Finding a sweet spot to paddle always brings my heart joy. Finding a three-in-one spot, where you can explore two lakes and one stream without ever lifting your rear from your kayak? I swoon.
The boat launch on Crescent Lake off Webbs Mills Road in Raymond is hardly a secret. It’s a popular spot to put all sorts of watercraft into the water – and I find that side-of-the-road parking here is generally pretty easy, even on sunny summer weekends.
Putting in at the Crescent Lake boat launch gives you access to Crescent Lake (but of course), Tenny River, AND Panther Pond. Threefer!
You could certainly spend an afternoon just exploring Crescent Lake – rightfully give it your full attention. But I really like paddling from the boat launch straight over to Tenny River.
Tenny River is a mellow, one-mile-long winding waterway. It’s pretty shallow in spots, with pockets of lily pads around every bend.
Along the way, as you spot fish in the shallow waters and maybe spot a loon or two. During our time on the water, loons were diving for fish right under our kayaks.
You’ll paddle right under Webbs Mills Road (Route 85). My advice: Don’t look up when you’re in that culvert unless you like seeing a city of spiders overhead. No doubt it’s a great place for those arachnids to live, but dang, the sight made me shudder. And paddle fast.
Eventually Tenny River meets up with Body of Water No. 2: Panther Pond. You’ll know you’re almost there when you pass under the footbridge, where there might be folks fishing.
Panther Pond is a small lake by motor boat standards, but plenty big for the average paddler. There’s no public boat launch on Panther Pond, so boat traffic is limited to those who are staying the lake and those who put their boats in at Crescent Lake and take Tenny River over.
You’ll spot evidence of some of the camps on Panther Pond (the giant inflatable glacier is a giveaway). And Panther Pond is decidedly windier than Tenny River, which is protected by all those trees. We paddled across and found ourselves a rock to hang out on for a late-afternoon pond picnic.
After paddling around and loitering on rocks, we made our way back toward the Tenny River as the sun went down.
The Tenny River was as calm as ever as we paddled back at sunset.
And we made it back to Crescent Lake and the boat launch as the sun said goodnight for the evening. By now, the waters were quiet and there was no one left at the small beach near the boat launch. A perfect summer evening.
To paddle Crescent Lake, Tenny River, and/or Panther Pond, use the Crescent Lake boat launch on Webbs Mills Road in Raymond. [Get directions]
For more info on Tenny River and the connecting lakes, check out this post by Maine Kayak Girl.
PICNIC PLANNING: On your way, make a pit stop at The Good Life Market in Raymond for sandwiches, snacks, and desserts. They make really excellent-tasting things and they’re located at 1297 Roosevelt Trail, right on the corner of Route 302 and Webbs Mills Road.