Carrabassett River Paddle: Kingfield to New Portland

A fun 6.7-mile paddle that has numerous easy to moderate rapids, quick current, and nice views, along with an architecturally stunning wire bridge at the end.
Trail Activity
Paddling
Length
6.7 miles, One Way
Difficulty
Moderate
Towns
Kingfield, New Portland
Surface
Water - River/Stream
Pets
Permitted
Fees
No

Description

This is a fantastic beginner whitewater paddle suitable for open boats. The paddle begins below a dam in Kingfield. The river is relatively calm at first, with a few Class I rapids. About halfway through, the rapids become more frequent and can reach Class II depending on water levels. A forest surrounds the river and glimpses of the mountains can be seen through the treeline. This trip ends at the New Portland Wire Bridge, listed on the National Register of Historic Places, that is built above a  Class II boulder garden. Take-out on the left bank immediately after the final rapid and bridge.

Flow information: This section of the Carrabassett can usually be paddled in the spring (late April to early June). At USGS gage flows of between 500-1500 cfs, it is a low water, Class I-II run. The rapids become more pushy at higher water levels. Above 2,500 cfs, the river is best for experienced boaters.

Other Information

A downloadable map of the route is available at the Northern Forest Canoe Trail website (free for members!). 

Trail Manager

For more information, contact:

Northern Forest Canoe Trail

Northern Forest Canoe Trail
PO Box 565
Waitsfield, VT 05673
Phone: 802-496-2285
Fax: 802-329-2239
info@northernforestcanoetrail.org
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Nearby Events

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Trail Tips

Plan Ahead and Prepare
Know your limits – it’s okay to turn back. Your home is the ultimate destination, not the summit.
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Trailhead Information

Put-in below Kingfield Dam: The owner of the Old Mill Redemption center allows paddlers to launch from his land, where there is room for three cars. The business is situated behind a business complex at the corner of Route 16 and 27, just downstream of the bridge. Park to the south of the redemption center and walk past the old barns to the river. If the center is open, please check-in with your plans. Alternatively, public parking is available south on Route 27, in a large parking lot utilized by ATVs. It is a 160-yard walk down a grassy hill to the river.

Take-out at the New Portland Wire Bridge: Heading south on Route 27 from Kingfield, turn left onto Route 146. Then take a left onto Wire Bridge Road. Drive across the bridge where there is a field next to the river with parking for 10 cars and a sandy path down to the water that can be used for hand-carry access.

Click on a parking icon to get custom directions
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Trail Alerts

Safety
Be a Safe and Respectful Paddler
Paddling conditions will vary according to the weather and season, so always exercise caution and always wear a lifejacket. With good judgment and proper equipment, the risk associated with paddling can be minimized. Respect the natural world and the rights of landowners, and be considerate of other outdoor enthusiasts. Paddlers should seek to avoid causing erosion, trampling vegetation, disturbing wildlife, and harming water quality.
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