I was feeling yesterday’s paddle and was on the fence about doing another one today. Since J and the boys are out of town my day is wide open. On the way out house to get my am fix at Starbucks I was still undecided.
I pull out my iPhone and opened “Launch Sites”. This is a neat app I downloaded a few weeks ago that lists kayak launch site and other general information. I hit “Nearby” and got all my local sites. I decided to expand my search so I did a search in Leominster. Several more came up and Tully Lake in Royalston looked interesting. The comments were good and it was only an hour and a bit out route 2, and I could hit SB’s in Leominster on the way by.
The ride was nice. You go just beyond where route 2 goes down to one lane and get off heading north for Athol/Royalston. Not sure sure how long the ride took as I was treating it like a Sunday drive. You go through Athol which has a small town feel and continue for twenty minutes or so. The area is well sign posted and you can camp next to the lake also. The Trustees of Reservations runs the camp grounds and the hiking trail which loops the lake, all 22 miles.
The boat launch is on the right and clearly marked but I continued down the road to check it the campgrounds. As I suspected it’s not opened yet, but the lot was full of cars. I circled back and parked at the landing. Unpacked, set up and pushed off. I went west, under the bridge and into the lake.
The lake is fairly large and dotted with many islands. The water had a little chop due to the wind but the sun was shining and it felt good. I paddled around for a bit and then pulled up on one of the larger islands. The lake has a 10 hp limit on motors so it was nice and quite. A few other paddlers drifted by but overall it was very light traffic.
Me and my Alaw Bach
I headed back toward the car only to discover a few of the many outlets, but I was in no rush so I didn’t mind taking the long way home. Back at the car I snacked up, chatted to a few fellow paddlers and then decided to head in other direction. Again it was smooth going and the first leg is more like a river, however Long Lake is at the end.
I went to where the lake opens up and decided to turn back. All in all it’s a great place for a paddle and the islands in Tully Lake would be fun to explore. I will be back with the GMan.
Blogging from Subway in Athol MA