Madawaska Bog-Palmyra

 

            Some years are better for this paddle than others. This spring has seen a fair amount of rain, coupled with the snowmelt from a pretty good Maine winter, so the bog is higher than usual. If you go before July you'll have a chance to poke around numerous little channels that feed the bog. The bog is fed by the Madawaska Brook, which flows from Whiteís Pond on the other side of Rt 2, through the bog and out at the dam where you put your boat in. As the brook exits, it then runs to Douglas Pond and connects with the West Branch of the Sebasticook River coming from Hartland and leading to Pittsfield, thence downstream, eventually reaching the Kennebec River in Winslow. Iíll cover parts of that river run in future trip reviews. Itís always fun to see whatís just around the next corner. Often when you think youíve reached the end of the line you'll come to another bend in the stream that tells you to just keep going a little further. Follow that voice and see how far into the bog you can go. Thatís whatís so neat about a kayak or a canoe - they donít draw much water and can go where the big boats cannot.

            Red-winded blackbirds, kingbirds, great blue herons, osprey, blue-winged teal and mallard ducks were just some of the birds we saw on this trip. There are usually kingfishers and bitterns there too.  In mid-June the banks were loaded with wild blue irises in bloom. All through the bog the yellow lotuses were blossomed too.

            Since there is no development at all you'll more often than not have this bog to yourself. A 2-hour trip or all day Ė itíll be entirely up to you. I've done a circumnavigation in an hour before work and taken most of the day at other times just exploring around the shoreline. As with any trip the more you watch carefully for things the more you'll see.

To reach the bog, turn onto the Madawaska Rd at the Palmyra Elementary School on Rt 2. The dam and launch site are across from 213 Madawaska Rd, about a mile from Rt 2.

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.       Clean any vegetation off your boats before you leave the area so as not to transport invasive plants to the next body of water you visit.

     Enjoy your paddling Ė see you on the water

 www.dougspalding.com/paddlemaine

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