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18 Best Places

To Kayak In Maine You MUST Visit​

Published September 5, 2022

If you’re thinking about your next destination to kayak, Maine may be the place for you. I live in this beautiful state and would love to share my adventures with all of you! There are plenty of best Places To Kayak In Maine that you should consider visiting this summer.

Let’s discuss the 18 best places to kayak in Maine.

18 Best Places To Kayak In Maine: Summary

1. Spur Wink River:

Spur Wink River

The best place to kayak in Maine is the Spur Wink River. The river starts in the Wells River and ends up in the Penobscot Bay of the Gulf of Maine. It’s one of the most popular rivers for kayaking in Maine because it has a moderate current and offers plenty of scenery, including views of an old lighthouse from different perspectives.

The water here is crystal clear and mild, making it an ideal spot for beginners and experts alike. The river has been named one of the best places in the world for kayaking by National Geographic magazine.

2. Presumscot River:

_Presumscot River

The Presumscot River is one of the best places to kayak in Maine. It’s a beautiful river, with lots of wildlife and great scenery. You can go for a hike on the Appalachian Trail by either starting at the Sugarloaf Mountain Trailhead or the Border Road Trailhead. The latter is slightly more challenging, but it’s closer to the river and has better views.

The trailhead for the Appalachian Trail is only about a mile long, so you don’t have to worry about getting lost or too tired. The park is open from sunrise to sunset, so you can enjoy your time on the water as long as you like!

3. Androscoggin River:

Androscoggin River

The Androscoggin River is a great place to kayak! This is a Class I river in Maine, so it’s safe and fun. The river is located in the Midwest region of the state, and it flows from its headwaters in Oxford County to its mouth at the Piscataquis River (it also has tributaries like the North Branch Androscoggin River). It’s a few miles long, mostly in Oxford County.

While kayaking on this river, you’ll see some beautiful scenery: the river banks are lined with forests and ponds, and many islands are along its length. You can take your time exploring these islands once you reach them—they’re all different sizes and shapes, which makes them fun to explore!

4. Dead River:

Dead River

The Dead River is a great choice if you’re looking for a place to kayak in Maine. The river offers a few different trips, including an upstream and downstream cruise and a short trip to the island at the base of the falls. This trip gives you plenty of time to explore the area and enjoy its beauty. Besides, the river is home to a variety of wildlife, and the scenery along its banks is gorgeous.

5. Northern Forest Canoe Trail:

Northern Forest Canoe Trail

Northern Forest Canoe Trail is a 740-mile canoe trail that runs through the northern forest of Maine. It’s an easy paddle, with plenty of places to stop and enjoy nature. You’ll see waterfalls, ponds, and birds in the trees as you make your way along this scenic path.

The trail has three different sections:

1) The West Branch section starts at the old Piscataquis River bridge and runs north. This section is flat and easy to paddle, but it does have some rocks along the way.

2) The East Branch section starts at Owls Head Lighthouse and runs east. This section has more elevation changes than the West Branch section, so paddling is a little more challenging. There are also more rocks in this area than before!

3) The Middle Branch section starts at Old House Point Lighthouse and runs south into Otter Stream (which connects with Goose Cove). This section has more elevation changes than either of the other two sections combined!

6. Kenne Bunk Pond:

Kenne Bunk Pond

Kenne Bunk Pond is a beautiful, pristine lake in Maine that’s perfect for kayaking. The pond is relatively small but makes up for its calm waters and scenic surroundings. It’s also home to quite a few birds, including herons and bald eagles, so you might even see some wildlife on the water!

This area of Maine has plenty of other things to keep you busy. Head to the nearby town of Livermore Falls or rent a cabin at one of the nearby lakeside resorts if you’re looking for more adventure than just kayaking can offer.

7. Songo River:

Songo River

The Songo River is a small river that runs through the town of Windham, Maine. The Songo River has many things to offer kayakers, including great fishing and wildlife-watching opportunities.

The Songo River offers both flatwater and whitewater kayaking options. Flatwater kayaking is good for beginners or people who want some quiet time on the water with their friends or family members. Whitewater kayaking allows you to experience more excitement when paddling down rapids and rivers with your friends or family members!

If you’re looking for something more challenging than flatwater kayaking, we recommend trying out some of the whitewater rivers in the area!

8. Webhannet River and Wells Harbour:

Webhannet River and Wells Harbour

The Webhannet River is a great place to kayak in Maine. It’s got a lot of good access points, and it’s also relatively flat, which means it’s great for novice paddlers. You can spend your time exploring the river or just floating along. There are also some excellent campsites along the river for those who want to spend more time off the water.

Wells Harbour is an excellent destination for paddling enthusiasts as well. This area has many different types of kayaking; from touring over sandbars to surfing waves, you’ll have plenty of options here. There are several different campsites available for overnight stays, as well as free parking for vehicles at each site.

9. Penobscot River:

Penobscot River

The Penobscot River offers various activities for visitors, from hiking and biking to fishing and boating. Back river is one of the most popular destinations in this area because it offers some of the best wildlife viewing opportunities in the state.

You can spot bald eagles soaring above you or hear bullfrogs croaking at night. Plus, you’ll be able to see some of the famous falls that dot the landscape around here—including Great Falls, Little Falls, and Androscoggin Gorge Falls!

If you’re more interested in getting out on the water than getting off it, Back River also provides boat rentals to take your kayaks with you wherever you go!

