Maine's Kennebec Valley

Explore paddling

On the lakes and waterways in Maine’s Kennebec Valley.

paddling

Paddling in Maine's Kennebec Valley

Grab your paddle

Whether you prefer a canoe or kayak, paddling is everywhere in Maine’s Kennebec Valley. Serene ponds, man-made lakes, wide rivers, and vernal streams all work together to form the watershed for the Kennebec Valley—one of Maine’s largest river systems.

Set along the Old Canada Road Scenic Byway, Wyman Lake is a 12-mile-long widening of the Kennebec River that is an ideal paddling location. Likewise, Moxie Pond is one of the area’s loveliest lakes, allowing paddlers to explore unspoiled coves, forested islands, and views of the nearby mountains. If you are geared up for a multi-day adventure, take on the Moose River Bow Trip.

Paddling is an escape. It is an ideal way to disconnect from the world’s manic pace—to go with the flow. Paddling also offers a way to do other things you love: spot the common Loon and other waterfowl, enjoy morning yoga atop a Paddleboard, or take to a canoe and try your hand at fishing.

top paddling trips

It seems as though there is an endless variety of excellent paddling routes and destinations throughout Maine’s Kennebec Valley. We invite you to explore a few of our picks for top paddling trips for your next adventure.

The Kennebec River

The river slows as it moves south and widens out, making it an ideal place to paddle. Skip packing a lunch and grab something tasty along the way in Augusta, Hallowell, or Gardiner. It is easy to tie up and walk into town.

While on the river, pass by Old Fort Western as Benedict Arnold did, spot numerous bald eagles and their nests, or watch for massive prehistoric sturgeon as they breach the river’s surface. 

Kennebec River crossing along the AT.
Paddling on Wyman Lake at sunrise in Maine's Kennebec Valley

The Belgrade lakes 

The Belgrade Lakes are easy to get to with all the makings of a classic Maine paddling experience. Using Belgrade Village as your base, try Great or Long Pond to explore many coves and islands. Next, hike the hills at the north end for a panoramic view or tour the south end of Messalonskee Lake for birding. Certainly, make sure to attend the Antique Boat Parade held each Independence Day.

China Lake Area 

On the far side of the river east of Augusta, the beautiful shoreline and deep blue waters of China Lake make for an excellent day on the water. We recommend fishing from your canoe or kayak, as the lake is a nationally-recognized bass-fishing destination.

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Wyman Lake

This large, beautiful man-made lake is easily accessible from Moscow’s town dock. While you are there, visit the Carrying Place Stream and Houston Brook Falls. Explore the islands scattered around the lake or swim from the pebbly shore. 

The Kennebec River at the Forks

Flagstaff Lake

This large, manmade lake sits at the base of the Bigelow Range and just to the north of the Appalachian Trail. Undoubtedly, Flagstaff Lake makes for a great one-day family paddling excursion. Whereas, for a longer multi-day exploration combine the lake with the 12-mile excursion along the Dead River to Grand Falls. Put in at Long Falls Dam.

Spring on the dock in Maine's Kennebec Valley

Moose River Bow Trip

One of Maine’s most famed paddling trips is the Moose River Bow Trip. Spectacular scenery and great fishing make this a truly memorable trip. The two to five-day wilderness paddle begins on Attean Pond, hooks to the Moose River, then goes back to where you started—with only one portage. Additionally, a quick hike to the top of Sally Mountain will provide a broad view of Attean Pond.

Northern forest canoe trail

The NFCT spans 347 miles across northern Maine, including some of the Kennebec Valley’s iconic experiences: Flagstaff Lake, Dead River, Attean Pond, Big Wood Pond, Moose River, Long Pond, and Brassua Lake.

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