View of Black Pond from the boat launch. Note the dense lily pads.
Black Pond is a 50-acre body of water located in Porter, Maine (see the Maine Atlas and Gazetteer map 4 D2). Drive north on School Street from Route 160/25 in South Hiram. The name of this road changes to Spec Pond Road at some point before it weaves between the two Spectacle Ponds. Regardless, stay on this road until you pass house number 413 on the left. Several 100 ft beyond (and after driving 2.5 miles from Route 160/25) turn left on Old Meetinghouse Road. Beware that the street marker for this road is missing and it is therefore easy to drive right by it. The pond will appear on the left after 0.6 miles. A hard boat launch is located about 100 ft past the two big culverts that run underneath the road. The launch is tight but can accommodate a trailered boat. Parking is limited along the unimproved shoulders of the road.
View of Big Clemons Pond from the public access point
Big Clemons Pond is an 85-acre body of water located in Hiram, Maine (see The Maine Atlas and Gazetteer map 4 C2). From Hiram, drive north on Routes 5/113 (Pequawket Trail). After about 2 miles, turn left on Notch Road. Drive 2.5 miles down this road and turn right on Clemons Cove Road. The access point is 0.2 miles on the left, immediately past “Neighbors Way”. Note that both The Maine Gazetteer and the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife indicate the presence of a hard-surface boat launch at this location. What I found was a public launch area that can only accommodate small hand-carried craft, such as a kayak or canoe; a couple of cars can be parked on the grass on the side. I suspect that the actual boat launch is located nearby but that I missed it.
The access point on Beaver Pond with view of the large island and a hint of Pleasant Mountain in the background
Beaver Pond is a 128-acre body of water located in Denmark, Maine (see The Maine Atlas and Gazetteer map 4 B3). The pond is situated off Denmark Road, which connects Route 302 (Bridgton Road) with Route 160 (West Maine Street). Public access is available at a town launch sited at the end of Beaver Pond Road. This dirt road is unmarked but can be found right next to house number 347 on Denmark Road (look for a red barn). Note that this road is not named in the Maine Gazetteer but appears on the Google map at the top of this article. The pond is located 0.3 miles from the Denmark Road turnoff. The sandy launch can accommodate small trailered boats, but is best suited for hand-carried craft. Only a handful of cars can park “rough” in the woods around the launch.
Island Pond is a 166-acre body of water which straddles the town lines of Harrison and Waterford, Maine (see The Maine Atlas and Gazetteer map 10 E5). The pond is located next to Temple Hill Road, off Route 117 (a.k.a. Norway Road). It has an unusually rectangular shape, with a long, narrow and rocky island at the southern end. Public access is available at a traditional carry-in situated on the western side of the pond after driving 0.5 miles on Island Pond Road. This access point is located right before the entrance to the Fernwood Cove Girl Summer Camp. Only hand-carried craft such as canoes or kayaks can be launched at this location due to the lack of a boat ramp. Several cars can park “rough” on the left-hand side of the road across from the access point.
Sand Pond (a.k.a. Walden Pond) is a 256-acre body of water located in Denmark, Maine (see The Maine Atlas and Gazetteer map 4 B3). It is accessible via an excellent hard-top boat launch located on next-door Hancock Pond. Both ponds are connected via a short (< 10 ft long) but shallow (< 1 ft deep) and rather narrow sandy thoroughfare. The lack of a public boat launch and the somewhat dicey way in via Hancock Pond, make it so that the pond is not overrun by fisherman.