A few last pictures before leaving for Quebec.
In the last post I discussed the term Downeast Maine. Well, go as far downeast as you can and you reach the area where the Maine and New Brunswick coasts, along with Campobello Island, meet. This is where you will find Cobscook Bay. Cobscook Bay is an inland bay fed by the tides of Passamaquoddy Bay and the Bay of Fundy. Unlike Passamaquoddy Bay (20-30 foot tide range) and the Bay of Fundy (30-40 foot range) this bay has a more moderate average tide range of 24 feet.
From many of the sites in the state park you can launch a kayak at just about any tide, and even at low tide the bay is navigable except for some of the smaller inlets and channels. That’s why we are here. That, and the large populations of bald eagles, harbor and grey seals, and numerous birds.
The name Cobscook is the Passamaquoddy name for “Boiling Tide”. An apt name when you visit Reversing Falls. A short drive to near Eastport, reportedly the eastermost city in the U.S., and a short walk down a rocky trail, took us to the falls.
The falls are created when the incoming, or outgoing, tide passes over a band of rocks in a channel. The channel is several hundred feet across, with a gap on the far side that creates a series of rapids as the water rushes around the falls. The falls roar for hours as the bay either fills or empties, followed by a short period of eerie quiet at slack tide, then back to roaring in the other direction. Suffice it to say that it is hard to describe, but wonderful to watch, and you should go see it if you ever get the chance.
Reversing Falls are about 3 miles, by kayak, from the campground. We will look into the possibility of kayaking out there later in the week. Being able to launch at just about any tide level, gave us the opportunity for some early morning paddling while the fog was still sitting in the bay.
One of the marvelous things about kayaking on the ocean, or ocean bays, is that the sounds, light, and surface conditions change constantly and every day is a new adventure.
One of the campers at Cobscook, builds rock art sculptures and this sculpture, we dubbed “The Sea Nymph”, was still standing when we left after two weeks.
Each day’s paddle in Cobscook Bay brought new delights. I mean, really, how often does one get to watch eagles fishing.
The bay is relatively unihabited, (it’s mostly State owned land) so there are numerous places to land and explore this beautiful coast.
Just up the road a piece from the State Park there is a rail trail that runs from Dennysville to Machais, about 20 miles. The surface is a bit rough for biking (It is mainly used as a snowmobile corridor), but we figured it would be nice for a short ride. We rode about 10 miles, 20 round trip.
The trail meanders through woods and meadows, with numerous stream crossings and ponds, and some great old bridges.
There’s more to come from our two weeks at Cobscook Bay State Park.
The coming of spring brings blue skies, warming temperatures, and a transition from white to green. The first to arrive are the birds.
The small critters show up next. They have been denned up for the winter and
the warm weather brings them out.
Last of all come the Hibernators. (Amphibian and Mammalian).
We have taken down the winter birdfeeders, but the hungry bears still need to check to make sure. This female showed up with her three yearling cubs.
These cubs have been with their mother since late last winter and are just about ready to go out on their own. Mom will soon shoo them out of her territory and be ready to mate again. That’s probably why this male has been hanging around. The female will not tolerate him around the cubs, but he usually shows up sniffing around an hour or so after the female and the cubs.
Whitewater Canyon, carved over millions of years by Whitewater Creek is now the home of the Catwalk National Recreation Trail. In the 1880’s the mining town of Graham stood at the mouth of the canyon. The mill required electricity and a 4″ pipeline was constructed through the canyon around 1883, often clinging to the canyon walls 20 feet above the creek, to provide water for the town and an electric generator. A larger pipeline was constructed in 1887, but today’s Catwalk Trail follows the route of the original 4″ pipeline. The town only survived for 10 years, but many of the mines up the canyon were worked into the 1940s. The CCC (Civilian Conservation Corp) first built the Catwalk Trail in the 1930 and it was improved by the Forest Service in 1960 and has been repaired after flooding several times. The Catwalk was designated an National Recreation Trail in 1978.
It is doubtful that any of the original ironwork is used in the current trail, but evidence, including rusted bolts, hangars, and supports carved into the rock, is easy to find. The first half mile of the trail consists of evenly graded pathways and the wide steel grating with waist high walls that is universally accessible. The second half is more rugged and several bridges, one made of the old 18″ pipe, and one a swaying suspension bridge, cross the canyon.
It’s a fun place to hike and I loved seeing the creative ways the catwalk is supported on the widely varying rock walls of the canyon. We reached the end of the trail and found that Trail # 207 continued up Whitewater CreeK. Of course we did that.
Trail #207 is a pretty hike alternating from expansive views up the canyon to lush forest along the creek bed. I’m sure it’s only several hundred feet of elevation gain total, but if you add up all the ups and downs it’s a hefty hike of a couple of miles.
There was not much to see for wildlife on the hike…only this guy.
AND THIS GUY.
Cheryl, leading on the trail, came uncomfortably close to the snake; close enough that he gave her a verbal warning as he slithered off the trail into a small bush. We (humans, that is) are very lucky that rattlesnakes prefer not to be in human company and are much better at sensing our presence than we are of theirs. The snake did not slither under the bush, it actually climbed up into the bush. We figure the snake was about 30″ long. Note the wide head which is characteristic of Pit Viper venomous snakes, and the muscular body. It was a beautiful and surprisingly tough looking critter. Unfortunately we could not get a good picture of the rattles, we’ll go looking for another one…Right!
The name, Catwalk, comes from the miners that had to walk along the 4″ suspended pipeline to perform the near constant maintenance it required. They also used it for easier access from Graham to the up canyon mines.
If you’re ever in the area of Glenwood, NM I recommend you go see the Catwalk, even if you think you might not be interested in walking it. It’s a fascinating structure to see and you might surprise yourself as the first part is pretty tame.
art therapy in India
Sharing our love of America's Natural Wonders
Sharing our love of America's Natural Wonders