Maine: An Encyclopedia

Canoe Trips

Canoe trips can range from several days in the Allagash Wilderness Waterway or on the Androscoggin, Kennebec, or Penobscot Rivers, to pleasant day trips often close to home. Here are few samples of accessible canoeing in Maine. (Click the film strips.)

The Cold River Canoe Trip begins in the White Mountain National Forest in Stow, Maine, then to Fryeburg. The river has frequent twists and turns, channel blocking fallen trees, producing several “opportunities” for short portages.

The Magalloway River Canoe Trip begins below the Aziscohos Dam in Lincoln Plantation, Maine where the put-in is adjacent to fast moving whitewater. The river eventually calms as the brief, but thrilling, trip arrives at the Wilsons Mills take-out.

This August 2006 Moose River Bow Trip began at Holeb Pond in Holeb Township and ended in adjoining Attean Pond in Attean Township, both in Somerset County.

Mud Brook, with origins in Stacyville, flows south into Herseytown Township and then to Soldiertown Township in Penobscot County where it joins the Penobscot River East Branch.

Nequasset Brook in Woolwich, north of Nequasset Lake near the Old State Road, offers a low stress paddle, at least in early fall with slow water and few bugs.

This portion of the Nezinscot River canoe trip begins in Buckfield Village, passes through Turner Village by means of a portage, and terminates in Turner Center Village.

The West Branch of the Penobscot River is a favorite for canoeists.  A short, quiet trip is one from Roll Dam in Seboomook Township to Lobster Stream in Northeast Carry Township, then to Lobster Lake.

Further down the West Branch of the Penobscot, in T2 R10 WELS is a chance for smooth floating or canoeing from below Nesourdnahunk Falls to above Abol Falls. Abol Falls is a special thrill for guided big rafts.  With proper scouting and experience, two in a smaller raft made it through in August of 2016.

Upper Cathance River begins at Bradley Pond in Topsham and flows through farmland and wooded areas to U.S. Route 201.

The Royal River traces its origins to Sabbath Day Lake and is joined by several brooks on it way south through Auburn, New Gloucester, Gray, North Yarmouth and Yarmouth before entering Casco Bay.

Runaround Pond in Durham is an accessible, quiet place for a short canoe outing, complete with lily pads and the occasional Great Blue Heron.

The Sandy River rises in Sandy River Plantation and flows through Madrid Township, Phillips, Avon, Strong, Farmington, New Sharon, Starks, Mercer, and finally Norridgewock where it enters the Kennebec.

The Sheepscot River passes through Whitefield and Alna providing an opportunity for a pleasant, scenic, and sometimes challenging.

St. Croix River beginning in Vanceboro features Class I & II rapids with campsites on both sides of this international river.

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Additional resources

Appalachian Mountain Club. AMC River Guide Maine, 4th Edition. (John Fiske, ed.) Appalacian Mountain Club Books. Boston, MA. 2008.

Coffin, Stewart T. Black Spruce Journals: [tales of canoe-tripping in the Maine woods, the boreal spruce forests of Northern Canada, and the Barren Grounds] Williston, VT Heron Dance Press. 2007.

Cook, David S. Above the Gravel Bar: The Native Canoe Routes of Maine. Solon, Me. Polar Bear & Co. c2007.

Gilpatrick, Gil. The Allagash Guide: What You Need to Know to Canoe this Famous Maine Waterway. East Petersburg, Pa. Fox Chapel Publications. c2010.

Northern Forest Canoe Trail (Organization). Northern Forest Canoe Trail. [9, 10, 11,12,13]. Seattle, WA : Mountaineers Books, 2004, 2005, 2006.

Wilson, Alex and John Hayes. Quiet Water Canoe Guide, Maine. Boston. Appalachian Mountain Club. 1995.

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