Look for this sign on the Park Tote Road for the trail to Round Pond.
Round Pond (a.k.a. Caverly Pond) is located in the southern portion of Baxter State Park (BSP) in Piscataquis County, Maine (see the Maine Atlas and Gazetteer map 51 D1). To reach this location, drive 1.1 miles on the Park Tote Road from Togue Pond Gate, the southern entrance to the park. Look for the brown “Kettle Ponds Trail” sign on your right. Very limited parking is available on the road shoulder. The pond is located about 600 ft. down a well-maintained trail. One can rent a locked BSP canoe at the put-in for 1$ per hour. Talk to the Togue Pond gate attendant to obtain the keys, if interested. I do not require this option because I brought my own craft. I do note that the BSP canoe does not have swimming vests or paddles, which the user needs to provide.
The rising sun is quickly burning off the morning fog. I love this vibe!
Horseshoe Pond is a 132-acre body of water located in the towns of Stoneham and Stowe within the boundary of the White Mountain National Forest in southern Oxford County, Maine (see the Maine Atlas and Gazetteer map 10 D1). The access point is by the outlet at the end of Horseshoe Pond Road, a well-maintained gravel road. The boat launch is unimproved but can easily accommodate small, trailered boats. Beware that motorboats with engines over six horsepower are not allowed.
Our target pool this morning is located downstream of the the River Road bridge in North Conway
The fam and I are spending the long July 4th holiday week camping at Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Park located right off Route 302 in Glenn, NH (see the New Hampshire Atlas and Gazetteer map 45 G9). This well-maintained and well-organized campground sits right next to the beautiful Saco River, which has its source in the heart of the White Mountains at Crawford Notch and flows southeasterly into Maine at Fryeburg. I brought my fly-fishing gear in order to catch some of the numerous trout that call this river home. My target this morning is a large, slow-moving pool located just downstream of the bridge on River Road in downtown North Conway. Keep in mind that this general location turns into a circus during the summer months as it is a popular take-out point for hordes of people floating down the Saco River on tubes from further upstream. Kids also use several rope swings along the banks of the pool to jump into the water. The only time to properly fish this section is early in the morning before the crowds arrive or late in the evening after the crowds have left. Parking is available in a small area along the shoulder of River Road opposite the bridge. Keep in mind that the maintained parking lot next to the bridge is managed by the town of North Conway. It costs $20 to park there after 8 am, when an attendant is present to collect the fee.
Parts of the unimproved forest road leading into Moose Pond have been ripped open by four-wheelers during mud season.
Moose Pond covers 11 acres and is located in Bowtown Township in Somerset County, Maine (see The Maine Atlas and Gazetteer map 30 A2). This pond can be reached as follows: from North New Portland (see The Maine Atlas and Gazetteer map 30 E2), drive north on Long Falls Dam Road for about 24.5 miles and turn right on Carrying Place Road at the sign for Cobb’s Camps. Drive down this gravel logging road for 10.1 miles until the yield traffic sign and turn left on Bowtown Road (note: Google Maps calls this road “Otter Pond Road”). Pass Harrison Camp on the left, cross Pierce Pond Stream and drive for another 4 miles or so until the road forks. Hang a right at that fork and look for a rough and unimproved forest road to your right a couple of hundred feet further down. Don’t bother driving down this forest road in the spring because several sections of it have been plowed open by four-wheelers and 4X4 vehicles during Mud Season, creating deeply-rutted pools of soft mud. It’s about a half-mile walk from Bowtwon Road to the pond.
King Pond covers 16 acres and is located in Bowtown Township in Somerset County, Maine (see The Maine Atlas and Gazetteer map 30 A2). Five of us are spending four fabulous days during the long Memorial Day weekend fishing Pierce Pond for landlocked Atlantic salmon and brook trout, as well as some of the smaller water bodies in the surrounding watershed for brook trout. We are staying “in style” at one of the cozy cabins at Cobb’s Pierce Pond Sporting Camps located on the shore of the lower basin of Pierce Pond. A critical benefit of staying at Cobb’s Camp is access to their locked canoes that are strategically stored at various local ponds, plus detailed directions on the locations of the trailheads that connect Pierce Pond to those water bodies. King Pond is publicly accessible from land, although I have not attempted to reach it via the old logging roads and trails shown on map 30 A2.
