Kennebago River Paddle

This quick, beautiful paddle down the secluded Kennebago River is great for families and popular with visitors to the area. The calm water and stunning views make this a relaxing and enjoyable day paddle.
Trail Activity
3.70 miles, One Way
Water - River/Stream


From the put-in, the Kennebago River slowly winds through uninhabited forests. The river is mostly flatwater, except for one short section of quickwater and rocks found about 0.1 miles after the put-in. It is best run by cutting to the far left before going back to the middle of the river to avoid the rocks on the sides. While this section has no big waves or strong current, it requires some quick maneuvering. The rest of the 3.75 mile paddle is in calm water around many meandering bends.The take-out is just beyond the ME-16 bridge on the left side of the river at a sandy beach.

This river is popular with fly fishermen, especially near the put-in, at Steep Bank Pool. Watch for wildlife in the many marshy areas along the river's banks. There are excellent birding opportunities for boreal chickadee, Blackburnian Warbler, Black-backed woodpecker in particular.

Other Information

Access to this paddle is provided by a 3,000 acre easement held by Rangeley Lakes Heritage Trust, in partnership with the Stephen Phillips Memorial Trust, surrounding both sides of the river with conservation land for nearly the entire route. 

Private Property: Much of the land and many roads around the Kennebago River and Lake are privately owned. Respect the gates placed along the roads and do not trespass. 

Invasives: Boats and recreational gear should be checked before put-in and after take-out for plants and aquatic invaders.

Shallow Water: It is only possible to go a few hundred yards farther upstream than the Steep Bank access point, as the water becomes too shallow for most boats.

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

Trail Manager

For more information, contact:

Rangeley Lakes Heritage Trust

Rangeley Lakes Heritage Trust
2424 Main Street
Rangeley, ME 04970
Phone: (207) 864-7311
View website

Northern Forest Canoe Trail

Northern Forest Canoe Trail
PO Box 565
Waitsfield, VT 05673
Phone: 802-496-2285
Fax: 802-329-2239
View website

Nearby Events


Trail Tips

Respect Wildlife
Keep wildlife wild: do not feed, follow, approach, or otherwise harass wild animals. Doing so may alter their natural behaviors.
Hide All

Trailhead Information

Put-in: Steep Bank Access. Head north off of ME-16 onto Boy Scout Road 1.4 miles west of Oquossoc. Follow the dirt road for approximately 2 miles. There will be a sign on the left for a boat launch. There are a number of steep steps down to the river and an outhouse slightly farther down the road. Park along the road and be sure not to block traffic.

Take-out: ME-16 Bridge. 1.5 miles west of Oquossoc on ME-16, there is a bridge that crosses over the Kennebago River. Park on the south side of the road in a gravel pull-off. There is a dirt path that leads down to a sandy beach.Parking is along the road, please use caution and be sure not to block traffic.

Click on a parking icon to get custom directions
Please Log In or Create Account to add comments.
July 20, 2023
Had a great paddle today thanks to all the recent rain which provided higher water levels and a nice current for a lazy river-style group float.
These awesome businesses support our goal of connecting people to outdoor adventures in Maine!
Hang Tight!
Nearby services are loading
No Results
No Services Found

Trail Alerts

Private Property
This trail passes through private property. Please respect the landowner and protect future access by staying on the marked trail and following all rules.
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.

Add Trail Log

Please wait…
Join In on the Fun!
Log in or create an account below to unlock all the great features of Maine trail finder: keep track of trails you want to do, preserve memories of trails you’ve done, earn badges, and more!
Your log in attempt was not successful. Please try again.
    Lost your password? Reset your password
    Don't yet have an account?
    There was an issue with your submission. Please try again.
      * Indicates required field
      Already have an account? Login here
      Enter your username, and we will send you a new, randomly generated password to your email account.
      There was an issue with your submission. Please try again.

        Success! A new password has been emailed to you.

        Log in now

        Please wait…