The Kennebec River provides world-class whitewater rafting, starting at its headwaters in western central Maine. Class 3, 4, and sometimes Class 5 rapids are formed when water is released from the Harris Station Hydroelectric dam, and its whitewater section runs about 12.5 miles down into The Forks, Maine. In The Forks and adjoining towns, there are several commercial rafting companies offering daily rafting trips from May through early October.

How Long is the Kennebec?

The Kennebec River Maine originates from Moosehead Lake in northwestern Maine and flows south for about 150 miles, emptying into the Atlantic Ocean at Popham Beach in Phippsburg. The only significant stretch of whitewater for rafting and kayaking is in the first 12 or so miles of the river. This stretch is far upriver from the ocean and is not affected by the Kennebec River or ocean tides.

Map of the Kennebec River

How Deep is the River?

The Kennebec River is quite deep for whitewater rafting, with the gorge ranging from eight to 20 feet in depth.

Commercial Kennebec River rafting began in the mid 1970s and peaked with roughly 20 commercial whitewater rafting Maine outfitters by the early 2000s. Recent consolidation has dropped the number of outfitters but improved services and amenities for Maine whitewater rafters. Look into experienced outfits who have been there for decades, such as family-owned and operated Crab Apple Whitewater Rafting.

Raft with people and guide whitewater rafting

Kennebec River Rafting Access Points

Most Kennebec River rafting commercial guests and private users start their adventures immediately below Harris Station Dam and take on the large Class 3 and 4 (sometimes Class 5) rapids in the Kennebec River Gorge. There is a secondary access point about five miles downstream of Harris Station that allows some Kennebec whitewater rafters to start below the largest rapids and take on Class 2 and 3 rapids only. There are other access points in The Forks, which is downstream of the whitewater section and users can float on Class 1 rapids in rafts, kayaks, canoes, and Kennebec River tubes.

Ready for a Kennebec River whitewater rafting adventure?


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