Penobscot- East Branch from Bowlin to Whetstone

 

The trip from Bowlin to Whetstone has no portages and is 13 miles long. Your first view is a snowmobile suspension bridge that leads to the Lookout, a scenic view of Mount Katahdin. This is also used for hiker access to the extension of the Application Trail going from Mount Katahdin north.

The current remains strong through mild Spencer Rips. Lunksoos Mountain appears and reappears like a caterpillar in the distance. The current lessens as the river enters a lengthy deadwater section, but there are occasional riffles as it winds through a hardwood section known as the Arches where maple trees bend over the river. Soon the Seboeis River joins the East Branch. The confluence of these two rivers is not, that noticeable when you're traveling downstream. When the East Branch was being explored upstream it was probably much easier to see. It was a very important turn-off because the Seboeis was more frequently followed upstream than the East Branch The junction is nine miles below Bowlin Camps.

This part of the river is known as the Lunksoos Deadwater. It continues to the Lunksoos campsite where a stop is always worthwhile Climb the dirt road a few yards for a superb view to the west of Mount Katahdin and you'll realize why this site is called Lookout Mountain. Today, moose are often seen nearby.

Just below the Lunksoos campsite, Wassataquoik Stream completes its furious descent to the Penobscot. At this junction you can feel the marked difference in water temperature of the East Branch and the Wassataquoik, which drains much of Baxter Park.

"Wassataquoik" means "fish-spearing-stream place." The Indians applied the name to the East Branch rather than to the stream we call Wassataquoik today.

Continue a little more than a mile down the river. Since joining with its tributaries, the East Branch has taken on the proportions of a major Maine river. The sand and gravel banks mark the vicinity of Hunt Farm, where Messrs. Hunt and Dace grew wheat, hay, and potatoes in the 1830s. Hunt Farm was a major supplier of provisions for the nearby lumber camps. The river here is shallow. In lumbering days it permitted an easy ford to the inter-vale on the west bank and gave access to the timberland north and west.

The river becomes placid again for two miles to the first of two pitches which comprise Whetstone Falls. Stay close to the to the left bank as you hear the falls, the river very swift at this point The takeout point is on the left before the logging bridge. The 35-mile car shuttle involves a drive east to Stacyville and then north to the town of Patten. After stopping for refreshments the trip continues to Bowlin Camps, your starting point. The trip takes about one and a half hours

Maine, the way life ought to be...