Little Indian Pond
June 12th, 2008 dawned clear and breezy after several days of muggy weather. I decided to stay close to home and on a small body of water. Little Indian Pond, in St Albans seemed like the right choice this morning. With a boggy shoreline most of the way around the pond there is little development so it’s a quiet place to visit. Arriving at just the right time, I was greeted with a glorious sunrise and not a hint of wind, though it was fairly strong at home. The lotus blossoms are beginning to open now and muskrats were munching on them. Twenty minutes of paddling east by several beaver lodges on the northern shore brought me to Ripley Stream on the left, the inlet of the pond. Later in the summer this little stream in non navigable but today after all the recent rain I was able to go quite a ways up. There were wild irises on the banks. Eastern kingbirds and tree swallows flew about gathering mosquitoes.
After forty-five minutes on Ripley Stream I was back on the pond, where the breeze had picked up dramatically. This is where you're likely to see a small flock of black terns, one of the only colonies of this breed of bird in Maine. Be sure to watch for them. Cormorants and loons swam together, bothered only slightly by my canoe as it passed by within fifty feet of them. A blue-winged teal landed and disappeared into the reeds on the shoreline. Red-winged blackbirds shrilled from the alders on shore.
This is a trip you can take before heading in to work on a spring or summer day. I was home is less than 2 ½ hours.
To reach Little Indian Pond, travel north out of St Albans village on Routes 23/152 for 1 mile. Bear right on the Grant Rd and after a mile and a half, turn right on the Ballard Rd. At the end of the Ballard Rd, turn right on the Ripley Rd and in about a tenth of a mile cross the big culvert and you'll see Little Indian on the left and Big Indian on the right. Park on the left to launch and be sure to leave the launch path open for others by parking up next to the road after unloading. Watch out for the large patch of poison ivy on side of the launch path.
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, wind or rain. Leave your valuables at home or take them in the boat with you, stored in a watertight bag. Take only essentials and leave expensive things at home.
Enjoy your paddling – see you on the water
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