Hike Bath’s Peterson Canal

Winter is the time to do it!

Date: Sunday, February 5 @11am

 

“You who enjoy a stroll in the country these crisp winter days can find no more interesting and enjoyable tramp than that along the old canal which was built over 100 years ago to connect the New Meadows and Kennebec Rivers”; – Bath Independent in 1911, a century ago

Modern day explorers are invited to experience this same tramp for the annual hike of the Peterson Canal.

The canal was built to around 1790 to connect Merrymeeting Bay with the New Meadows River, facilitating downstream transportation of logs- “Lumber and Masts…directly into Casco Bay and to Falmouth without going to sea or running the hazard of going down that rapid torrent, the main Stream of the Kennebeck,” (from the petition to the General Court of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts for permission to cut a canal from the head of the New Meadows River into Merrymeeting Bay, dated January 1, 1786).

Ed Benedikt, late founder of the New Meadows Lake Association, wrote, “Today, this waterway, once built by men of industry and vision, is little more than a wet scar on the earth.”

The five-mile scenic hike (round trip) is only possible when the water is frozen and will take approximately 2.5-3 hours.

Meet at 11:00 across from the boat launch to the New Meadows Lake on Old Brunswick Road in Bath. Click HERE for a Google map!

Participants are required to use snow shoes to tramp through the deep snow.

For more information and to confirm that conditions are appropriate contact the KELT office at 207-442-8400 or info@kennebecestuary.org.

For questions the day of the hike, contact Cheri Brunault at 978-476-6457.

Co-Sponsored by the New Meadows Lake Association, Bath Historical Society, Friends of Merrymeeting Bay, and KELT.

Thin ice date is Sunday, February 12…if the ice is too thin to walk on on February 4, we’ll try waiting a week!

FROM The Best from American Canals – Number II, page 11 published August 1984 by The American Canal and Transportation Center, 809 Rathton Road, York, PA 17403 (ISBN 0-933788-45-2)