Not many excursions in the Downeast Lakes region can compete with a calm, flatwater paddle along Big Musquash Stream, the eastern boundary of the 22,000 acre West Grand Lake Community Forest Project. When that paddle is on a warm, July evening under a full “blue” moon, the average ride turns into an extraordinary experience.
Downeast Lakes Land Trust (DLLT) staff led over 20 canoes and kayaks with 34 paddlers upstream from Musquash Bridge as the sun dropped below Amazon Mountain, igniting the twilight sky to the west. Shortly after launching, paddlers were treated to a beautiful moonrise in the eastern sky, lighting their way through one of the most unique wetland ecosystems in Maine. The distant buzz of insects, the croaking song of bullfrogs, and the splash of a muskrat added a wondrous musical backdrop.
As the group reached Musquash Esker, DLLT Education and Outreach Manager Colin Brown discussed the unique glacial formation with young paddlers, highlighting the importance of protecting fragile ecosystems. With the air becoming heavy with mosquitoes and darkness quickly descending, the boats turned around and headed for home. The darker journey back provided ample time for stargazing and reflecting upon a gorgeous summer night in Grand Lake Stream.
Paddlers are always welcome in the Downeast Lakes Land Trust, and can take advantage of the nine water-access campsites found along West Grand, Pocumcus, Fourth Machias, and Wabassus Lakes. Don’t miss the 11th Annual West Grand Lake Race on August 16th, a flatwater canoe and kayak race that will be fun for the whole family!
The Downeast Lakes Land Trust regularly hosts speakers, sponsors workshops, and leads outdoor adventures that highlight the natural and cultural history of the Maine woods and waters. These programs support DLLT’s commitment to protecting both the environmental and economic health of the Downeast Lakes region. Please visit our website to discover what is happening next.