For those of us urban paddlers trapped behind a desk in the Bangor metropolis during the day, Pushaw Lake’s Gould Landing offers an easily accessible escape, if even for an hour or so.

Spring and fall are usually the best times to go, those times being the least crowded. Early spring waters are the coldest and the water levels are the highest. Summer into fall brings warmer and lower water levels.

Despite the well developed shoreline the lake offers pockets of solitude and wildlife sightings — beavers, muskrats, turtles, eagles herons, loons, ducks, osprey, gulls, geese, kingfishers and redwing blackbirds are common. Islands (Mouse, Moose, Hardwood, Dollar) in the lake’s southern end offer paddling goals. (There is a seaplane base on the southwestern corner at Lucky Landing so beware and plan accordingly.)

For the more adventurous the lake’s 7 mile length provides a challenge or a daylong excursion. The northern inlet provides yet another opportunity for birding and can be reached via the Landing Road off Route 43 in Hudson (DeLorme Map 33 E1) or by a launch site on Pushaw Stream (see same map) via a dirt road off Route 43.

How to get there

From Bangor drive north on Essex Street, which ends at the lake. The boat launch is straight ahead, the beach is to the right.

From Orono drive out Forest Avenue to the intersection of Essex Street, turn right and follow lake.

From the north take Route 43/221 south to Lakeview Road, turn left to Pushaw Road, right onto Pushaw to Orono Road. Follow Orono Road to Essex Street and left to the lake.