Of all the places to launch your kayak along Maine’s alluring coastline, there’s one especially sweet spot that had eluded our attention during our many years of paddling.

I’d seen the inviting sandy spot at the end of Naskeag Point in Brooklin a few times in the past as I circumnavigated Deer Isle via Eggemoggin Reach on Margaret Ann, our Jonesport lobster boat, and on a couple of occasions as we headed out of Blue Hill Bay. That was before our transition from power to paddles a decade or more ago.

It took a chance meeting with some folks from Winterport whom we met on a recent excursion to Campobello Island, and their mentioning that their favorite kayak launching spot was Naskeag, because it was easy to get to and offered ample parking.

Added to that is the sheer beauty of the trip to Brooklin and the availability of lunch goodies at the Brooklin General Store, just a couple of minutes from the launching spot.

So, off we went last week for our first visit. And what a good choice it was. Bright blue skies, warm temperatures and only a slight breeze out of the east made it even more idyllic.

You get to Naskeag by leaving Route 1 in Orland, east of Bucksport, and heading down Route 15 through Blue Hill where you’ll pick up Route 175 right to Brooklin. At the intersection in the village, turn left on Naskeag Point Road for the short drive down to the point.

If you’re coming up Route 1 from the south through Searsport, you might consider popping into Hamilton Marine to pick up an Eggemoggin Reach Chart (Standard Navigation No. 104) if you don’t already have one. It can be especially helpful as you plan your day’s paddle.

Your options abound once you’re in the water. You could opt to head west up the Reach past Northeast Cove and Center Harbor in Brooklin and on to the Benjamin River for a nice paddle up to Sedgwick, or you could head east around the point and take a northerly bearing up to Herrick Bay and beyond all the way up to Blue Hill Harbor past Blue Hill Falls inside of Long Island.

For our day on the water, we opted to head right out into the cluster of islands that guard the point, as did several other paddlers we encountered, including a husband and wife from Ontario who had so enjoyed the previous day on the same waters that they couldn’t resist returning for another adventure.

Harbor Island lies directly to the south of the launch ramp, so we headed there to explore the shoreline, with a short diversion to swing out around Smuttynose. Then it was back over past Devils Head on Hog Island to the west, and a circumnavigation of the larger of the two islands just off Naskeag.

A southerly bearing from there out past the east end of White Island, by Potato and Sheep islands takes the paddler over to Stinson Neck on Deer Isle. There Conary Cove merits a visit before returning after an invigorating few hours on some of the very best kayaking waters you’ll find anywhere.

Veteran kayakers love the abundance of islands in Merchant Row lying southeast of Stonington, protecting virtually the entire passage out to Isle Au Haut. But for us, that pleasure had to wait for another visit.

We had planned our trip for an early enough start that we were off the water in time to load the kayaks on the roof and head through Sargentville on Route 175, down across the bridge to Little Deer Isle, and over the causeway to Deer Isle and down to Stonington for a late lunch.

Options there abound as the village has become a beehive of summer activity. Our lunch choice, as it has often been, was the Fisherman’s Friend right on the harbor. This favorite, known for its chowder, was relocated a few years ago from up on the hill. It has spacious inside dining and a couple of decks overlooking the harbor and activity in Deer Island Thorofare.

On our visit a westerly breeze came up, as it usually does in the afternoon, and several boats with brightly colored spinnakers came east through the thorofare, a photographer’s dream-come-true.

John Christie is an author and year-round Maine explorer. He and his son Josh write in Outdoors about places to enjoy the beauty that only Maine has to offer. He can be contacted at:

[email protected]

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