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.

For more than 40 years Maine’s Kennebec Valley has been a top whitewater rafting destination. 

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, SaturdayBig Spring Release6,000+ cfsClass IV+ Rapids
May 16, SaturdayBig Spring Release6,000+ cfsClass IV+ Rapids
May 24, SundayHigh Water Release6,000+ cfsClass IV+ Rapids
May 30, SaturdayHigh Water Release5,000+ cfsClass IV Rapids
June 6, SaturdayMedium (Surfing) Release4,000+ cfsClass III-IV Rapids
September 6, SundayHigh Water Release6,000+ cfsClass IV Rapids
September 19, SaturdayMedium (Surfing) Release3,500+ cfsClass III-IV Rapids
October 3, SaturdayFall High Water Release6,000+ cfsClass IV Rapids

Water sources are from Long Falls Dam and inflow from Spencer Stream. All releases from Long Falls Dam stop at 1 pm.

Many local rafting outfitters offer full-day group outings.

Kennebec River

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, SaturdayTurbine Test Release8,000 cfsClass III-IV Rapids
July 6, MondayTurbine Test Release8,000 cfsClass III-IV Rapids
September 12, SaturdayTurbine Test Release8,000 cfsClass III-IV Rapids
September 26, SaturdayTurbine Test Release8,000 cfsClass 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.

Tubing with Three Rivers Whitewater in The Forks

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.

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