Canoeing is a traditional method of recreational travel in Maine, connecting paddlers to the rich history and culture found among the multitude of lakes and ponds, rivers and streams across the state. Henry David Thoreau paddled a canoe on his famous sojourns into the Maine woods in the 1800s, and today canoeists can paddle our inland waters in the same simple way.
Flatwater river canoeing allows you time to observe Maine’s spectacular forest and mountains, a scenic landscape teeming with eagles, ospreys, loons and kingfishers, and moose, deer and beavers. Cast for brook trout and enjoy the satisfaction of catching and releasing a beautiful native fish.
Tackle a section of roaring whitewater and feel the heart-pounding thrill of shooting a series of rapids through a steep, narrow gorge. The Penobscot, Kennebec and Dead Rivers offer world-class whitewater paddling that will challenge and delight canoeing enthusiasts.
Maine’s Allagash River was the first river to be permanently protected in the United States and the week-long trip along the Allagash Wilderness Waterway – a 70-mile chain of lakes, ponds, and rivers that runs through the heart of the north woods – is a canoeing and camping classic, as is the mighty St. John River nearby.
Countless lakes and ponds, from Grand Lake Stream to the Moosehead Lake Region, from Aroostook County to southern Maine, make for outstanding canoe tripping. Primitive campsites with a picnic table and fire ring are common along popular Maine canoe routes.
Numerous outfitters offer guided canoeing trips, from half-day excursions to extended journeys of up to a week. An expert and knowledgable guide will equip you with the necessary gear, help you with paddling techniques, provide shuttle services, and make sure your canoeing and camping experience is safe and enjoyable.
Settle in to a lakeside cabin or lodge and you can paddle out and back each day, while enjoying many of the comforts of home, including hearty meals and a cozy fireplace, for a perfect outdoor vacation in the Maine woods.