Rebuilt in July, 2011, the Debe Park River Walk is now a paved ADA-compliant paved path through the woods overlooking the scenic Kennebec River Gorge. Starting from Mount Pleasant Avenue, the trail switchbacks down a slope with rest areas to pull off to, if needed. After the slope, the trail flattens to follow the river. Fitness stations, picnic tables, and benches line the trail. Both above and below the gorge, the Kennebec River is over 500' wide, but within the Gorge the river narrows to less than 200', churning its way through a rocky slot formed by an earthquake some 50,000 years ago.
Skowhegan, an Abenaki term, means "where they watch for fish," a reflection of the once plentiful salmon leaping over the rocks on their way upstream to spawn. The area continues to be a popular area for fishermen who often line the granite banks below the River Walk.
Those seeking a longer excursion should consider starting downtown and crossing the Skowhegan Walking Bridge to access the Debe Park River Walk. Walkers may continue beyond the River Walk onto the adjoining Philbrick Trail. The River Walk also serves as a segment of the Skowhegan Portage, allowing canoeists and kayakers to carry their boats around the dams and falls within the gorge.
Read about MTF Accessibility Ambassador Enock Glidden's visit to the river walk using his wheelchair at MTF Stories.
This trail passes through a property that was acquired in part with funds from the Land for Maine’s Future program. For more information about the LMF program and the places it has helped to protect, please visit the LMF webpage.
Visit the Town of Skowhegan online for more information or contact:
Parking is located on Mount Pleasant Avenue on the side of the street near the trailhead.
Additional parking can be found at the other end of the trail where it comes out of the woods at the end of Joyce Street. Park on the shoulder out of the way of truck traffic. This location is also the trailhead for the nearby Philbrick Trail.
If walking from downtown Skowhegan, walk to Patten Court, which leads to the Kennebec River off of US Route 2/Water Street and is roughly 75 feet west of where Russell Street breaks away from Water Street. Continue down Patten Court to the river and cross the river using the foot bridge. Turn left onto Mount Pleasant Avenue. The trailhead will be about 100 yards further on your left.
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