In my post on July 14, we embarked on a canoe/kayak trip from Sinclair on Long Lake to Limestone Point on Square Lake. After an amazing night in which we were able to observe the galaxy in all of its splendor and we sat around a campfire drinking coffee the way it was intended to be drank, we awoke at 4:30 a.m., stiff from sleeping on the dew-covered ground to await the warmth of the sun as it rises over the placid surface of the lake. Rather than hassle with another campfire, we fire up the Coleman Camp Stove and cook a breakfast of eggs, potatoes, and freshly caught trout (did I mention that we caught them that morning?) as well as more coffee.
Breakfast over, we clean up the campsite and load up our gear for the paddle along the northwest shore of Square Lake to the Eagle Lake thoroughfare. Eagle Lake is the connection to the Fish River overflows into the Fish River in the southeast corner of Wallagrass 13 miles (21 km) upstream of the confluence with the Saint John River. From the outlet, the lake extends southward through the eastern part of the town of Eagle Lake and forms a “L” extending eastward through township 16, range 6, into township 16, range 5. Fish River enters Eagle Lake at the bend in the “L”. The chain of lakes tributary to the Fish River enters Eagle Lake via the Eagle Lake Thoroughfare from Square Lake in township 16, range 5. Smaller tributaries to Eagle Lake include Clark Brook, Gilmore Brook, Brown Brook, Devoe Brook, and Pond Brook from the town of Eagle Lake, and Alec Brook, Miller Brook, and Last Brook from township 16. The Montreal, Maine & Atlantic Railroad follows the west shore of Eagle Lake through the town of Eagle Lake and then follows the Fish River into Fort Kent. Eagle Lake provides good habitat for rainbow smelt, brook trout, lake trout, and land-locked salmon. The entire eastern arm of Eagle Lake is within the 23,000-acre (9,300 ha) reserve of public land available for ATV riding, birding, camping, cross-country skiing, fishing, hiking, hunting, snowmobiling, snowshoeing, and swimming.
One other point of interest is the area’s only true sporting lodge. Arriving at the entrance to Eagle Lake we turn left and follow the shore until we reach the Eagle Lakes Sporting Camps. Although the dining area is open to guests year-round, it is open to the general public July through October by Reservation on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday for Lunch & Dinner. The Lodge is accessible only by water (boat or plane) or woods road (four wheel drive vehicle is best) and by snowmobile (or ski equipped plane) across the frozen winter in ice fishing season.
Leaving the sporting camps up the lake we will pass the Maine Warden Service float plane base from which the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife survey the vast woodland from the air searching for lost hikers, hunters, and coordinating with wardens on the ground.
Lastly we come to the quaint village of Eagle Lake, sitting along route 11 and providing the primary public boat launch. The village is the last stop before entering the Fish River and making our way to Fort Kent where the river meets up with the Saint John River. If you should decide to undertake this trip (it is not for those of us who are not in shape) plan on spending four or five days in a canoe or kayak. Personally, I’ll use my fourteen foot boat and forty horsepower motor.
For those of you who are not into the camping and outdoor scene, in a future blog I’ll take you on a tour of the Saint John Valley and its Acadian culture and history.