Nackawic to Big Axe Brewery Route
|Water Body Type||open lake|
|Route Distance||6.3 km return|
|Estimated Time||3 hours|
This route is in the lake created by the Mactaquac Dam. For this reason current isn't an issue, but the river is wide here so wind may impact your paddle. The dam lowers the water levels when rain is in the forecast. This may impact how much beach is exposed along the shoreline.
We launched at the docks at the Big Axe Marina in Nackawic and crossed over to the point (cross the river to the right) to make this route more interesting. We then turned right and followed the shoreline towards the Pokiok Bridge (larger bridge you would have crossed coming off the highway). There are no houses along this section of the shore except a beaver hut in one of the coves.
Near the point you will see where the old highway drops down below the water. This old highway was flooded when the dam was built. You may also see stumps under the water. We have seen eagles and osprey in the trees in this area.
When you start to come to houses in Hawkshaw it is time to cross back over the river and find the brewery. Look for the bright red roof. They usually have a dock in the water out front. It is to the left of the Wesleyan Church in that same valley.
Once you have a pint at the Big Axe Brewery get back in your boat and turn left to follow the shore back to Nackawic. The mill in the distance will provide a guide. After passing by a few houses and the Wesleyan Church you will be following along the Nackawic Nature Trail. Here you will find several coves that hold ducks and loons. Eventually you will come back to the Nackawic waterfront in front of the ballfields where you will see the yellow handle of the largest axe in the world poking up through the trees.
Trail Last Hiked: August 24, 2022.
Page Last Updated: May 27, 2023.