Just beyond the peak of Sugarloaf Mountain lies a magnificent valley to be discovered. Historic Flagstaff Lake, at nearly 30 miles long, wraps neatly around the base of the striking Bigelow Mountain Range. Paddling includes shallow seasonal water, marshes and flat water, and amazing views of the mountains. All seven of the Bigelow summits are part of a 36,000-acre public reserve, and two of them are on the list of 4,000-footers in Maine, making them sought after by “peak-baggers.”
The town of Eustis and village of Stratton offer a variety of lodging options and some great dining choices – hearty home-cooked meals, fresh sandwiches, and café lunches. Local stores stock essential provisions from fine wine to peanut butter.
One of the most unique stories in Maine history, the town of Flagstaff was established in 1775 by Benedict Arnold’s forces on their way to Quebec…and 175 years later it was flooded to make way for hydroelectricity production. Check out the Valley Below map showing locations of underwater village landmarks. Learn this fascinating history on a unique pontoon boat tour with Flagstaff Scenic Boat Tours. Stock up ahead of time with sandwiches, produce, beverage and snacks at Fotter’s Market in Stratton. Or choose a boat tour option with a lunch stop at the lovely, remote Flagstaff Hut. In the afternoon, visit the Dead River Area Historical Society and see displays including memorabilia of the very towns you floated over this morning.
Paddlers looking to explore the lake can do so with a daytrip or overnight camping trip. There are many sites available on the lake. The trip length is listed below at 5 miles, but since this is a lake trip it can be just about any distance you want.
- NFCT Section: Section 9
- Trip Duration: 1 to 3 days
- Miles: 5
- Put In: Route 27 bridge and paddler access
- Maine Huts & Trails – Flagstaff Lake Hut
- Flagstaff Lake
- Flagstaff Lake
- Trail Features