Rafting the Penobscot River, Maine
Penobscot River Rafting in Maine can prove to be an experience of a lifetime. The adventurous journey juxtaposes thrilling chutes, exciting drops, large holes and rapids with the flawless breathtaking views along the majestic Mount Katahdin.
The adventure begins with a two mile descent from McKay Station through the chaotic streams of the Ripogenus Gorge. This narrow, granite walled canyon has water gushing through it at a speed of over 70 feet per mile. Next in line are the adrenaline pumping class V rapids- Exterminator, Staircase and Cribworks which feature sheer vertical drops, strong hydraulics, eddies and whirlpools- the playgrounds for the brave!
The rapids of Penobscot are short, steep and surprising as they open up into soothing stretches just after short distance of tumultuous rafting. This alternating experience continues for another 14 miles all along Maine’s highest peak, Mount Katahdin (5,267’) which is also the central feature of Baxter State Park. As you drift along the calmer pools, you can enjoy viewing the bald eagle or grazing moose amidst the fragrance of the Maine pines. The best time to spot a moose is the spring. The Maine wilderness with its mighty mountains and picturesque forests provides the best setting for whitewater rafting.
The rest of the journey is marked by the Class IV rapids like the Big Ambejackmockamus and Abol. The Nesowadnehunk Falls is a huge, steep waterfall offering over twelve feet straddling across the river. Twelve miles of rapids finally end this exciting tryst near the Pockwockamus Falls.
The Maine Rafting season starts from mid-April and continues till mid-October. Water releases are hydropower dam controlled all through this season to guarantee high white waters even in the driest summer months for the best rafting experience.