“Oh, to have been a fly on the wall and seen the action in this valley for the last 300 years.” –Zip Kellogg, Canoeing, Volume 1, Eastern & Coastal Rivers
Paddled the 6-mile section of the St. George between Searsmont and North Appleton yesterday. The river level can be described as “the high side of medium.” I touched no rocks on the entire trip — but I’ve definitely been on the river when the current was stronger and the standing waves were bigger.
The river is clear of ice on this entire section. Took the drop above the Ghent Road bridge on river right as usual. The drop at Magog is clear of obstructions — and frothy enough to be a lot of fun.
Following is the description of that section from Delorme’s Maine Geographic Canoeing Guide, Vol. 1:
The river remains gentle for two miles below Searsmont to Ghent or Robbin’s Mill, formerly known as Dyer Mills. Saws have been cutting lumber, staves, and shingles here since the early 1800’s. In the summer of 1982, the dam was removed, so scout this site carefully. The rapids just upstream of the bridge can be strong. Class II rapids continue below the bridge. The current is strong in this section of the river too, so be careful . . . be prepared to stop and scout Magog, a difficult rock-obstructed drop which may not be runnable, depending on the water level. A brick and lime kiln and quarry occupied this site many years ago. After another 1.25 miles of fairly calm waters, you’ll pass under the Route 105 bridge at North Appleton.
Parking is available on the west side of the Route 105 bridge. Take out just past the bridge, along the right bank. The shuttle (or bicycle ride) is about 5 miles back to the put in.
The annual St. George River Race (on this same section of the river) is in two weeks.