets rowdy sometimes.
You can paddle Little Sebago Lake early morning. Launch a few miles off 302 on Anglers Road in North Windham.

Crystal Lake off rt 26 in Gray.

Crescent Lake off Rt 85 and Plains Road in Raymond. You can go down the Tenney River (basically non moving) to Panther Pond. Quite secluded. No one is on the lakes before noon. There is one house on the river. Both Crescent and Panther have kids camps and development is less obtrusive than Highland Lake in Falmouth.

Thomas Pond hand launch off 302 at Alyssas Motel. Go west to the Dingley Islands on Sebago Lake..quite pretty.

Put in at the Songo Locks and paddle to Sebago Lake on the Songo River or north up the Crooked River..again negligible current there.

THe Heath in Casco is undeveloped, motor boats are banned but its hard to find.

Kezar Pond is undeveloped but farther away off Hemlock Bridge Road between Fryeburg and Bridgton.

I have lived on Crescent Lake for ten years. Its only an hour from Portland. And add time for the ferry.

There are sneak routes onto the Range Ponds and Sebago Lake. No need to pay for state park admittance.