The 26 mile stretch of river, from the New Hampshire border, to Rumford Point, offers a variety of canoe & kayak adventures. The most picturesque section is from Gilead boat landing to Bethel, a total of 10 miles, taking an average of 3 hours. Wildlife sightings are common and include bald eagles, osprey, great blue heron, loons, otters and even moose! Several nearby canoe & kayak outfitters are available for rentals, pick-ups, drop-offs and guiding services.
For a short trip with easy-in and easy-out access (trip length about 1 to 1 1/2 hours), take Route 4 from Rangeley towards Oquossoc to the Information Pavilion. Turn right on Route 16 towards Wilsons Mills, continue across the Kennebago River, pass the Cupsuptic Campground, and go approximately 1 mile past the Maine Forest Service Station to the Public Boat Access on the Cupsuptic River. Do not cross the bridge; landing is on the east side.
This 5.5-mile trip requires a shuttle (takes approx. 3 hours). Take Rt. 4 from Rangeley towards Oquossoc to the Information Pavilion. Turn right on Route 16 to Wilson’s Mills. At Wilson’s Mills as you approach the bridge, turn right on Bennett Road; immediately on the left is the launching point. There is fast water at the beginning of the trip, but it is flat. Shuttle: Take a car to the bridge at the Maine-New Hampshire border – there is only one bridge which crosses the river. Take out at bridge; it is quite steep.
DEAD RIVER (NORTH BRANCH):
This class-I paddle requires a shuttle and a portage. Follow Rt. 27 north, past Cathedral Pines Campground, to the King & Bartlett Road on the right. (approx. 1.5 miles past Eustis). At the sign, turn right and cross the bridge. Launch just past the bridge. Leave your car at the Cathedral Pines Campground. A portage circumvents a dam marked by a cable with barrels strung across the river. Pull out on the right where the cable is anchored. There is a path to the left. Continue to Cathedral Pines. This 3.4-mile trip takes about 2 hours.
This trip offers a great opportunity to see moose and other wildlife. The trip (approximately 3 miles) also requires a shuttle. Take Route 4 from Rangeley towards Oquossoc to the Information Pavilion. Turn right on Route 16 and proceed 1.3 miles to the Kennebago River Road on the right. Proceed 2 miles on this gravel road to the so-called Steep Bank Pool on the left. You will see a path for launching at this point; park on the right side of road. You may have to carry over at this area under certain water conditions, depending on your paddling skills. After this it is flat water to the Route 16 bridge. Take out on the east bank
immediately after the bridge.
RANGELEY LAKES CHAIN CANOE TRIPS:
This trip offers flat paddling and takes approximately 3 to 5 days. Starting at the Town Park in the center of the Village of Rangeley, there is an eight mile paddle across Rangeley Lake to Oquossoc, with a portage of 1.5 miles to Haines Landing on Mooselookmeguntic Lake. A commercial camping area is located on the northern shore of Cupsuptic Lake.
SACO RIVER CANOEING & KAYAKING TRIPS:
With several points in which to put in or take out … you can choose canoe or kayak trips that range from 1 hour (3 mile stretch) to 3-4 days (43 mile stretch) and several options in between. Put in at the Swan’s Falls in Fryeburg and you can paddle all the way to Hiram. The Saco River offers wide-open non-obstructed river paddling with many beaches for swimming and picnicking.