The problem with flatwater paddling in Maine isn’t finding a place to take your boat. It’s choosing a place. Maine has about 6,000 lakes and ponds, ranging from teeny to gigantic. In addition, there’s miles and miles of relaxing segments in Maine’s rivers and streams.
Suggestions? Here’s some.
- The Saco River rolls through southern Maine to its rendezvous with the Atlantic. It has few rapids and combines a slow current with stretches of tree-lined flatwater.
- Sebago Lake, the state’s second-largest lake, is a warm-water destination popular with boaters, swimmers and families. Sebago is a quick drive from Portland.
- The Belgrade Lakes are perennial favorites for paddling, fishing and exploring.
- The Rangeley Lakes in western Maine boast terrific views of the surrounding peaks. These expansive lakes have been drawing paddlers and anglers for more than a century.
- Lake Saint George in Maine’s MidCoast & Islands region features scenic boating along with a popular state park for picnicking and camping.
- The broad lakes surrounding Grand Lakes Stream provide plenty of rural paddling and world-class fishing.
- The state’s largest lake, Moosehead, is so big it once hosted a fleet of steamships. While you can still sail on one of those restored boats, you can also spend plenty of time paddling to the lake’s many coves, harbors and islands.
- The Allagash Wilderness Waterway is 92.5 miles of linked river, lake and pond sections and is one of the East’s great wild areas. Flowing north, it takes paddlers through one of the state’s remotest locations.