Upper Richardson Lake

Upper Richardson Lake, just west of Rangeley, Maine, offers a variety of canoe trip options. From a short family friendly day paddle to a multiday trip, folks of all experience levels can find the excursion for them. Upper Richardson is the northern portion of Richardson Lake. Richardson Lake covers 5,100 acres and is controlled by both Middle Dam and Upper Dam. Upper Richardson Lake possesses vast areas of undeveloped and natural shoreline. The area is beautiful and offers amazing views of South Mountain. It contains the Upper Dam, islands and coves to explore, and scattered campsites along the shore. The only water access is the Mill Brook Boat Access at the end of Mill Brook Rd. This access point offers a parking lot, small dock, and boat ramp suitable for launching trailered boats. As always, please ensure to Clean, Drain, and Dry your boat before launching in order to protect waters from aquatic invasive species.

Cranberry Cove is along the western shore of Upper Richardson Lake and offers a great destination for a family friendly day paddle. This cove will treat you with diverse vegetation and opportunities for wildlife sightings. Because Cranberry Cove is a sensitive wildlife area, bring binoculars to help you view wildlife from a safe distance. This cove is also scattered with various rocks and boulders that may be visible or hidden just under the water’s surfaces. Depending on the weather, a round trip paddle to Cranberry Cove from the Mill Brook Boat Access will take 2-3 hours for most groups.

If you have the time for an overnight paddling trip, Upper Richardson offers many beautiful campsites. Across the lake, one can find a variety of sites whether they are tucked in a cove or have wide open views. All of the remote campsites must be reserved through the South Arm Campground. For more information about camping and to make your reservation, call the South Arm Campground at 207-364-5155. 

Before setting out on your adventure, make sure to Plan Ahead & Prepare. Bringing a map and compass will be valuable tools to help you navigate your way across Upper Richardson Lake.

Check the Leave No Trace Website to learn more about how you can help protect these amazing places.

Trip Details

  • NFCT Section: Section 8
  • Put In: From Maine Route 16 in North Oxford between the New Hampshire Border and Rangeley, head South on Mill Brook Rd. Follow Mill Brook Rd for 1 mile until it dead ends. At the dead end, veer right to find the parking lot and veer left to find the boat launch. Please respect private property.
  • Services:
    • Upper Richardson Lake
  • Trail Features