Debsconeag Lake Camps

Get away to the Pristine Heart of Maine's North Woods

Chewonki’s rental cabins on Fourth Debsconeag Lake are situated in the heart of Maine’s North Woods on an exquisite chain of lakes and ponds that are permanently protected as an ecological reserve.

The cabins on Fourth Debsconeag Lake date back to the early 1900s and have all of the charm and beauty one would expect of a remote location. This is a great setting for a family getaway or a family reunion.

Our small cluster of cabins and yurts sit at the base of a magnificent set of granite cliffs that rise 800 feet from the lake, surrounded by a mature forest of pine, spruce, hemlock, maple, and oak.

The camps (cabins) are the only buildings on an otherwise entirely protected shoreline that provides privacy, abundant wildlife, and endless opportunities for exploration.

Site Manager, Greg Shute
Email: dlwc@chewonki.org
Phone: (207) 460-5226

Location

Things to Do

 

  • HIKES – whether it is a hike to the bluffs or to 5th Debsconeag Lake, or a paddle and hike to 3rd Debsconeag Lake, or longer day trip on the Debsconeag Backcountry Loop Trail, there are a wide variety of short and long hikes to take during your stay.
  • CANOEING & KAYAKING – As part of a chain of eight lakes and ponds, the paddling options around 4th Debsconeag Lake are plentiful.  Guests have a range of from a quick sunrise paddle around the lake to an all-day canoe on 3rd Debsconeag Lake.  To reduce the need to portage boats, we have 2 canoes stored on the shore of 3rd Debsconeag and two canoes on the shore of 5th Debsconeag for our guests.
  • BIRDING – Loons, Peregrine Falcons, Mergansers, Barred Owls, Pileated Woodpeckers, an occasional Bald Eagle inhabit our area. Spring and Fall are also a good time to catch migrating birds.
  • WILDFLOWERS AND BOTANY – the boreal forest has an abundance of interesting flora.
  • FISHING – There is good lake fishing for Lake Trout and occasional brook trout, especially in the spring (Maine residents and nonresidents 16 years of age or older, must have a valid Maine fishing license to fish in 4th Debsconeag Lake.)  You may purchase a short-term license online, at camp. http://www.mefishwildlife.com/ 

The Lodge

The Lodge sits in the middle of our property and serves as a space to come relax.  The site host can often be found here. The lodge has quite a bit to offer:

MORNING COFFEE – Join us in the Lodge each morning for a cup of coffee, cocoa, or tea beginning at 7:00 am.

SHOWERS: You will find nice hot showers adjacent to the Lodge. Each shower has a pull chain to operate and to help reduce water waste.  We ask that you use biodegradable soap and shampoo, if possible, This helps reduce the impact on our septic system.PROPANE GRILLS – We have 2 propane grills for guest to use, located on the deck between the Lodge and showers

LIBRARY – Located in the Lodge, we have a small library containing a nice assortment of field guides and books about northern Maine and rural living.

BOARD GAMES AND PLAYING CARDS – These are also located in the Lodge and may be used in the Lodge or taken back to your cabin or yurt.

BINOCULARS are available to borrow

INTERNET – We have wireless internet for guests to use during their stay. We have limited bandwidth, so we ask that guests only check email and not stream or download content.

MAPS – We have a large assortment of local hiking and canoeing maps for you to use throughout your stay. Your host can help you plan excursions and discuss daily trails, and lake conditions.

Health and Safety

For your safety, we maintain a Sign out/ Sign in Hiking and Paddling Sheet This helps us know where you are headed and when to expect you back if you should have a problem while away from camp.

Swimming

We DO NOT provide Lifeguards. Swimming is at your own risk. The designated swim area is next to Birch Camp, although you may swim anywhere on the lake. Please do not swim alone. Buddies are always better. Please feel free to borrow and swim in a DLWC lifejacket for an added degree of safety. We also ask that you be accompanied by a boat for any long distance swims. Please do not swim when you can hear thunder, during high winds, or at night.

Boating

Please enjoy our canoes and kayaks. We expect you to wear a fastened life jacket whenever you are in a DLWC boat. We expect that you understand the associated risk of boating, and that you will let us know if you have any questions or would like a bit of instruction.  Please do not boat after dark or when you can hear thunder! Remember that in the early spring and late fall the water can be very cold. Please boat safely!

Bathrooms

We have a combination of new Composting Toilets and privies. We encourage all guests to use the two new Composting Toilets located in the central part of camp. Point Camp, Chickadee Camp, Moose Camp, and Bear Camp, each has a privy associated with each cabin. Birch Camp and High Camp are located close to one of the new composting toilets.

