Alder Stream

Corinna Maine  


     This is one of the easy canoe/kayak trips I'll tell you about over the summer. To me, small boats are a perfect way to enjoy the out of the way places in Maine. i hope you'll enjoy reading about these short trips and decide to try them yourself some time.

By 6:30 Tuesday morning I was on Alder Stream in Corinna. I'd forgotten that the dam was partially washed a while back and the water was lower than usual. Since my canoe only draws about 4 inches of water I decided to paddle the stream anyway.  If you take the Alder Stream trip be sure to watch for rocks in this glacial waterway. 

     Almost as soon as I began paddling an immature bald eagle flew over, chased by a pair of crows.  Not long after that there were crows being harassed by red-winged blackbirds as a pair of loons swam nearby. Along the edges of the stream frolicked a myriad of sandpipers, taking advantage of the low water to catch some breakfast. Lesser yellowlegs, another shorebird, also searched along the waterís edge. Keening overhead were kingfishers and osprey. Mallard ducks swam ahead of my canoe as I worked my way upstream. There was a beaver house under repair, but I didnít get to see the beavers this time. The sound of Pileated woodpeckers echoed over the water. Off in the distance could be heard vehicles on the highways. It was easy to tune those out and just listen to the sounds of nature and enjoy the reflections of the trees on the water. 

     About a half hour into the trip, as the water neared 3 inches deep, the 12-foot wide granite block bridge over the Exeter Road came into view. Thinking that might well be the end of the stream today I paddled as close to it as possible, so as to admire the workmanship of the bridge. I was pleased to find enough water so I could pass under the road and continue upstream. It was another 45 minutes before the stream finally shallowed up enough that I would have had to get out and portage over the gravel bar. Since May has traditionally coolish water , and since the air temperature was only 43įs I decided to turn around and head back. A brisk breeze picked up and blew in the same direction as I was going. A rare enough treat when the wind almost always blows in the opposite direction from where one tries to paddle. 

     The trip back to the car was quicker than the trip upstream, the entire trip taking about 2 hours. I find that leaving the vehicle and paddling upstream is a good way to see new territory without the inconvenience of having to leave a second car at the end point. I travel upstream until I'm tired or time gets short and then ride the gentle currents back to the start point. 

     Directions to Alder Stream:

From Corinna village, travel east on Rt 222 towards Newport. About ĺ of a mile on that road brings you to the sharp right-hand curve where the Smith Road leaves Rt 222 on your left. Turn left into the small town park and leave your vehicle there. Enter the water on the right-hand side of the stony beach. The left side is muddy and rocky.    

     As always, remember to be courteous to neighbors nearby where you launch. Take your personal flotation device, water and snacks enough for the trip, a change of clothing, camera, binoculars, sunscreen, sunglasses and a hat. Plan for weather changes and have enough clothing for dropping temperatures and wind or rain. Leave your valuables at home or take them in the boat with you, stored in a watertight bag. I prefer to take only the essentials and leave the expensive things at home. Unfortunately there are people who target vehicles left on the roadside so donít tempt thieves or fate by leaving things to steal.


     Enjoy your paddling-see you on the water

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