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You haven’t Really Seen Eagle Lake Until You’ve Seen it From the Water

July 20, 2017                                                                         Most Recent Posts:
Acadia National Park                                                    Champlain Mountain and the Bowl
Mount Desert Island, Maine                                       On the Rocks More than the Path





IMG_0001We are out early this morning and on the water at 6:40 am.  The kayak put in is just the kind we like, no dock, no drop off, just a nice lake shore that you can wade out into a bit before stepping into the kayak.   The launch site is on the north short side of the oval that is this glacial lake.  We are looking directly at the North Bubble and I believe Pemetic Mountain.  The lake is surrounded by mountains on all sides.

Eagle Lake at 436 acres is the second largest lake on MDI and the largest wholly within the park.  It is deep and clear and has a totally wild shoreline though it is ringed by a carriage road and at times you can see the bicyclists through the trees.  It is one of several municipal water sources for the island so there is no swimming.  There is fishing and boats with 10hp motors are permitted.  There is no one on the lake when we arrive.  It is a big lake and can turn quite choppy in the changing winds here.

So far today it looks very nice.  Typically when we are kayaking on a lake we go along the edge all the way around.





The question always is which direction to go.  today clockwise takes us along a rockier shore and counter clockwise takes us along the wooded shore.






But then there is rocky and wooded.   The water is as clear as glass.  I’d be in favor of drinking it and the people of MDI do since it is one of their water sources.  No swimming allowed.






There’s a little bit of a chop and you have to navigate around the rocks if you want to stay near the shore and not get out in the middle where the waves and wind are stronger.



We’re paddling along when we hear the unmistakable call of the loon.   There’s no mistaking them as they ride low in the water.    I can only get a picture of one of them but David snaps this one of the pair before they disappear under the water.






Once we’ve seen them we keep scanning to see where they come back up.  It’s over by the shore line.



Most of my pictures are of them fishing but every once in a while I get lucky.





We don’t stalk them but leave them to their business and proceed on along the shore where we encounter this rock ruin.  We saw this in 2013 when we were here and I was unable to find out any information on it.  Nothing seems to have changed with it or my information lack.   But it certainly is interesting to speculate.  It’s right on the shore.  Last time we docked and walked around but that didn’t prove informative so we skip it this year.  What does it look like it could have been to you?





The lake has several small islands.  None large enough for a dwelling even if it were allowed inside the national park, but paddling over to this one, I find some interesting birds.







Between the island on David’s left and the mainland he is facing are these lovely rushes he is paddling through.  He doesn’t see the birds I see because he gets there before I do.




On the island I hear the Cedar Wax Wings before I see them so I’m hunting all over when I spy this one who promptly flies away.  I catch him again  in the snag in front of David but the light isn’t as good and the nuances of his coloring isn’t as apparent although his yellow tail is still  brilliant.   Lighting is everything.











Attempting to get the wax wings on the island I inadvertently took this shot up in the air but really liked the clouds and sky so I’ve included it for no reason other than that.





A closer look at the Bayonet Rush, shows their beautiful blooms.
















There are lovely spots along the shore where you can fairly easily get out of your kayak or canoe if you like.




Sculpture by Mother Nature entitled “Tree Roots”.




Yes those are rocks under the water, not reflections.  You never know when one of them will scrape the bottom of your boat.



This is especially true if you are looking at the lovely views or the reflections in the water are a bit odd and capture your attention.  Notice the very bottom of the picture.


It’s true, I can’t get over the skies or the clear water.








Some of the rocks in the lake are seriously large.








There are several areas of rushes and some of them have water lillies near by.  I caught some damselflies mating.  Actually there were quite a few of them both on the lily pads and flying through the air attached.  I had to laugh.  Not quite the mile high club but up in the air none the less.








I love this picture David took of the parts of the rushes under the water and the ground beneath them which I had never been able to see before kayaking Eagle Lake with its crystal clear water.








You can’t always tell even from a relatively short distance how interesting a rock is going to prove to be.



