Maine Whitewater Rafting
Maine is home to some of the most exciting whitewater rafting in the United States. With it's incredible mountains and gigantic forests Maine offers an outstanding wilderness setting for some exciting whitewater rafting. Passing Mt. Katahdin, Maine's highest peak, the challenge of the Penobscot River is surpassed only by the scenery.
The Kennebec River, the most popular rafting destination in Maine, and Dead River are two of the states other prime whitewater rafting rivers. With big drop and steep chutes, they are sure to please even the most seasoned whitewater rafting enthusiast.
Whitewater rafting in Maine on the Penobscot River
For real whitewater enthusiasts the Penobscot River, claimed to be the most exciting river in the East, offers a 12-mile run that starts with rugged Class V rapids. The trip begins in spectacular Ripogenus Gorge, where the river drops 70 feet per mile for the first two miles. Then it alternates between calm stretches and Class III-IV white water as it passes Baxter State Park and Mount Katahdin, Maine's highest peak. The dam-controlled river can be run all summer long, with the greatest flow in May and June.
Novices and others not seeking white water rafting in Maine can enjoy paddling the Upper West Branch of the Penobscot, a four-day, 50-mile trip between the dam at the foot of Seboomook Lake and the start of the rugged West Branch run at Ripogenus. There are no difficult rapids, no portages, and half the floating is on lakes.
Definitely not for the faint-hearted is the Dead River, a Class III-V stream that shows it is very much alive by providing the longest stretch of continuous white water in the East. This 15-mile run through a remote wilderness canyon begins at Grand Falls and ends near the village of West Forks. It can only be floated when dam water is released; the big releases come in May.
The Kennebec River, into which the Dead River flows at The Forks, boasts the largest river gorge in New England and some mighty rapids on its upstream portion. Starting at Harris Dam, adjoining Indian Pond, the Class IV-V rapids along the upper four-mile section are particularly daunting in the spring. But the remaining eight miles of this run are gentle and appealing for families with children, who may skip the upper gorge and start their float at Carry Brook.
Whitewater rafters and fishermen can also sample Maine's 2,500 lakes which, seen from the air, gleam like jewels in the forest. The largest, of course, is Moosehead Lake, which despite its many tourist facilities is still largely undeveloped and a favorite choice for anglers after trout and salmon. There are also organized "canoe safaris" for nature photographers in search of moose in the surrounding woods.
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