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North Branch Dead River: King and Bartlett Road to Flagstaff Lake

A wonderful, easy paddle down the North Branch Dead River into Flagstaff Lake that is best done in the morning to avoid strong winds on the short section of Flagstaff Lake.
Trail Activity
3.60 miles, Normal
Water - Lake/Pond, Water - River/Stream


This paddle down the North Branch Dead River is great for beginners, as there are no rapids or quickwater to navigate. This section is generally runnable throughout the paddling season.

1.5 miles downriver from the put-in, there is a short portage around the Eustis Dam. There are a few warning signs before the dam, but be careful as there are no warning buoys. The portage trail is clearly marked on the right side of the river and is about 300 feet long. The put-in is also well-signed and is in calm water just beyond the dam.

Another mile down the river, beautiful views of the Bigelow Range appear in the distance before reaching Flagstaff Lake. Headwinds can be very strong on the lake. Paddle in the morning to avoid the highest winds. The take-out point is found about a half-mile into Flagstaff Lake, along a bridge running across it on Flagstaff Road. There is an opportunity to keep paddling across the lake by continuing under the bridge and heading 3.7 miles south to a second boat launch, joining the Northern Forest Canoe Trail.

Other Information

A downloadable map of the route is available at the Northern Forest Canoe Trail website (free for members!). 

Trail Manager

For more information, contact:

Northern Forest Canoe Trail

Northern Forest Canoe Trail
PO Box 565
Waitsfield, VT 05673
Phone: 802-496-2285
Fax: 802-329-2239
View website

Nearby Events


Trail Tips

Travel and Camp on Durable Surfaces
Walk single file in the middle of the trail. Wear the right shoes and enjoy the mud – you're in the great outdoors!
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Trailhead Information

Put-in: The put-in is at the bridge on King and Bartlett Road. Head north on ME-27 from the intersection of ME-27 and ME-16 in Stratton/Eustis. After 7.1 miles, turn right on King and Bartlett Road. There is a gravel pull-off on the east side of the road.

Take-out: The first take-out is at the bridge across Flagstaff Lake on Flagstaff Road. Head north on ME-27 from the intersection of ME-27 and ME-16 in Stratton/Eustis. After 4 miles, turn right on Flagstaff Road. Park at the US Post Office directly across ME-27 from Flagstaff Road. A second take-out with a large parking lot is available on ME-27 at the public boat access 0.7 miles north of the intersection of ME-27 and ME-16 in Stratton, which adds 3.7 miles of lake paddling to the trip. 

Click on a parking icon to get custom directions
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Trail Alerts

Be a Safe and Respectful Paddler
Paddling conditions will vary according to the weather and season, so always exercise caution and always wear a lifejacket. With good judgment and proper equipment, the risk associated with paddling can be minimized. Respect the natural world and the rights of landowners, and be considerate of other outdoor enthusiasts. Paddlers should seek to avoid causing erosion, trampling vegetation, disturbing wildlife, and harming water quality.
Hydroelectric Dam
This trail passes near a hydroelectric dam. Dangerous currents may exist below the dam. Use caution near riverbanks and wear a suitable personal flotation device when recreating near the water.

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