EDDINGTON – Chris Dalton and I belong to the Maine Outdoor Adventure Club and we’re always looking for a new place to paddle. Reading about the Penobscot River Restoration Project and the plans to remove the Veazie Dam made me curious about paddling on the dam’s impoundment. So we put in at the boat ramp just above the dam on route 178 in Eddington. A brisk tailwind eased the 2.5 miles to the foot of Ayers Island in Orono. From there up the current gets much faster, and we didn’t make it to the top of the island.
Surprisingly little development is visible from the water, making the river feel more wild and remote than it actually is. We saw a pair of foxes prancing along the shore, and bald eagles and other raptors soared above. By the time we turned around the wind had abated, and we glided back downstream with the slight current on waters almost as smooth as glass.
The removal of the Veazie and Great Works dams will lower the water level and there will be more current. It will also give the river more of a natural, unspoiled feel and will aid the passage of fish. But for now we have a great chance to easily paddle this beautiful section of the Penobscot.
Directions: From the junction of routes 9 and 178 in Eddington, go north on Route 178 for 1.2 miles. The road to the boat ramp is on the left. From the junction of routes 2 and 178 in Milford, go south on Route 178 for eight miles. The road to the boat ramp is on the right.
Contact Name: Scott Bennett
Telephone Number: (207)825-4709