are you an explorer?
Do you love adventure? Do you travel in search of experiences? Are you up for trying something new?
If your answer to any of these is yes, you may be a Kennebec Valley Explorer.
With easy access to popular outdoor activities like whitewater rafting, hiking, and fishing, Maine’s Kennebec Valley region’s recognition is steadily rising. Made up of Kennebec and Somerset Counties, the area takes its name from the mighty Kennebec River—the true heart of this spectacular region.
Begin your exploration and start planning your next Maine vacation.
A river runs through it
Running 170 miles from its rise in Moosehead Lake, the Kennebec River flows southward through The Forks, the cities of Madison, Skowhegan, Waterville, and the state capital Augusta on its way to the Merrymeeting Bay and the Atlantic Ocean.
The Upper Kennebec Valley comprises
an area running from Bingham all the way to the Canadian border north of Jackman. On its western edge are Flagstaff Lake and Holeb Public Reserved Lands; to the east lie Rockwood and the broad Moose River Valley.
Located on the Kennebec River at the head of tide, or Cushnoc, Augusta is Maine's capital city. The area is crisscrossed by Interstate 95 and U.S. Route 201.
Twenty-five miles upriver from Augusta, Waterville is a diverse hub filled with the arts, shopping, outdoor recreation, events, dining, and nightlife.
Originally inhabited by indigenous Abenaki people who named the area Skowhegan, meaning "watching place [for fish]," this former mill town, is now a vibrant, visitor-friendly destination.
Set on a slow-moving stretch of the Kennebec River just outside of Augusta, Hallowell is Maine’s tiniest city and a National Historic District with its abundance of Federalist and Victorian structures.
Set right on the banks of the Kennebec River, Gardiner is popular with tourists for its shopping, dining, culture, and old architecture and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
The Belgrades comprise seven lakes: Long Pond, East Pond, North Pond, Great Pond, Messalonskee, McGrath Pond, and Salmon Lake, offering a nearly endless variety of recreation.
On the Kennebec River, west of Skowhegan, Madison boasts wide, tree-lined streets and brick buildings reminiscent of its industrial past.
A popular summer resort area with many lakeside cottages, the Winthrop Lakes Region is home to the popular Annabessacook, Cobbosseecontee, and Echo Lakes.
Set on the northern reach of Route 201, at the edge of Wood Pond, Jackman is a jumping-off point to 60 lakes, ponds, and streams, as well as an extensive system of interconnected snowmobile and ATV trails.
On the western side of Moosehead Lake and directly to the west of Mount Kineo is the lakeside village of Rockwood. This little town serves as an entry to the North Woods and the world of outdoor sports activities.
Located along the Old Canada Road National Scenic Byway where the mighty Dead River and the Kennebec River meet, The Forks is home to some of the best whitewater rafting on the East Coast and premiere snowmobiling trails.
First settled in 1785, the tiny town of Bingham is located on the 45th parallel, precisely halfway between the North Pole and the Equator.
Located northeast of Augusta, China Lake is situated in the towns of China and Vassalboro and is known for bass fishing. Nearby are Webber Pond and Threemile Pond.