Flagstaff Lake, the 4th largest in the state of Maine, is approximately 40 miles southwest of Moosehead, Lake. The nearest town is Eustis with the main village of Stratton just to the south. Stratton is often mistaken to be a separate town, however it is part of the town Eustis. Flagstaff Lake is approximately 27 miles long and covers an area of about 20,000 acres. The main tributary for the lake is the Dead River, which flows in on the western side of the lake.
Flagstaff Lake was created in 1949 by Central Maine Power and in the process of flooding the land, two villages were displaced. Rising above the lake on the southern shore you will find the Bigelow Mountain Range. There are a total of 4 mountains in the range that exceed 4,000 feet in elevation; they are West Peak at 4150, Bigelow Peak at 4150, Myron H. Avery Peak at 4088 and Avery Peak at 4088. The photo on the left was taken on Memorial Day weekend of 2005. The Bigelow Mountain range is in the background, obscured by the low cloud cover. It rained the entire 4 days we were out on the lake, but this did not dampen our spirits. Even through all of the rain, it was still a very beautiful area and sightings of Bald Eagles, Loons and moose were frequent.
The lake for the most part is shallow with the dam is located on the northeast side. There are many primitive camp sites scattered along the southern shore of the lake and one located on a small island just east of Jim Eaton Hill.. It is in this area where the village of Flagstaff once stood. We actually had a chance to stay at this camp site and remnants of the old village can still be found scattered throughout the area. It is said that foundations of homes can still be found in the shallow water, however we were not able to locate any ourselves.
The town of Flagstaff was erected in 1775 by Benedict Arnold's forces during his attempt to invade Quebec. Today, all that is left of the town are some artifacts and foundations. The area of the lake just north of the old Flagstaff village site is an excellent area for wildlife viewing. Remember, even though moose sometime act domesticated; they are very unpredictable. Leave plenty of space between them and yourselves. Moose can actually swim up to 10 mph, which is twice as fast as most kayakers can paddle. Be aware of your surroundings at all time, especially during the rut and in the spring after the calves are born. A mother moose will attack if she feels her calf is in any danger. If you plan a trip to Flagstaff, allow for some extra time to get out of your kayak to explore some of the surrounding area. If you are looking to go for a hike, the Appalachian Trail runs along the top of the Bigelow mountains. Here you will find additional campsites and an awesome view of the lake below. For a map of Flagstaff Lake with camp sites locations click here.