Whitewater Adventure in your own backyard
There is no doubt that the waters flowing out into the Kennebec and Dead River offer some of the best whitewater experiences in Maine and the East Coast. During the scheduled whitewater releases from May to October paddlers of all kinds will be thrilled by this excellent rafting adventure; even those who might be shy about taking the plunge.
There is just something more to a whitewater rafting experience on the Kennebec and Dead Rivers. A controlled release system allows for reliably excellent whitewater and there is a rafting company and experience just right for everyone—no prior experience necessary. When you put it all together and jump in, you’ll be riding waves of excitement for the entire trip.
Each river, just like each of our region’s rafting companies, has something different to offer. Below is some brief info about each. Also, for up-to-the-minute flow information for both the Kennebec River and Dead River call, (800) 557-3569—both rivers’ information is provided under the Kennebec River menu option.
The Dead River
With a drop of over 400 feet over the course of 13 miles, The Dead River is the longest stretch of continuous whitewater in the Northeast. A somewhat secluded river riddled with huge, fun holes and pour-overs that make this sport so ridiculously fun.
Rapids range from Class II at the sub-1800 cfs flows then jump to Class III up to about 3500 cfs. Class IV rafting happens a few special times per year, in the spring and again in the last part of the season during the turbine tests at the dam. Plan ahead with your outfitter to make sure your group will be accommodated on big water days (that goes for both rivers)
2020 Dead River Release Schedule
|May 9, Saturday||Big Spring Release||6,000+ cfs||Class IV+ Rapids|
|May 16, Saturday||Big Spring Release||6,000+ cfs||Class IV+ Rapids|
|May 24, Sunday||High Water Release||6,000+ cfs||Class IV+ Rapids|
|May 30, Saturday||High Water Release||5,000+ cfs||Class IV Rapids|
|June 6, Saturday||Medium (Surfing) Release||4,000+ cfs||Class III-IV Rapids|
|September 6, Sunday||High Water Release||6,000+ cfs||Class IV Rapids|
|September 19, Saturday||Medium (Surfing) Release||3,500+ cfs||Class III-IV Rapids|
|October 3, Saturday||Fall High Water Release||6,000+ cfs||Class IV Rapids|
Water sources are from Long Falls Dam and inflow from Spencer Stream. All releases from Long Falls Dam stop at 1 pm.
With incredibly telling names for many of its more famous rapids, a day whitewater rafting on the Kennebec River will offer a lifetime of thrilling memories. Every guide that works these waters knows the best runs and when. Ask about Magic Falls or Maytag, your guide will have stories to tell.
2020 Kennebec River Release Schedule
|June 13, Saturday||Turbine Test Release||8,000 cfs||Class III-IV Rapids|
|July 6, Monday||Turbine Test Release||8,000 cfs||Class III-IV Rapids|
|September 12, Saturday||Turbine Test Release||8,000 cfs||Class III-IV Rapids|
|September 26, Saturday||Turbine Test Release||8,000 cfs||Class III-IV Rapids|
All releases from Harris Station stop at 1 pm. From May 1st through Columbus Day (Indigenous Peoples’ Day) the daily release will be a minimum of 4,800 cfs from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. From June 15th through September 15th, the minimum release will be 2,400 cfs from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.
Try a Tubing or Funyaking adventure
Several outfitters in the region also offer a few slightly slower options for getting on the region’s rivers. Take a Guided Tubing trip, or rent a tube and go it on your own. This is a great way to cool off on a steamy summer day and spend a little time reconnecting with family and friends as you float along. You might want to try inflatable kayaks or “FunYaks”. They resemble kayaks but are inflatable and have open cockpits. No experience required.
Other Visitor Resources: The Forks Area