Split Rock Pond covers 6 acres and is located in Pierce Pond Township in Somerset County, Maine (see The Maine Atlas and Gazetteer map 30 A2). Five of us are spending four fabulous days during the long Memorial Day weekend fishing Pierce Pond for landlocked Atlantic salmon and brook trout, as well as some of the smaller water bodies in the surrounding watershed for brook trout. We are staying “in style” at one of the cozy cabins at Cobb’s Pierce Pond Sporting Camps located on the shore of the lower basin of Pierce Pond. A critical benefit of staying at Cobb’s Camp is access to their locked canoes that are strategically stored at various local ponds, plus detailed directions on the locations of the trailheads that connect Pierce Pond to those water bodies. This particular pond is accessible to the public from inland, although I have not attempted to reach it via the old logging roads shown on map 30 A2.
The gate on Overset Pond Lane is closed. I have to haul in all my equipment using my canoe wheels.
Overset Pond covers 18 acres and is located in Greenwood, Oxford County, Maine (see The Maine Atlas and Gazetteer map 10 C4). To reach this location, drive north on Route 219 (Greenwood Road) into Greenwood. Turn left on Patch Mountain Road and drive down this road for 0.5 miles. Then, turn right on Willis Mills Road and after 0.1 mile, turn right again on Overset Pond Lane. Note that the latter goes through privately-owned woodlands. The landowners allow public access via permissive trespass. However, they also installed a sturdy gate that is locked during mud season to prevent vehicles from destroying Overset Pond Lane. The sign says that the gate will be open on May 23. To reach the pond when the gate is locked (as it is for me today), leave your vehicle at the small parking lot by the gate and walk for about ¾ of a mile. Be aware that Overset Pond Lane is deceptively steep! It took me 30 minutes of serious huffing and puffing to pull up all my gear on my canoe wheels, but only 20 minutes to return back to the gate at the end of my trip. At some point, the lane bifurcates. Look for a small brown sign by the tree line on the left just passed the fork that says “Overset”. That’s the start of the 2.2 mile Overset Pond hiking trail which loops around the pond. It takes about 8 to 10 minutes to reach the access point from here (hang a left at the bifurcation on the trail at the southern tip of the pond). Note that this trail is too rough to accommodate canoe wheels. Hence, everything has to be carried in by hand from the road to the access point. I do have a sneaky, but unproven, suspicion that the gravel road to the left of the bifurcation may in fact extend to the access point which also has a campsite and a fire ring.
The public access point is unimproved but could accommodate a small, trailered boat.
Keys Pond covers 192 acres and is located in Sweden, Oxford County, Maine (see The Maine Atlas and Gazetteer map 10E3). The public access is found at the northern tip, in the vicinity of the outlet. To reach this point, drive north on Plummer School Road, and turn left on Perry Hill Road. Stay on this road for 0.2 miles before turning left on Keys Pond Road. The access point is located 0.3 miles down that road on your left. Motorboats are not explicitly prohibited on this body of water but the town has established a voluntary engine size limit of 5 horse power. The launch is rough, narrow, a bit muddy, and sandy but could accommodate a small, trailered boat in a pinch. A limited area for rough parking is available next to the launch.
Pettingill Pond covers 36 acres and is located across from Seacoast Adventure in Windham, Cumberland County, Maine (see The Maine Atlas and Gazetteer map 5 C2). The public access to this body of water can be difficult to find. While driving on Route 302 in Windham (direction Raymond and Naples, i.e., north), turn right at the light on Anglers Road just past Bob’s Seafood Restaurant, go down that ruddy road for about 0.4 miles and look for house number 48. The small, unmarked public access will be to your left immediately past that house (and across from house #51). You have gone too far if you reach Mud Pond Road. Keep in mind that Anglers Road is narrow, potholed, and trafficky, and no vehicles are allowed to park on it or by the public access. The only readily-available place to leave your car is by Route 302.
Shagg Pond covers 64 acres and is located in Woodstock, Oxford County, Maine (see The Maine Atlas and Gazetteer map 11 A1). The public access point is found along the western shoreline right off Redding Road, also called Shagg Pond Road in Google Maps. The boat launch is sandy and unimproved but can accommodate trailed boats. Parking is limited to a few cars along the shoulder of the gravel road.