|Hikers snowshoe along the frozen, snow covered Peterson Canal in 2013.|
"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"; so wrote a reporter for the Bath Independent in 1911, over a century ago.
The canal was built to around 1790 to connect the Kennebec River with the New Meadows River, facilitating downstream transportation of logs. “Today, this waterway, once built by men of industry and vision, is little more than a wet scar on the earth,” writes Ed Benedikt of the New Meadows Lake Association.
The guided 2.5-mile scenic hike is only possible when the water is frozen and will take approximately 2 hours. Meet across from the boat launch to the New Meadows Lake on Old Brunswick Road in Bath- visit www.kennebecestuary.org for a map of the meeting location. Participants are urged to bring snow shoes, depending on the snow cover. Rides are available back to the starting point, or participants can return on foot via road or the canal.
For more information and to confirm that conditions are appropriate contact Ed Benedikt at 442-0445 or check the KELT website www.kennebecestuary.org.Visit home.gwi.net/~rbenedik/nmlaweb/home.htm for more information on the history of the canal.
The Kennebec Estuary Land Trust is a membership supported organization dedicated to protecting the land, water and wildlife of the Kennebec Estuary. It maintains nine preserves for public enjoyment and has protected 2,370 acres of land since founding in 1989. FMI visit www.kennebecestuary.org or call (207) 442-8400.