View of Mosher Pond from the access point off Chesterville Ridge Road
Mosher Pond (a.k.a. Lane’s Pond) is a 76-acre body of water located in the town of Fayette (see The Maine Atlas and Gazetteer map 12 A1). One access point I found is located on Chesterville Ridge Road (also called Mosher Pond Road in Google Maps) at the very southern tip of the pond. Only small hand-carried craft can be launched from this point. Plenty of parking is available alongside the road.
The access point to Brainard Pond. The fog on the water is so thick that the pond, located right behind Christian, is invisible!
Brainard Pond is a 20-acre body of water located in the town of Readfield (see The Maine Atlas and Gazetteer map 12 B4). I found one access point as follows: turn on Plains Road from Route 17, drive north on Plains Road for just under 0.5 mile and look for an unnamed gravel road on the left. You’ve gone too far on Plains Road if you pass Brainard Road. Turn left on the gravel road and go straight unto a forest path when the gravel road veers to the left after about 0.1 mile. The pond is located 0.3 miles further down this path. It looks rough and overgrown but my small front-wheel-drive car made it in and out fine. I did walk first all the way to the pond and back just to make sure that I wouldn’t get stuck! I’m assuming for the purpose of this blog that this access is legitimate because it was not posted anywhere along the way. You can leave your car in the woods about 200 ft from the pond. Only small hand-carried craft can be launched from this point.
The access point along Route 202 is a challenge to get in and out of.
Little Cobbosseecontee Lake is a 75-acre body of water located in the town of Winthrop, Maine (see The Atlas and Gazetteer map 12 C4). Public access to this pond is a real problem. The “boat launch” is situated by the outlet which flows underneath Route 202. This road is a major motorway into and out of Augusta located less than five miles away. The traffic is incessant and flying by at 55+ MPH. The boat and all the fishing equipment needs to be heaved over the road safety railing and down the rip-rap boulders towards the three large culverts. Needless to say, only hand-carried craft can be launched from this point. There’s ample parking on the road shoulder. Please keep in mind that this access is NOT kid-friendly!
The public access point to Jimmie Pond can only accommodate hand-carried craft
Jimmie Pond (a.k.a. Jamie’s Pond) is a 107-acre body of water located in the towns of Manchester and Farmingdale, Maine (see the Maine Atlas and Gazetteer map 12 C4). This pond is at the core of the 915-acre Jamie’s Pond Wildlife Management Area, which is owned and operated by the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife (click here for details). The pond and its surrounding land was formerly the property of the Hallowell Water District which supplied drinking water for the nearby town of Hallowell. As a result of this historic use, the pond’s shoreline has remained largely undeveloped, thereby providing an unusually unspoiled setting within a stone’s throw of downtown Augusta. The land surrounding the pond supports various outdoors activities throughout the four seasons (click here for details). The public access to this pond is located by the former pump house at the end of Jamies Pond Road (off Outlet Road). The access point consists of a hard launch but only hand-carried craft can be released because the launch is blocked by two massive boulders. A review of the fishing rules, and searching on the internet, does not suggest that gasoline-powered engines are forbidden on the pond.
The access point from Whippoorwill Road to Little Purgatory Pond is just a hole through bushes…
Little Purgatory Pond is a 44-acre body of water located in Litchfield, Maine (see the Maine Atlas and Gazetteer map 12 D3). It is situated just north of Whippoorwill Road and is linked by a short culvert to Woodbury Pond on the opposite side of this road. The access point is quite rough and consists simply of an opening through bushes between the road and the pond. Only hand-carried craft can be launched from this location. The lack of a public boat launch means that fishermen will most likely be fishing this pond pretty much by themselves. Cars can be parked “rough” on the shoulders of Whippoorwill Road. Beware that this road is a surprisingly busy thoroughfare. The Maine Atlas and Gazetteer is actually confusing, because it shows that a substantial spit of land separates these two ponds, even though they are parted only by the width of the road. That baffles the hell out of me because I reach Whippoorwill Road using my GPS, meaning that I’m not paying any attention as to the direction I take to get there. So, I get confused and unknowingly launch my canoe in what turns out to be Woodbury Pond. It takes me a good hour before I realize my error and turn around so that I can finally fish the “right” pond!
The entrance to Dexter Pond passes underneath this low bridge
Dexter Pond is a 120-acre body of water located in the towns of Wayne and Winthrop, Maine (see the Maine Atlas and Gazetteer map 12 C2). The Maine Atlas and Gazetteer does not show a public boat launch on this pond. Instead, I reach it via Berry Pond. Click here for details on how to access Berry Pond. I note that Google Maps seems to show an access point for hand-carried craft at the extreme southern tip of Dexter Pond off Mount Pisgah Road, but I cannot confirm this fact. Berry and Dexter ponds are separated by a narrow bridge. Beware that the bridge sits quite low over the water. I have less than 2 ft of clearance when I pass underneath it with my canoe. In fact, I have to lay flat on my back on the bottom of the canoe and use my arms to grab the underside of the bridge and push myself forward. I suspect that this passageway might be problematic when the water level is higher in the spring or fall. It is clear that no motor boats could pass between the two ponds regardless of the season.
Berry Pond is a 170-acre body of water located in the towns of Wayne and Winthrop, Maine (see the Maine Atlas and Gazetteer map 12 C2). The public access point is found at the northern end of the pond, next to Route 133. Only hand-carried crafts can be released from this point. Beware that the launch itself is a muddy mess consisting of a wobbly gang plank and a couple of broken wooden pallets floating on the mud. These conditions may not be as bad in the spring and fall when the water levels are higher. The parking area is extensive and can accommodate many cars. The lack of a hard-top boat launch means that the pond is lightly fished. I also notice only a handful of pontoon boats on the water, indicating that motorized boat traffic is minimal. There’s one fly in this sweet ointment, though… The traffic on Route 133 is incessant. It generates intrusive road noise which impinges on the otherwise peaceful setting.
The fog over Panther Pond is being burned off by the rising sun
Panther Pond is a 1,439-acre body of water located in Raymond, Maine (see the Maine Atlas and Gazetteer map 5 C2). Access is via an unimproved dirt launch located right before the outlet dam on Mill Street. This launch, which can accommodate larger power boats, is rather steep with a surface consisting of sand and rocks. It can be useful to use a 4X4 vehicle to launch and retrieve motored vessels from this location. Parking for trailered vehicles is “rough” on the side of the road; space is available for only a handful of cars or trucks. A small parking area is located on the opposite side of the dam but can only hold vehicles without trailers. An alternative access option is to release a boat at the official hard-top launch on the southern tip of Crescent Lake (see the Maine Atlas and Gazetteer map 5 B2) and navigate into Panther Pond via the Tenney River.