Welcome to the hundreds of miles Maine has to offer for your canoeing pleasure. Maine has a fairly long canoeing season thanks to many dam controlled rivers and lakes. Many people find the late summer / early fall the best time to canoe in Maine. The fall colors are usually at their peak that time of year too. Be sure to do your research before you come to Maine and explore what we have to offer.
River ClassificationsClass I through VI
Class I : Easy
Flatwater to occasional rapids characterized by low, regular waves. Obstructions such as rocks are easy to avoid. The best route down the river is easily recognized and easy to maneuver through.
Class II : Medium
Frequent rapids characterized by high regular waves up to three feet in height. Easy to medium chutes, ledges, or falls. Back eddies and different currents are easy to negotiate. The best route is easy to recognize and maneuver.
Class III : Difficult
Numerous rapids with high, irregular waves, rollers, breakers, and back eddies. This will require skilled maneuvering. Chutes, falls, and ledges are considered difficult.
Class IV: Very Difficult
Long, difficult sections of rapids with high irregular waves, breakers, powerful back eddies, whirlpools, sharp bends, and constricted canyons. Chutes, falls, and ledges have powerful rollers and undertow.
Class V: Extremely Difficult
Long sections of continuous violent rapids with very high irregular waves. Most of the waves are unavoidable. The current is usually very fast with powerful eddies and whirlpools. River routes are usually complicated.
Class VI: All whitewater Class VI rapids are considered nearly impossible and extremely dangerous. These rivers are run only in the best of conditions.
When canoeing on some of Maine's lakes and rivers there are risks involved. Here are few dangers that you may encounter when you are canoeing.
When coming to canoe in Maine it is important to remember many of the rivers you will be traveling are remote and have very little road access to them. Canoe and water safety are paramount to having a safe and enjoyable time in Maine.Equipment to Bring and getting your boat ready
Check out your canoe before you leave home. Check for cracks and wear from the last time you used the canoe. Check the bolts that hold the seats and thwarts into place. They have the tendency to rattle loose when you are transporting the canoe by car. Bring some extra bolts just in case. Also remember to secure the canoe properly to your car or trailer.
Items to bring when you canoe:
Making Reservations on Allagash Wilderness Waterway & Penobscot River Corridor:
In both of these areas the campsites are available on a first come first served basis. There is no reservation system in place. It is recommended you arrive at your campsite early during your trip to insure that you have a place to stay. You will be assessed a fee to access these areas through checkpoints run by the landowners. Bowater and North Maine Woods are the two companies that run checkpoints in the area. Bowater operates checkpoints north of Rockwood, Greenville, and Millinocket North Maine Woods operates gates close to Ashland, Allagash, and Eagle Lake. The checkpoints close around 11pm and reopen around 5 am. They do not take credit cards. You will also be charged a fee to camp in the Allagash Waterway and Penobscot River Corridor.
Making Reservations in the North Maine Woods Management Area:
North Maine Woods operates a variety of camping areas north and south of Millinocket including areas around Gulf Hagas and the Allagash Wilderness Waterway. They are usually require a reservation. Most of the campsites are in areas which are working forests. There is fee to enter the checkpoint and a campsite fee. They do not take credit cards.
For More Information Contact:
North Maine Woods, Inc.
Know what to wear:
Having the right type of clothing can make your canoe trip in Maine very enjoyable. The weather can change quickly so it is important to be prepared.
Each Person Should Have
Try to bring clothing that will keep you warm even it gets wet. Wool, polypropylene, and pile works well for that. It also helps to dress in layers.
Always keep your eye to the weather and have your rain gear handy. "If you don't like the weather wait a minute"
What sort of weather should I expect:
Looking to come to Maine and canoe but feel more comfortable with an experienced guide. You will find below a list of companies that we suggest.