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Eel Weir Canal and Presumpscot River loop

Discussion in 'Places to Paddle' started by Benson Gray, Sep 21, 2013.

  1. Benson Gray

    Benson Gray Canoe History Enthusiast Staff Member

    I mentioned at that Llangollen, Wales was one of my favorite paddling places because you can go down the rapids on the River Dee and then easily paddle back to the beginning with a short portage to the Llangollen Canal. It recently occurred to me that the Presumpscot River and Eel Weir Canal in Windham, Maine might present a similar opportunity. I went out today to see how well this might work. The Eel Weir Power Station at the bottom of the canal looked like the best place to start since I could unload my boat at the put in on the canal and then drive a few hundred yards down the hill to park at the take out on the Presumpscot River. This would relieve me of having to portage anything heavy up the steep hill.
    Canal.jpg The canal had more current than I expected but it was not difficult to make good progress upstream for the full 1.25 miles.
    Lock.jpg The foundations of the last lock of the original Cumberland and Oxford Canal from 1832 were interesting at the top end of the canal near Sebago Lake.
    Dam.jpg The portage from the canal to the river was more difficult than I expected and the put in below the dam was a bit intimidating.
    Colors.jpg The leaves are starting to show some color but the water was high enough that it was into the trees on the sides so careful attention was necessary to avoid the 'strainers' at the edges.
    Station3.jpg I was near the end after a few miles and the river side of the power station made it clear why there was so much flow through the canal.
    Falls.jpg The last turn before the take out revealed a small falls that I choose to portage around. It was a fun paddle but this loop hasn't dislodged Llangollen from the top of my favorite paddling places list. I'll keep looking,

    Last edited: Sep 21, 2013

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