Our trip begins at the south entrance of Baxter State Park. Home of Mt. Katahdin and the "Painted Rock!"
From there we head west on Grant Brook road about 40 miles to Kokadjo which lies to the northeast of Moosehead lake, then it's north into the Great North Woods. About 35 miles or so to the north of Moosehead we arrive at Caribou Lake, where we have a good view of Katahdin. We will cross Caribou Lake to it's connection with Chesuncook Lake then running 20 miles up Chesuncook to the Lake House where we can refuel and have lunch.
Gas is $4.99 per gallon and a sandwich lunch is $12.50 at the Lake House. Considering that there is no vehicular access and everything is dragged in by tractor and sled, the prices seem quite reasonable.
From the Lake House we will now head east about 24 miles into the woods without benefit of marked trails. We will use the lakes for navigation, crossing Chesuncook, we then jump across Umbazookus and Mud Lakes until we arrive at a large sheltered bay on Chamberlain Lake. Exiting the bay onto the lake, we will run 12 miles north to the top where we first encounter the trains.
Here we find the 1500 foot long trestle of the Eagle Lake and West Branch Railroad. The superstructure has rotted away many years back, all that is left are the cedar pilings and the rails lazily draped over the top of them.
Following the shoreline around till we reach the thoroughfare we leave Chamberlain where we encounter a couple of large steam boilers and engine and some very large gears.
Prior to the construction of the railroad, a tramway was constructed to move logs from Eagle Lake to Chamberlain
The tramway was constructed in 1901 and 1902 and consisted of two railroad tracks located one above the other. The tram was connected to a 6000 foot long steel cable. The cable was brought here by horse and skid, it arrived in two pieces and was spliced together on site.
Following the tramway route to the shores of Eagle Lake we come to the locomotives. In 1926 "King" LeCroix dragged these two locomotives in pieces to the shore of Eagle lake using Lombard logging tractors and skids. The engines were converted to oil for fire safety. In 1926 two trains of ten cars each started making the 13 mile journey to Umbazookus Lake and back. During the depression the demand for lumber subsided and the locomotives were parked in their engine house where they would remain under cover until the shed was mistakenly burnt down by the Maine Forest Service. Here they are, out in the middle of no where.