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A group of individuals kayaking in the ocean.

A group of individuals kayaking in the ocean.

Sea kayaking off the coast of Maine

Sea kayaking off the coast of Maine

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Sea Kayaking

Old forts, uninhabited islands, curious seals and ospreys: Maine’s 3,500 miles of coastline has just about everything an adventurous paddler would want.

The Maine Beaches region in the state’s far south is known, well, for its long, Atlantic beaches. But paddlers also enjoy its gentle tidal rivers and marshes, sandy coves and fun surfing. Outfitters including Coastal Maine Kayak lead tours through the area.

The Greater Portland and Casco Bay region hosts Maine’s biggest city. Given that, it’s a popular spot for paddlers given its easy accessibility. Accomplished kayakers enjoy the crossing to Fort Gorges, on tiny Hog Island. Built during the Civil War era and made of local granite, the fort was obsolete as soon as it opened. Local outfitters such as Maine Island Kayak Company, Portland Paddle and Rings Marine Serviceoffer guided trips in the region.

Maine’s MidCoast & Islands region offers paddlers a wonderful variety of small coastal towns, islands and challenging passages. Many paddlers visit the Maine Island Trail, a 375-mile series of islands and passages running up the coast. It includes more than 200 islands that trail members can visit using small boats. Often, the islands are uninhabited. Camping is encouraged. A number of local outfitters including H2Outfitters, Maine Kayak, Midcoast Kayak, Port Clyde Kayaks, Seaspray Kayaking and Tidal Transit Kayak Company offer tours and lessons.

The DownEast & Acadia region features some of Maine’s wildest coast along with one of its most popular destinations – Acadia National Park. The area is a huge draw for paddlers. Mt. Desert Island, which hosts much of the park, is popular because of its varied paddling and its spray of easily accessible islands. Farther down east, the ‘bold coast’ area provides a more remote experience. Outfitters including Castine Kayak Adventures, Coastal Kayaking Tours, Maine State Sea Kayak, Sunrise Canoe and Kayak and Water Walker Kayak provide tours and instruction.

Need more? Contact the Maine Association of Sea Kayak Guides and Instructors to find guides and teachers throughout the state.

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