Around Kineo -- A Kayak Trip on Moosehead Lake

By Ray Wirth | Jan 06, 2013

Belfast — Over the next  few months, we plan to feature some of the places in Maine that we explored last summer in hopes this will  inspire our readers to “get out there” in 2013.

We’ll start with Mt. Kineo, located on a peninsula extending from the eastern shore of Moosehead Lake.  Mt. Kineo, as well as the 1,000 acre “island: it is situated on, is a Maine landmark long famous to calendars and postcards.  Native Americans used it as a gathering place. Thoreau journeyed there and wrote about it.  Hundreds of thousands of tourists have visited it, dating back to the 1800’s.

During the summer months,  you can take a boat trip out from Rockwood for $10.00, and then hike around the island and climb to the summit.

If you have a kayak --- and get the right day, you can do as we did, and paddle out to the island yourself.  We launched from the public boat landing in Rockwood, made the one mile crossing to the island, and then, after debating whether to hike or paddle -- not enough daylight left for both --  we paddled around it.  Our chosen route took us in a counter-clockwise direction.  It included a short portage over the causeway on the eastern side of island and breathtaking views of the 700 foot rhyolite cliffs that rise directly from the lake.  The distance around the island is about 7 miles.

A caution -- the crossing can be choppy, and this part of the lake is especially susceptible to sudden changes in weather and wind.  Please do not attempt to paddle there unless you are experienced in making crossings, have settled weather, and have a plan for what to do if the weather undergoes unpredicted changes. Winds tend to intensify toward mid-afternoon, so morning is often the safest time for your crossings.

Mt. Kineo State Park

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