Cabins

All of the cabins contain a small four burner propane stove with an oven and small broiler, a small propane refrigerator with a small freezer, a wood stove for supplemental heat, propane lights, and all of the necessary pots, pans, cooking utensils, dishes, and eating utensils. In addition, each cabin is supplied with dish soap, a sponge, hand soap. There is running water in each cabin. All our water is potable and provided to each cabin through a state-approved treatment system. Beds are made with a fitted sheet as well as pillows with cases. All guests should bring a sleeping bag or other warm bedding. Please bring your own towels.

Yurts

Our Yurts are a wonderful housing alternative to the Cabins.  Each Yurt is equipped with a two burner propane stove, a wood stove for heat andcookware for a group of up to 8 guests. Potable water is provided in a 5-gallon container. Your dish clean-up will be done in the nearby Shower House.. The Yurts have a ceiling vent, two doors, and four windows. We also recommend that yurt guests bring a battery-powered lantern or two as the yurts do not have supplementary lighting.

Green Living

Our camps are off the grid although we do have internet and emergency telephone connections. We use propane gas to run the refrigerators, stoves, and lights in the cabins. The Main Lodge uses electricity from a set of solar panels with a backup propane generator which runs a bit every day.

  • RECYCLING – Please pack out your recyclables and returnables.
  • COMPOST – we encourage composting of all left  over food  materials except meat, which goes in the trash.  You will find a small compost container in your cabin which you can empty into a large bucket in the Lodge.
  • GARBAGE – “Real Trash” is anything that cannot be composted or recycled. You will find a covered trash container on the lake-side of the lodge. Please  keep your trash covered to keep unwanted critters out of your garbage.

Tips and Tricks for Living With Wildlife

A tug of war between the native creatures (mice and the occasional red squirrel) and the humans is inevitable. Please help us win this skirmish by keeping your food in the fridge, the bread box or other closed container.  Anything left out will be an invitation to the local critters.

Quiet Hours

One of the beauties of this camp is its quiet and peaceful environs. We ask that you respect that atmosphere by keeping voices down. We ask that we have quiet hours between 9:00 PM and 6:30 AM

Dogs

Well behaved dogs are permitted but please leave other pets at home.  One dog is permitted per  rental cabin and must remain on a leash or under voice command of their owner.. It goes without saying owners need to pick up after their dog.  Although many of our guests are dog lovers many visitors are not comfortable being around dogs.  With this in mind we ask that you be honest in deciding if your dog should visit DLWC.  We will not tolerate dogs that show aggression, excessive barking or harass the resident wildlife, we generally have nesting loons close to the Lodge.  You can be held liable for any damage to buildings or equipment caused by your dog and may be asked to leave if your dog is impacting the experience of other guests.

Departure

Please let your host know your expected departure time. You can put your luggage on the freight canoe dock or on the swim dock.

  • Strip your beds, and leave the fitted sheet and pillow cases on the mattress
  • Quick sweep of cabin is helpful
  • Empty your fridge and wipe it out
  • We are a no-tipping facility, but if you would like to make a donation, to the Debsconeag Lake Camps Fund it is welcomed.

Non-Negotiables

We strive  to create a community of visitors  willing to adhere to a set of collective expectations. By staying here, you agree to follow these expectations without exception:

  • Drugs and alcohol. The policy is simple. No visitor may use illegal drugs or use alcohol in an illegal or irresponsible manner. The drinking age in Maine is 21. Those underage may not possess or consume alcohol at any time while at DLWC.(Returnable containers should be packed out by guests)
  • Firearms. Are only permitted at Debsconeag Lake Wilderness Camps with express permission of the site manager or their designee. All firearms must be kept under lock at all times while on site.
  • WE ARE A SMOKE AND VAPEFREE SITE.  With our emphasis on wellness at Chewonki, you should know that all camps at DLWC are Smoke/VAPE -Free Zones. If you absolutely must smoke/vape, please do so well away from any buildings or the main lodge. Please be sure that second-hand smoke does not impact any visitors or staff. All cigarette butts must be completely extinguished, field stripped, doused in water and deposited in the trash.

