Maine loves and welcomes people who want to paddle, canoe, or kayak

Maine's Atlantic coastline, many coves and inlets, and innumerable lakes and rivers make it a paradise for people paddling canoes and kayaks and related vessels. Whether you prefer leisurely glides along a glass-smooth lake or turbulent white-water adventures on a rushing river, there is bound to be a site that is perfect for you. 

To see some Padding adventure videos, click here to visit Explore New England.

Paddling in Maine
royal river
Royal River Water Trail

Sabbathday Lake to Casco Bay New Gloucester to Yarmouth, ME Phone:

The Royal River flows 26 miles from Sabbathday Lake to Casco Bay and includes more than 100 miles of tributaries. The Royal River Water Trail from Sabbathday Lake to Casco Bay has many public water access points for paddling, swimming, birding, fishing, hunting, picnicking, skating, and hiking, snowshoeing, skiing, and biking on conserved lands and parks.
The water trail is divided into several segments, and each segment has a page by the Royal River Conservation Trust that describes activities and access point, with maps. See below:
Sabbathday Lake to New Gloucester Fairgrounds
New Gloucester Fairgrounds to Intervale Road
Intervale Road to Penney Road
Penney Road to Wescustogo Park
Wescustogo Park to Old Town House Park
Old Town House Park to Royal River Park (Rt. 9 to East Elm St.)
Royal River Park to Yarmouth Town Landing
Estuaries and Bay (Yarmouth Town Landing to Casco Bay)
Chandler Brook & Runaround Pond
allagash wilderness waterway in Maine
Allagash Wilderness Waterway

This preserve has 92 miles of lakes, ponds, streams, and rivers that cut a swathe through Maine's northern forestland. This park is the most remote in the state, and is available for those who truly wish to "rough it." Swimming, boating, fishing, and canoeing are all part of the experience. This is also a popular seasonal hunting area. Hiking trails lead to fire towers throughout the Allagash. It is important to note that there is no public transportation, nor are there any permanent residents in the park. Any visitors who plan to camp or travel through the park will be relatively isolated, and should be experienced in dealing with a primitive outdoor environment.
Scarborough Marsh Audubon Center - Scarborough, ME
Scarborough Marsh Audubon Center

92 Pine Point Road Scarborough, ME, 04074 Phone: 207-883-5100

This wetlands wildlife refuge offers two ways for visitors to observe the surroundings: A traditional network of walking trails (including naturalist-guided tours), and scheduled canoe trips. Canoes and kayaks are offered for rent.
Holbrook Island Sanctuary - Brooksville, ME
Holbrook Island Sanctuary

172 Indian Bar Road Brooksville, ME, 04617 Phone: 207-326-4012

Bird watching, picnicking, paddling from boat ramp, enjoying nature, XC skiing This is a scenic natural area of forests and rocky coastline. There is a boat launch for kayaks, canoes, and paddlers. Picnic tables are available. Lots of interesting ecosystems to observe and enjoy: beaches, mud flats, groves of hardwoods, wildflowers. Open all year; no fee charged. - Sanctuary Brochure (PDF)
Colonial Pemaquid State Historic Site - New Harbor, ME - Photo Credit ME Bureau of Parks & Lands
Colonial Pemaquid State Historic Site (Fort William Henry)

2 Colonial Pemaquid Drive New Harbor, ME, 04554 Phone: 207-677-2423

This historic site from the early 1700s has much to enjoy, including an ancient fort, a museum and gift shop, and interpretive programs about Native people and colonial settlers. Located on the Pemaquie River, there is a beach, and visitors may go paddling, motor boating, fishing and sea kayaking. There is a trailered boat launch.
Paddling - Baxter State Park - Millinocket, ME - Photo Credit Jeffrey Arsenault
Baxter State Park

64 Balsam Drive Millinocket, ME, 04462 Phone: 207-723-5140

Launch your canoe, kayak, or boat into park waters, including the grand Matagamon, Webster, Wassataquiok and Katahdin Lakes. For a dollar an hour, rent a canoe or kayak.
Eastern Branch of the Penobscot River

Along Route 11 Medway, ME Phone:

Fishermen will enjoy this river with its supply of Atlantic Salmon and large mouth bass. The scenery along the river makes it a great canoeing spot.
Paddling at Sebago Lake State Park - Casco, ME
Sebago Lake State Park

11 Park Access Road Casco, ME, 04015 Phone: 207-693-6231

This forested park is aside the state’s second largest lake. The park has sandy beaches, extensive woodlands, ponds, bogs, and a river. Water sports includes swimming and sport fishing. The park has a 250-site campground and lots of wooded trails.