Early Morning Paddle
We chose this location for a paddle because they had rentals available across the street at National Park Canoe Rental. We left our kayak at home and our friends brought theirs. Our plan was to rent when we got there. This is a bad plan in the fall. Finding a rental late in the season is tough as the ocean kayak rental shops will not rent out during cold weather due to risk of a client dumping over in the ocean and freeing. This limited our original plan which was to rent a kayak and then put in at Eagle Lake. We figured that heading out on Long Pond was our only option at this point and we would take it.
At 9am we had a full breakfast and were already at the rental shop. The lake was like glass, and the parking lot was empty. We casually got our boats linked up with the dock, and for the first time in my life, I got into my kayak from a dock rather than wading in from a shallow beach. Autumn water is cold in Maine!. It was kind of tricky.
We did a short route where we wandered south along the shore. It was quiet and we paddled past cottages and pine trees for about a half hour. We got about part way and turned right into a cove. The rocks and the shoreline were interesting at that point and we stopped for some photos. It was about this time that the hands were starting to feel the wear of the paddle and we looped back to head towards the dock.
When we returned to the dock, it was packed with people and boats. It was kind of overwhelming and tricky to get a spot on the dock to get out. People were posing for pictures and figuring out how to get into a boat for the first time in their lives. It took patience to wait and work around everything going on. I was really glad we put the boats in when we did.
To get there, we drove to the northern tip of Long Pond via Route 102, also called Pretty Marsh Road. If you have your own boat, just park in the dirt parking lot and drop your boat right in. If you did not bring your own canoe or kayak, you can rent from National Park Canoe Rental where some kids helped set us up. They have carts to bring the boats from the rental shop to the dock across the road, and then you pull the cart back up hill to the rental place before you push off.