10. Damariscotta River:

Damariscotta River

This beautiful river is located in the town of Damariscotta, and it offers a number of different options for kayakers. You can go on day trips or make the trip a multi-day adventure.

The Damariscotta River has a wide variety of flora and fauna, including beaver dams and muskrat houses. You’ll also see several birds that live near this river—including ospreys, eagles, hawks, herons, and ducks—making it an ideal spot for birdwatching enthusiasts! Many fish live in the Damariscotta River, including bass and salmon trout.

While you’re out on your kayak trip down this river, don’t forget to stop at one of the local shops for some delicious treats!

11. High Land Lake:

High Land Lake

High Land Lake is a beautiful lake in Maine that is perfect for kayaking. It has dozens of campsites, and every one of them is beautiful. The water is clear and clean, and there are plenty of places to stop and explore on your way down the lake.

If you’re planning on kayaking in High Land Lake, you should bring a canoe or kayak with you! There are many sections of the lake where the water is shallow enough to paddle through without getting wet, which makes it easier to get around.

There’s also an area called “the falls” with a much deeper section of water than most other parts of the lake. It’s fun to see how far you can go before hitting bottom!

12. Moose Head Lake Greenville:

Moose Head Lake Greenville

Moose Head Lake is one of Maine’s most popular spots for kayaking, with plenty of places to launch from and explore. The lake is also home to various wildlife, including bald eagles, moose, and beaver.

One of the best places to kayak in Moose Head Lake is Moosilauke Mountain Trail, which provides access to the lake’s northern shore. The trail begins at the Moosilauke Lodge and ends at Buckfield Beach, where you’ll have access to sandy beaches and rocky areas where you can view wildlife.

Another great place for kayaking is Round Pond State Park on the southern shore of Moose Head Lake. Round Pond has an impressive waterfall that flows down into the lake. You can also hike along this trail to get up close with beautiful views of Moose Head Lake!

13. Mere Point:

Mere Point

Mere Point is one of Maine’s most popular spots for kayaking. It’s located near Lubec, a great way to experience the area’s natural beauty. This is one of the best places in Maine to kayak because there are plenty of opportunities to see whales, seals, and other wildlife. You can also see Bald Eagles nesting on the cliffs above the water. The water is calm and clear here, which makes it easy to see all kinds of marine life that come up close.

The best time to visit Mere Point is during low tide because you can get a better view of the land below without worrying about getting too close to cliffs or rocks as you explore deeper into the bay. When exploring Mere Point, head to nearby Lubec Island Lighthouse for an even more picturesque view!

14. Goose Rock Beach:

Goose Rock Beach

Goose Rock Beach is a hidden gem. It’s a narrow strip of sand that runs along the coast of Maine and is one of the most beautiful places in the state.

The beach is perfect for paddling, but there are plenty of other activities you can also do here. You may want to visit Goose Rock itself if you can find it—the rock is famous for being one of several sites where geese roost. They’ll stand on top of their rock and look out over the ocean if you’re lucky enough to see them. You’ll also notice some trails winding through the trees near Goose Rock Beach; these are popular with hikers and bikers who come here to escape city streets and traffic jams.

15. Ogunquit's Tidal River:

Ogunquit's Tidal River

It’s one of the most beautiful places in Maine and a great place for beginners. The tidal river is calm and quiet, perfect for kids and families. Plus, you can expect to see lots of wildlife, including bald eagles, osprey (seen from the shore), and even seals!

There are several public boating areas along the river where you can rent kayaks or take lessons from local guides. If you’re interested in learning how to paddle a kayak yourself, there are also several courses offered by local schools that teach everything you need to know about getting started with kayaking.

16. Rachel Carson Wild Life Refuge:

Rachel Carson Wild Life Refuge

The Rachel Carson Wild Life Refuge is a place you’ll want to visit if you’re looking for a place to kayak. The refuge is home to various wildlife and features stunning views of the surrounding area. You can even see puffins!

The refuge is in Wells Reserve, just a short drive from Portland. If you’re interested in having a professional guide show you around, several tour companies offer kayak tours of the area.

17. Cape Porpoise:

Cape Porpoise

Cape Porpoise is a great place to kayak in Maine. The island is the perfect size for you and your family, and it’s close enough to Portland that you can visit it on your way home. The island offers plenty of space for kayaking, hiking, and camping. You’ll even find a small sandy beach where you can relax after your day at sea!

The town is small and spread out, so you can easily find a good spot to launch your boat. Beautiful beaches and woods on either side of the cape provide some great photo ops.

18. Scarborough Marsh:

Scarborough Marsh

Scarborough Marsh is one of the best places to kayak in Maine. It’s a marsh that borders the town of Scarborough, which is about an hour and a half north of Portland. The marsh contains wildlife, including birds, turtles, and muskrats! You’ll also find plenty of other people enjoying themselves on the water.


So these are some best places to kayak in Maine. The state is full of beautiful scenery, and kayaking is a great experience.

So enjoy your time on the water!

Jay Schwartz author of Kayak Guidance

About the Author - Jay Schwartz:

Hey there kayak lovers! I’m Jay Schwartz, the author here at Kayak Guidance! You know water sports – you know me! My life is all about it. Kayaking, Paddleboarding, Fishing, Snorkeling and so much more. I love to share my passion and knowledge with all of you. 

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