Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Deboullie Area - North Maine Woods 2009

As I've stated, I am always intrigued by new places. I wanted find a remote area in Maine or New Hampshire to explore and hike. In early 2009, I started searching the internet for remote places in New England. I used search terms such as "most remote area in New England" and also tried searching for the most remote points of each state. Somehow, I came across information for Deboullie Ecoreserve in T15 R9 Wels in Maine. It can also be found as Deboullie Public Reserved Lands.

The Deboullie Area is more than a 6 hour drive north of Boston, and is just miles from the Canadian Border to the north. Deboullie Pond, Pushineer Pond, Gaililee Pond, Gardner Pond and other ponds in the area are some of the most remote ponds in New England. Red River Camps operates the only camp in the Deboullie area. Besides the camp, the nearest buildings, ranger station, and medical treatment are about 40 miles of logging roads away from Portage, ME.

In 2009, my brother and I set off to explore this area I read about. Once in Portage, ME, that is the last chance you have to make sure you have everything you need. You do have to check in at the entrance to the North Maine Woods. To help authorities take care of the land, there is a fee to enter the area. We arrived at the check point around 7pm, as the sun was beginning to descend onto the horizon. We began the long way down the logging roads, which seemed to never end. By the time we reached the ponds, it was nearing 9pm, and was already pitch black. We parked the Jeep and saw a few others had established their places near the first campsites in the area (that were next to the parking area). We knew where we wanted to end up, and that the trails in the area were pretty well marked. We hiked for a couple hours with our headlamps before finding a flat area to set up the tent. It was a intriguing experience to get out of the car after driving for so long, and then just hike off into darkness, not knowing what to expect.

Camp on first night
The next day, we made some coffee, packed up, and continued around the loop trail that would bring us to the other side of Deboullie Pond. On the way, the trail traverses an enormous rock slide, and some crevasses in rocks that have ice in it year round. Once all the way around, we set up camp at the Deboullie campsite around noon. We now had the entire day to explore the area. We hiked a short couple miles to and from Galilee Pond, which is a smaller pond that sits below a shear cliff of at least 1000ft or more.

Beautiful sunset over Gardner Pond
Having time, we poked around and explored the area. After we ate our supper, we took a walk a couple hundred yards down a different path, and we came to Gardner Pond. Imagine your camping at this insanely huge glacial pond, and then you walk down the path to find another pond similar in size, and there is not another human being in sight, just the noises of the water. The photos I have of this moment will never tell what it was like to stand right there in that moment.

The next morning, we packed up our camp site and continued along the trail to complete the full loop, which goes all the way around Deboullie Pond. The total mileage of this trip was approximately 5 miles. The trail on the southern side of Deboullie Pond goes up and down steep ridges multiple times. It is not an easy trail, in fact, it was a very strenuous hike, and we were relieved to be back at the car by early afternoon for the long ride home.
Me and Bill exploring Gardner Pond for the first time
This trip was one of the highlights of my hiking experiences. It is a truly remote place. We saw only few  different people the entire weekend. I certainly knew I would be coming back to this place.

No comments:

Post a Comment