Messalonskee Lake Info.
It was a beautiful morning to go kayaking. The launch has ample parking and is made for carry in boats only. The ramp dumps out into a very shallow section of the lake and there’s a narrow path to Belgrade stream on the south west side of the lake.
The south west shore line is not heavily developed so the views are nice. The shallow waters make it great for birds. There was a family of loons, one appeared to be learning to fly, or it just liked to practice the almost take off. A couple osprey went fishing.
In total I spent five hours on the lake and I only made it to the first island. I stopped and had a snack and it was incredible. By kayak, this lake would take days to explore. If you want to see the other side of the lake, don’t worry you don’t have to plan an over night trip, just launch from the real boat launch on the other side of the lake.
This place is definitely worth another visit. There’s so much to explore.
Launch Date: 08/01/2019
Launch Site: Kayak Launch [Turner Boat Launch]
Lake Info: [No Survey Map]
Park Info: [Guide Map]
Fish: Small Mouth Bass, Large Mouth Bass, Northern Pike, Perch
The section of the Androscoggin river that runs along the Riverlands State Park is also known as Gulf Island Pond which exists due to a big hydro electric dam past the south end of the state park.
There was no shortage of wildlife during my visit. An osprey was fishing, loons were diving down, and the fish were biting. I caught my first ever Northern Pike. Don’t let the slow moving water fool you, this is very much a river and use river fishing tactics. There are day use picnic areas as well as designated camp sites. All in all, this is a very cool place to spend a day. Though, be aware, don’t eat the fish and don’t swim. It’s likely that the toxic past of this river still exists within the sediment.
This section of river only exists as the beautiful landscape that we see today due to the result of huge clean up effort. A fellow boater gave me this description of how the river used to look:
The river was covered with orange foam a foot high. The river banks looked like they were hit with agent orange. Everything along the shore was dead.
Congrats to the people who took on the clean up effort for the following generations. Further reading cleaning up the androscoggin river.