Not far from Grafton Notch State Park, Umbagog Lake straddles the border of Maine and New Hampshire. This lake is the source of the Androscoggin River, which flows through New Hampshire and into Maine, eventually joining the Kennebec River at Merrymeeting Bay before emptying into the Gulf of Maine and the Atlantic Ocean. The name of the river is thought to come from either the Eastern Abenaki or Penobscot tribe.
Textile and paper mills nearly killed the river, but it has slowly been recovering since the enactment of the Clean Water Act, which the Androscoggin inspired. While great strides have been made to improve the condition of the Androscoggin (it was once known as the “Andro-stinkin” and just swimming in the river would make you sick), industrial pollution down stream is still a serious problem. Click on the image for a larger view.