Paddling near Greenville, Maine, and Bangor

Aside from Moosehead, if you draw a sort of circle from Greenville to Medway, Lincoln, and Bangor, what are some worthwhile places to paddle in that area? So not west toward Flagstaff (have that area covered already), more up around Greenville and then back toward Bangor. Jackman is too far for this trip. Criteria:

Driveable roads!! (subcompact car)
–Ponds with coves and islands are better than large open lakes
–Camping nearby is a plus (car camping or paddle-to)

I know there are dozens of choices. Wondering what you recommend.

You’ll want to pick up the Quiet Waters, Maine edition, it is a fabulous resource. I just glanced at my copy, centering on Greenville

But it looks like Indian Pond is only half an hour, west, of Greenville. But there is a lot to explore up there, the book will really help. We use that to plan most of our trips in NH and VT. We picked up the Maine book just for completeness.

I have Quiet Waters. Indian Pond must be beautiful. However . . . Rough Road To Indian Pond - Greenville, ME - YouTube Hoping to hear from people who have paddled specific places and know the road conditions.

Of course. Bangor and Greenville are not close.
Bangor is on the Penobscot River but Greenville is near a whole raft of lakes that are great paddling aside from Moosehead.
We are local and paddle 1st Roach, Wilson Pond, Prong Pond, . Pond does not mean small in Maine it means comparatively shallow. All will be more than a day paddle. Indian Pond is some ten miles long. Rough roads are normal. Yes we go there as dirt rough roads are part of our life.
The first three ponds have good roads and the B52 crash site is well worth it. Google it. The road is fine save one gully about two feet deep that is avoidable.
Your You tube video shows a good road after a lot of rain. There is an improved launch on Burnham Rd. for Indian Pond.

If you want to go to Medway do not do it from Greenville. The Sias Road is for high clearance vehicles and it will take you a couple of hours by paved road. Lower Jo Mary and Sebeois Lakes have reasonable roads…yes they are dirt. Endless Lake is a little farther in on dirt road and very pretty Nahmakanta Lake is a gem but again 24 miles of logging road each way
Logging roads are kept up as needed. Road conditions can vary from one week to the next and can vary if grading has just been done or stone set recently.

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Check out the roach ponds, we sent a scout group there (first roach) 40 years ago! Have no idea what the roads are like now in any of that neck of the woods. Indian lake is a good suggestion (again no beta on road). The stretch of water between Moosehead and Indian (East Outlet) requires ww skills and some of the portage trail had grown in when I was there six or seven years ago. So look for access directly to Indian Lake. Travel a bit further (via Rockwood) and of course lobster stream and lake come to mind. Don’t discount Canada Falls Lake- I’m assuming they got the dam fixed from several years ago. A nice drive in campground is there and a few coves to explore but you will have north maine woods fees- also the headwaters of the lake- dole and cheney pond, penobscot lake- possible to drag an abs canoe between these bodies of water in may and june via the brooks and on down into canada falls lake. There was one commercial hunting camp on penobscot lake (40 years ago). Sorry my beta is so old but I figure the streams and ponds have not changed much- roads, they can change by the minute, depending on when the area was last logged or if you are driving through an active logging site. I encountered this just a few years ago on the demo road (formerly called the Scott Road) between Seboomook and Jackman- feller buncher blocking the road.

Demo Road is in great shape but the 20 mile /Northern road has a horrid part between mile 6.5-`11. Beta is from last month. Canada Falls Lake has been a bear. We have tried to paddle it a few weeks go but winds from the south at 25-20 makes it hard. Its pretty wide open by the North Maine Woods campsites and launch.

Golden Road between Millinocket and Lobster Stream is thankfully moving to dirt now. The horrid potholed asphalt is being removed. The road is passable for all vehicles as its a main drag. From Rockwood via Seboomook Lake itis three hours of driving on a road that is sometimes worse than that U tube video You can contact my friend Whitney at Seboomook Wilderness Campground for up to date beta… Her other has to sometimes go to Greenville.

The Upper Canada Falls Dam is all fixed and in season there are releases for a whitewater run.

What happens on the other roads is if there is no logging there is no road maintenance. If there is there is maintenance and sometimes as above things you have to pause for. An average speed is 15-20 mph for travel planning on anything other than the Golden Road. These roads often run through forests with many different owners in different timbering stages so that is why there is differential maintenance that changes weekly it seems.

Do not count on any dragging. With low water this year , you will be hiking with your boat.

Thanks for all the suggestions so far. I will investigate those. Now, two issues I’ve become aware of. First, how bad is the drought up there? I heard one lake near Rangeley was 18 feet below normal, meaning the exposed beach is 30 feet wide. Are all the lakes in the area low and does that make for unattractive paddling? What about smaller ponds?

Second, what’s the situation with browntail moths? Are they up around Greenville? How bad is the defoliation? Thanks!

Found this drought map which indicates “severe” drought in this area:: Maine Drought Conditions Interactive Web Map September 7, 2021

Browntail moths seem to be mostly along the coast and somewhat inland but not as far as Moosehead:

It depends on dam drawdowns
Usually on lakes its just less lake
Some of the dams are being opened for winter drawdown
You would be fine on lakes and ponds
One year the Seboomook dam was left too open during the winter and the lakevwas mostly beach the following year.
moths mostly a Mid Coast thing Less ofva problem now that frost is arriving. The caterpillar season is long done
Flagstaff near Rangeley is a reservoir
subject to
drawdowns from Long Falls Dam
Your main concern is your wardrobe.
Wear some orange. Bear season is underway as well as moose.

Great news that you have the book, it seems everybody does but I just can’t assume that. I hear you on the roads, that video shows a pretty good road to me, just be careful. You won’t have cell service up there. I have friends who boondock camp up there, they bring 2 vehicles and two spare tires each, and extra gas. But, they are also going way off the beaten path.

These two pictures are from Northern NH, but from what I’ve seen of the Northern Maine Woods you can encounter similar conditions.

You can also get really nice roads.

The roads were, for the most part, made by the logging companies who built them rather well. But, once they are done with them they do not maintain them, so you need to stay sharp. And, of course, you’ll sometimes encounter this:

That one is actually in northern Maine, notice how I’ve gotten off the road, but I got lucky here since the road is pretty wide.

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Usually when we run into those type of sketch roads with water going across we get out and scout. Its important to have an up to date Gazeteer as the roads when disused sometimes have bridges removed and large boulders blocking the path. Whatever you do, unless you are familiar with your road, do not bring a paddlecraft trailer. You can surmise from the second pic from the top there will not be anyplace to turn around should you have to.
Agreed no cell service and should you have vehicle problems no roadside assistance.

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