Penobscot River - West Branch
Float and Paddle Trips
Penobscot River's West Branch
from Ripogenus Dam to the Pemadumcook Lake is famous for its numerous
falls and rapids which provide outstanding whitewater rafting, canoeing,
kayaking and fishing for wild landlocked Atlantic salmon. The
Upper West Branch of the Penobscot River is perhaps the best known
waterway in the east for observing and photographing moose.
The complete Penobscot River canoe
trip begins at Old Roll Dam and flows into Chesuncook Lake ending at the
south end near Old Chesuncook Dam. The Penobscot River is ideal for the
beginning canoeist as no rapids or portaging needs to be done. A
worthwhile side trip into Lobster Lake with its natural sand beaches and
spectacular views of surrounding mountains make it one of Maine's most
The Upper West Branch of the
Penobscot River and the Lobster Lake area offer pleasant canoeing and
camping experiences. Canoeing groups usually put in at Roll Dam Campsite,
Penobscot Farm or Lobster trip. It is a leisurely 3 day trip to
Umbazooksus Stream or 5 to 7 day trip to take out at the former site of
Chesuncook Dam. Paddlers encounter quick water only from Big Island to
Little Ragmuff and ( at very low water ) Rocky Rips.
Lobster Lake is a popular
camping spot for canoeing and fishing groups. Groups using Lobster should
be aware that high winds can cause dangerous waves. On the upper portion
of the Penobscot River there are two popular starting points used by
Katahdin Outfitters. Those are Old Roll Dam and Lobster Stream.
and Kayaking the Katahdin Region portion of the river (lower West Branch) normally encompasses the 25 mile segment from Big
Eddy to Ambajesus Lake. The Golden
Road is a primary land management road used for the transportation of
forest products and runs parallel to the river for 10 miles from Abol to
Ripogenous to Big Eddy
contains very severe rapids and is runable by only an experienced team in
a whitewater craft. This stretch of the river has various different
water type encounters from flatwater, to rapids, to heavy rapids, and
falls. Canoe groups who wish to
run the Lower West Branch should be experienced and use extreme caution
due to the many rapids and falls. Several portages are also required. For
further information please refer to the AMC Canoe Guide.
drop off and pick up points make the lower Penobscot River a favorite for half day,
full day and brief overnight stays.