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A lone canoe glides through the water of Spednic Lake with only a pair of loons for company. Unknowingly dancing between two countries, the canoeist scans the horizon looking for any sign of human inhabitants and finds little. Spednic Lake is an unspoiled "near-wilderness" with some of the most beautiful scenery in the Aroostook County and Down East and Acadia regions of Maine and the Province of New Brunswick, Canada. The border between the United States and Canada runs through the middle of the lake, offering visitors the unique experience of boating in both countries.
Spednic Lake sprawls across 17,219 acres and is one of the five lakes that make up the Chiputneticook Lakes. The others include North Lake, East Grand Lake, Mud Lake and Palfrey Lake. A dam was built at the outlet of Spednic Lake in 1836 between Vanceboro, Maine and St. Croix, Canada. Before the construction of the Vanceboro Dam, Spednic and Palfrey Lakes were linked but separate. The dam, which has been modified several times over the years, raised water levels on Spednic Lake and essentially joined the two lakes into one. The Vanceboro Dam is owned by the Domtar Maine Corporation, and water levels are controlled by the International St. Croix River Board.
The Chiputneticook Lakes - along with Monument Brook, Forest City Stream, Mud Lake Stream and the St. Croix River and Estuary - comprise the St. Croix River Waterway. A considerable amount of effort is being made by the State of Maine and the Province of New Brunswick to protect and preserve the Waterway. Future development along the Waterway has been restricted, and the Chiputneticook Lakes International Conservancy protects the shores of Spednic Lake. As a result, Spednic Lake is classified as mesotrophic (moderately fertile) with good water quality minimally impacted by people.
Little impact by people aptly describes a Spednic Lake getaway. There are cabins, cottages, camps and vacation rentals tucked in around the lake's shore, but there are also places where it is possible to feel completely isolated without any evidence of other humans. Wildlife is abundant and visitors are more likely to encounter loons, eagles, osprey, moose and deer than other people. The Spednic Provincial Park is on the Canadian side of the lake with trails for hiking, snowmobile and ATV use on both sides of the lake. Hunting is permitted in season in designated areas.
The Canadian side of the St Croix River is classified as a Heritage River, and on both side of the border it is a good place to canoe. Spednic Lake also has a well earned reputation with paddlers. Access to the lake is from a public boat launch in the Town of Vanceboro. Several forested islands are scattered along the lake's 17 mile length, many with paddle-in campsites. Anglers challenge themselves against the lake's landlocked salmon, both native and stocked, and white perch, burbot, chain pickerel and yellow perch. Prior to the 1980's, Spednic Lake was known for its smallmouth bass fishery. The reoccurrence of alewives challenged the fishery, but with careful management it is rebounding. In the winter, Spednic Lake is a good place to ice fish.
The Town of Vanceboro is on the shore of Spednic Lake, and amenities are available nearby. For those seeking an isolated, natural destination, however, Spednic Lake exceeds expectations. With its clean, clear fish-filled water, abundant birds and wildlife and beautiful forested islands and shore, it is the best of eastern Maine and the Province of New Brunswick combined. It is sure to call visitors to its shores over and over again.
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