Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined.

Henry David Thoreau

Echo Lake Paddle

Monday July 3, 2017                                                                            Most Recent Posts:
Acadia National Park                                                                           
Two Bubbles and a Nubble
Bar Harbor, Maine                                                                               Sieur de Monts



IMG_5587My previous post was on a great hike to the top of the Bubbles and Connor’s Nubble.  That was the last nice day we had for 4 days in a row.  In between the fog and rain on Saturday and Sunday we checked out the various kayaking ponds and lakes to see where the best put ins were and which ones we’d like to do.  Now we’re ready to go.

So today we headed out early and are at the put in at 7:15 greeted by two young women who have been swimming laps from shore to shore at Echo Lake.  Looks like brrrrrrrrr to me.

There is a really easy put in at what is known as “Ikes”.   It has a nice wide launch area which you can drive your car to and then take it back to the parking lot next to the put in.  So easy!


Which is up and which is down on this beautiful day?




I’ve hardly turned South when I hear the chatter from this group.  I’m calling them Juvenile Red Breasted Merganzers.  Feel free to offer other opinions.



Following the leader, they really are just toooo cute!


We know there is a swimming beach at the south end of the lake but we can’t imagine anyone being there this early so we head that way to start out when we find all these boats.


As we pass by we see platform tents, I remember these fondly from girl scout camp.  



What fun!  I wonder if this is a family camp.  I see the initials AMC on one of the boats and when I look it up later I find that this is Appalachian Mountain Club’s Echo Lake Camp



In addition to the cabins and the boats, they have a dining hall that provides all meals and this swimming dock among other things.




Our attention is completely distracted when we see a loon paddling in the oppostite direction toward the north end of the lake.



A closer look shows his amazingly fine detail.



We paddle down to the swimming area where there actually are 3 people before 8:00 in the morning.  No one is swimming.  Not sure what they are doing since I’m again totally distracted when I see, on the far left at the edge of the water and the swimming area, this female loon sitting on a nest.




What in the world would motivate her to put her nest so close to this place of such high human activity.  The lake is 237 acres and most of the shoreline is uninhabited.




We leave her alone and head back up the other side of the lake toward the north.   The beautiful mountains on the west side are the Beech Cliffs and behind them is Beech Mountain.








The winds pick up as I come around a bend and see an island in the center of the lake.


It’s just a very little island and must be privately owned since there is a house on it.



I think about how much trouble it must have been to get the building supplies out here and that “picking up something at the store” takes on a whole new meaning.


There are a few other homes along the shore.  Most of them are at the far north end.  We found the hammock on the deck and especially the way it was hung, particularly interesting.   Notice the long wire/rope or whatever strung from tree to tree.




Pretty unlikely wildlife on a rock by the shore.  Looks  like she’s considering something in the water.



Part of Echo Lake’s eastern shore runs right along the road although it is only when you are close and at the north east end of the lake that you hear it.






Waves are up as we head into the home stretch.



It’s been an interesting morning on Echo Lake from Merganzers to nesting loons and from swimmers to greet us when we arrived to launch and paddle boarders to greet us when we return to get out.

We are definitely surprised to find at least a dozen paddle boarders coming toward us as we bring the boats in to the shore.  Glad we got here early and are leaving now.




  1. What a beautiful morning! Your reflection photos are so pretty. Getting an early start is necessary to have that calm water. Gorgeous bird photos! Your timing was perfect!!

  2. How cool to see a loon on her nest. They are such amazing looking (and sounding) birds.

  3. Beautiful pictures and lovely paddle. Whenever I see a loon I think of "On Golden Pond" one of my favorite movies. I'm planning a trip to New England in the fall so I bought a great little book called "New England's Best Trips" and in it I was surprised to find the lake where it was filmed. The town is Holderness. Fun to be planning a trip, but odd without an RV. I think I'm going to rent a kayak just to say I paddled the lake. 😊

  4. Gorgeous reflections! That pic heading north over the front of the kayak is wonderful, I want to just sit there and enjoy the peace and beauty. I think "mama" is a Loon spy keeping watch on the two-leggeds :-) The kitty sighting is so cute.

  5. Great loon shots! Love the mergansers, too...not sure about if they are, have only seen adults...Close enough for me! what a wonderful paddle....

  6. Amazing morning!!! Love the Loons...very special!!! I vote for young Mergansers. So glad we are all morning folks. Sure is a very special place when you get out and about before the rest:o))

  7. No matter how easy the kayak put in is, I'm such a klutz. One day I'll actually survive a kayak outing dry, if I live that long... ;c)

  8. looks like a great paddle. 7:15 start would likely be a poblem for me:))

  9. Your shots of the loons and that kitty are my favourite. What a landscape!

  10. I think you take the best loon pictures I've ever seen. What a gorgeous bird!

  11. Pictures are so clear and the reflections are perfect too. The Loons are so beautiful and the female is just as beautiful which is so rare in the birds.

  12. An early out definitely pays off up here in more than one way. Great loon pictures! I love the old camping tents right on the lake - reminds me too of the many summer camps I stayed in tents like that when I was growing up. That is the cutest little family of ducks - they have a great place to grow up!

  13. I had never heard of a merganzer and had you asked me what one was, I would've answered that it was something mechanical. The loons are lovely. The paddle looked very nice. I would've wanted to get in the water. Is it really too cold???? xxxooo

  14. Now you're getting me REALLY excited about a trip to Maine! What a gorgeous paddle. Your loon photos are spectacular, and I love your photos of the family of mergansers.

  15. What a beautiful morning on the lake!!
    I must admit I've never seen a loon in its natural habitat. I sure would love to though!!
    Great pictures...as usual!!

  16. Love the Loon pictures, you are so great at catching nature pics.

  17. A cat on a private island...what a life! Talk about a waterfront view! Beautiful paddle, especially the loons!!! I bet folks have great fun at that summer camp, even if the water is cold :)

  18. I absolutely love when you go paddling, such a gorgeous way to greet the day and see the world from water. No island living for me though. Can't believe how far behind I am.


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