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Safety: 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.


From Millinocket travel about 13 miles up the Baxter Park Road then turn left onto the unsigned Pockwockamus Road just before the painted Pockwockamus Rock. After about 1 mile, Pockwockamus Road ends at the Golden Road. Turn right, drive about 1.8 miles, and park in the old rock pit on the left side of the road.


River Pond and Compass Pond offer some of the best and most accessible moose watching opportunities in the area. In addition to increasing their chances of seeing a moose, visitors who choose to paddle here also get views of Mt. Katahdin and access to the Penobscot River Corridor.

River Pond is the more easily accessible of the two ponds and generally less vegetated with lily pads and algae. During late spring and early summer, paddlers can go between the two ponds on the narrow stream connecting them. As summer progresses and water drops, this route becomes more difficult.

Paddlers seeking an extended trip may continue west out of River Pond through a narrow channel into the Pockwockamus Deadwater and the West Branch of the Penobscot River. See the Maine Trail Finder connector trail posting for the West Branch Penobscot River for more information.

Other Information

River Pond and Compass Pond are best experienced during late spring and early summer, before lily pad growth covers most of both ponds.

Trail Manager

For more information, please contact Katahdin Area Trails.

Katahdin Area Trails
Trails Coordinator
PO Box 669
Millinocket, ME 04462


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Nearby Geocaches


Check for nearby geocaches to River Pond and Compass Pond Water Trail.

Leave No Trace Principle

Dispose of Waste Properly

Keep Maine green and clean! Pick up trash, even if it's not yours. Leave soon-to-be trash like excess packaging, stickers, and twist ties at home.