Like this one for instance.  Over time and ice and water, a crack has formed and enough debris has come in to apparently make enough soil to encourage this little cedar tree to make a go of it.



One eventual outcome here is going to be that the roots of the tree will split the rock in two.  But then where will the tree be?  I don’t think they actually grow in water.   Saga to be continued.  Blame it on the birds.  Actually it might have been those Cedar Wax wings many years before.  They obviously like cedar berries.



David finds example #2.




Bigger rock, bigger plants.  Maybe……….   guess we’ll have to keep coming back and paddling here to find out.  To be continued………



We’re on the last stretch of rocky shore line when I almost miss seeing this group.  How well they blend in with the dappled water and rocks.




Pretty sure this is one of the mergansers.  I’m just not sure if it is a Red Headed or a Hooded.   Laurel?  Eric??





Like the loons these mergansers spend most of their time “snorkeling”.  They sure have clear water for doing it not like the problems with wind and turbid water we had in the keys.  Too bad they won’t let us snorkle here.  I wonder what we’d see.




We’re heading into the home stretch savoring the reflections and the wonderful shore line.






You really haven’t seen Eagle Lake until you’ve seen it from the water.  Simply Gorgeous!!






On the way back from Eagle Lake we pass right by the Headquarters of the Maine Coastal Heritage Trust, some of whose properties I have written about when we visited them.  We stop to see their office and to see if its location on Babsom Creek would be good for kayaking. 



Inside, we learn about other of their properties and then set off to check out Babson Creek.   They have told us that we could launch here but that it isn’t much of a paddle and we would probably prefer the nearby bridge as a launch site.  Since we’re here, we’ll check it out anyway.


The path to the creek first goes pretty seriously down hill through a woodland where I find these cuties have popped up out of the forest floor leaves.


Next it’s through the meadow which luckily has a mown path.  Tall grasses!   And this isn’t Kansas.




The woods, the meadow, the water front is the Babsom Creek Preserve.  It’s a lovely spot but unfortunately there is no easy kayak launch here and the creek itself, off to the far right,  is unnavigable.  Too small.  



Still we’re glad we stopped.  You don’t know if you don’t look and it’s a lovely spot.



I’ve saved the worst for last.  We always try take a dual selfie of us both in our boats and after 7 years you’d think we’d improve at doing it, but you’d be wrong.   This actually is the best of the ones we took.  Pretty sad isn’t it?  You professional selfie takers better give me some pointers obviously.



  1. The paddle looked wonderful!!! I'm with you on the skies in Maine...MARVELLOUS!!! Is that stone structure near a carriage road?? Possibly it was a gatehouse type of thing for access to the lake or a picnic ground. It looked similar to some of the gate houses. I just love remembering Maine through your blog:o)) The only thing missing is the sound of the Loons;-))

  2. Beautiful morning paddle! Great job catching the cedar waxwings as you did! I rarely see them. No idea about the stone structure except it must have been someone's dream interrupted.

  3. As usual great photos and a lovely spot. Wonderful paddle.

  4. Sure was a beautiful paddle! Love how clear the water is with your photos of the rocks and David's photo of the reeds. So cool! I can see how you almost missed the birds. If you had mentioned them, I probably would have missed them:) Now that's camouflage!

  5. That wax wing is a beautiful bird, looks so peaceful on the lake.

  6. At least with your selfie nobody photobombed you! :cD

  7. What a gorgeous paddle! Some of the shoreline reminds me a bit of what we see here on Lopez kayaking. I asked Eric about the mergansers, and he thinks they're immature Common Mergansers. They look so different from the adults, it was hard for me to tell!

  8. Great pictures. Dad's additions are excellent. I think he does have an artist's eye. Beautiful paddle from glass water to blue cloud-studded sky. And, it was all the more prefect on account of the loons! I like that selfie no matter what you say!! :)

  9. OM! I love your kayaking trips! That water is so clear I'd be drinking right from the lake. Well maybe not right behind the beautiful birds. Some day I'll make it to Maine. I may need a guide and paddle companion.


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