NFCT Section 9 Flagstaff Lake

Going to take my first canoe camping trip in this area. I have heard that there is free camping, where can I get information on where the campsites are? I’d like to be out for just a couple of nights this first time, has anyone done this trip who can tell me the general time breakdown? I probably won’t be able to take advantage of hiking opportunities like Cran Mt because I’m recovering from knee surgery. Thanks so much for your help!

big lake
pay attention to the scale

Where should I park and launch? Where should I finish (get a shuttle or make a loop)? How many days would it take to paddle from Stratton to Maine Huts area?

Its all on the map
Cathedral Pines on Map 1 right under the map info is right off Rt 27.

How long it takes you depends on your skill level and the winds. It could take one day to cover the whole lake end to end or several.

I trust you have a DeLorme Atlas and Gazeteer… Its got all the launches on it. Also the dirt roads. You wont find them on usual Rand Mcnally maps

The Maine Hut is right off Long Falls Dam Rd about in the middle of the map.

So I think we’re gonna put in at Round Barn, paddle to Hurricane Island and spend out first night. Then paddle by Old Flagstaff Village on our way to spend the second night at Myers Lodge. Then head all the way back to spend our last night at either Hurricane Island or Round Barn… What do you think? Too much? Too little?

Thats a question only you and the lake
can answer. Squalls can kick up effectively stopping paddling.

I have no idea if you like ten mile days twenty mile days etc.

A good knowledge of self rescue skills and big wave handling is a plus.

I agree about the squals and what canoe

– Last Updated: Jul-16-14 2:16 PM EST –

The squals can be serious on those big Maine lakes. In Fact just a windy day can produce 2 footers and curling top white caps. So not trying to discourage you but this stuff gets real fast. What boat will you be paddling ? And FWIW there are smaller bodies of water up that way with camp sites too.

the predominant wind is west to east

– Last Updated: Jul-16-14 3:55 PM EST –

You might want to travel in that direction. A stay at Flagstaff hut is a real treat. I did the whole lake in two days with kids as bow paddlers but we had favorable winds.

This is taken from right near Flagstaff Hut.


– Last Updated: Jul-16-14 3:54 PM EST –

It is a shallow lake unlike many of the big Maine lakes. It can get real bad real fast in wind. Lovely setting. Spectacular views of the Bigelow Range.

Not shown on the maps I linked to
is the flatwater stretch of the Dead River that goes north to Grand Falls. Lovely and protected. About six miles there and six back.


– Last Updated: Jul-16-14 6:48 PM EST –

I agree the Dead in that stretch is a pretty spot too.

I still have my "Get useless in Eustis" hat from a trip up that way years ago in my salad days. There used to be a good bar/restaurant, "The Trails End." right there. Sometimes got a little crazy on Saturday nights. Not me of course. I recall one night when they had a band and a guy sitting at the bar had one two many and fell back on his bar stool and hit the deck - out cold. His buddies put a chair next to his head so no one would step on him walking by.

Nasty winds in that video… you did the lake meaning one side to the other with a shuttle or one side to the other and back again?

We’ll be using an Old Town Tripper. If the weather doesn’t look favorable we will delay our trip a week, if it still doesn’t look favorable then we’ll have to do a different trip…

one way paddle
We started in Stratton and took out by the dam. We stayed the first night at Hurricane Island and the second night at Flagstaff Hut. I have a cousin that lives in Carabasett Valley and he shuttled our car for us. It was a wonderful trip.


– Last Updated: Jul-17-14 12:56 PM EST –

Can't beat a tripper by much for that trip. We had a 17 Penobscot but we just kind of settled back into the Camper 16. But we don't do those trips so much now.

Flagstaff is man-made…

– Last Updated: Jul-19-14 10:36 AM EST –

..but the Dead is a terrific river[system]...

Where to start/finish/park
So my wife and I are going to make the trip this week. We are not arranging for a shuttle, the plan is basically to take a few days and paddle back and forth between Round Barn and Myers Lodge with a third night spent on Hurricane Island. Which is a better site to start/finish and leave the truck parked at, Round Barn or Myers Lodge?

Thanks in advance!