A few suggestions as you pack:

  • SHOPPING: It is important to note that you should come to camp fully supplied and equipped. Millinocket is a 1 ½ hour drive, Greenville is nearly a 2 hour drive and Kokadjo, with a tiny general store is about 1 ½ hours from camp. In route Milo, Millinocket, and Greenville have good supermarkets for perishables and last minute items.
  • ORGANIZATION: To help us load your equipment into our freighter canoe, please have your gear as consolidated as possible.  Packing your food and supplies in Tupperware containers, a cooler or two will also provide you with additional critter proof storage space in your cabin or yurt. If it is raining, gear will get wet in the boat, so water-proof any items that will not withstand 10 minutes in the rain.
  • ILLUMINATION: Headlamps are very useful and well worth the investment. (Extra batteries if you are staying for more than a couple of days )

Directions from Brownville Junction or Millinocket, Maine

It is possible to drive to Debsconeag from Route 11 between Brownville Junction and Millinocket see map. If coming from the south turn left at the Jo Mary Lake Campground sign onto the gravel, Jo Mary Road. Within 100 yards you will see the Jo Mary Road Checkpoint; please pull to the right and go into the gatehouse to register and pay a road use fee of  $11 for Maine residents (per way), and $16 for non-residents. We are about 25 miles and  a one-hour drive from the Jo Mary Gate.

While you are at the Jo Mary Gate, please use your cell  phone to call ahead to Debsconeag Lake Wilderness Camps. This will allow us to meet your party at the boat launch without a delay.

Between the Jo Mary and Henderson gates, the road is private although open to the public; please give logging trucks the right of way.

Call ahead so we know you are coming

Give us a call on your cell phone  (207-460-5226) before you leave Greenville or the Jo Mary Checkpoint so that we will know when to meet you at the boat  landing on Fourth Debsconeag Lake or with prior arrangement, we can leave a canoe for you to use. There is genenrally no cell signal once you leave Greenville or The Jo Mary Check Point.

The cabins are about a ¾ of a mile from the landing on the same side of the lake. You can walk in from the landing along the tote road that parallels the lake and turns into a trail; take a right after the snowmobile bridge to follow the shore trail to the camps. We can come back and pickup your gear with the boat.

Flying In

It is also possible to fly into Fourth Debsconeag Lake from Millinocket. We recommend Katahdin Air, which flies out of Ambajejus Lake and charges $40 per person each way.

Terms and Conditions

Please read the following terms of service agreement carefully. By accessing or using our sites and our services, you hereby agree to be bound by the terms and all terms incorporated herein by reference. It is the responsibility of you, the user, customer or prospective customer to read the terms and conditions before proceeding to use this site.
If you do not expressly agree to all the terms and conditions, then please do not access or use our sites or our services. The terms of service agreement is effective as of 1/1/2020.

The following Terms of Service Agreement (the”TOS”) is a legally binding agreement that shall govern the relationship of users and others which may interact or interface with Chewonki, also known as Chewonki’s Debsconeag Lake Wilderness Camps (DLWC), located at Fourth Debsconeag Lake, Piscataquis County, Maine.

By agreeing to the terms of service agreement you and members of the group that are covered under your reservation agree to the following

  • All swimming and boating is at your own risk. We Do Not have lifeguards on duty. We have Personal Flotation Devices (PFDs) available, for added degree of swimming safety.
  • Appropriately sized PFDs are worn at all times, by any person in a canoe, kayak or motor boat owned by Chewonki
  • All children under the age of 18 must be under adult supervision at all times including while swimming or boating.
  • No swimming from ½ hour after sunset until ½ hour before sunrise. We recommend swimming with a buddy, and having a boat accompany you for long-distance swims.
  • No swimming during severe weather events or when thunder is heard or lightning seen. Please remember that during early Spring and late Fall season, the water temperatures can be dangerously cold.
  • You will take responsibility for the appropriate and safe use of Propane lights, propane stove, propane refrigerators and wood stoves located in the cabins and Yurts.
  • Propane lights are only to be used when someone is in the cabin, otherwise all propane lights should be turned off.
  • All campfires must not be left unattended. A designated adult is responsible for making sure the fire is completely extinguished before leaving the area.
  • Pets: Dogs must be leashed and cleaned up after immediately. If a dog is barking or not under your direct control you may be asked to leave the camps.
  • Chewonki’s Debsconeag Lake Wilderness Camps is a smoke and vape free environment and the use of tobacco, vaping products or marjiuana is not permitted.
  • Guests are expected to use responsible alcohol consumption. If there is an incident of excess alcohol use, guests may be asked to leave DLWC. Those under the age of 21 may not possess or consume alcohol at any time.
  • All personal clothing and supplies should be removed from the cabin or yurt at the end of your stay.
  • As the person under whose name the reservation has been made it is your responsibility to make sure everyone in your group complies with the expectations stated in our Terms of Service agreement.
  • Please Note: once a reservation has been completed, there will be no refunds.
  • Due to the nature of our seasonal business we require a two-week notice for rescheduling, regardless of weather. To reschedule a reservation please contact dwlc@chewonki.org.

Contact Us

Site Manager, Greg Shute
Email: dlwc@chewonki.org
Phone: (207) 460-5226