Mollidgewock State Park Campground – June 23, 2011
Laying alongside the Androscoggin River the Mollidgewock State Park Campground is a fishermen and paddlers paradise. The parks 44 campsites all enjoy immediate access to the Androscoggin River, and convenient spots to launch canoes and kayaks are scattered throughout the park. With picnic tables, running water, fireplaces, recycling areas, outhouses and incredible access to the Androscoggin River, the campsites at Mollidgewock State Park make the ideal headquarters for a river trip in the Great North Woods.
I made my home in Mollidgewock State Park at Campsite 42, tucked into the woods at the very edge of the park along a section of quick moving currents. A short trail from the access road led to a small plank bridge over the mud to a wooden tent platform perched just above the river. The sound of the rapids couldn’t have been any closer, and if it weren’t for the thick tree cover I could have literally cast a line from my tent.
After setting up camp I was anxious to get on the river that had been taunting me from so close by. Launching a kayak from my own campsite I picked my way up the rapids, and around the bend of the river that forms the park. Just upriver from the rapids the Androscoggin River flattens and widens out making a much calmer place to paddle, and keep an eye out for wildlife. Moose sightings are frequent along this section of the Androscoggin River, and paddling along the rivers edge gives the perfect chance to sneak up on one.
With the sun starting to set I paddled back to my campsite. A single loon kept me company, swimming close by my kayak and then letting out that distinct howl as I pulled up back on shore. Winding down after dinner at camp, the crackling fire, and dry tent platform were all I needed to fall fast asleep.
Waking up early to bird-calls, and the sounds of the rushing river, I quickly started to notice small wooden boats of fly fishermen stopping in the rapids near my campsite. I realized that I must have picked the right spot to camp, and try my own line when they all began plucking trout out of the river one after the other. After fixing breakfast I paddled out of camp, casting a few lines before the rain moved in, and sent me back scrambling to pack up camp.
On my way out I stopped at the communal gazebo over looking the river in the center of the campground. Attempting to dry off before hitting the road I listened to the other campers compare their fishing stories from the past few days. Despite the rain, it seemed that everyone else enjoyed their stay at Mollidgewock State Park just as much as I had.