I added kayaking at West Shirley Bog near Moosehead Lake to my To-do list after seeing it recommended a few times in online forums as a good place to see moose and seeing a few pictures of moose at this location. It was also featured as a place to go paddling on this Moosehead Lake Interactive Map. I decided to go for a sunset paddle here on a beautiful day in early September.
The entire bog felt like prime moose habitat, lush with aquatic plants, and I found myself thinking that if I was a moose, this would be my spot. But no dice, I struck out yet again! I’ll return late Spring or early summer next year when moose sightings (and mosquitos!) are more common.
While I wasn’t fortunate enough to see moose, I did enjoy a lovely 5 mile paddle on mostly flat quiet water with views of Moosehead’s mountains in the distance. I saw several blue cranes, or maybe it was the same one that kept flying farther down the stream whenever it saw me coming.
The put-in is located on the “CCC Rd” just before the bridge. Paddling is up stream on the way out and down stream on the way back, which is optimal so that you can use up your energy on the way out and then enjoy an easy leisurely paddle on the way back when your muscles are sore.
When I started my paddle at around 4:30pm there was some wind that made the paddling mildly difficult at times, especially when paddling through lily pads, but on my back there was virtually no wind and the water was perfect. Talk about quiet … When you take a break from paddling, you really enjoy the complete and total silence.
Nearby is Shirley Pond, which looked like another peaceful place to go Paddling.