Penobscot River Canoe Trips with Katahdin Outfitters








Cow Moose Browsing on Water Plants

Directions to Katahdin Outfitters Base Camp

River flow data for the Upper West Branch of the Penobscot River


Penobscot River - West Branch
Float and Paddle Trips

The 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 beautiful lakes.

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.

Canoeing 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 Dam.

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.

Multiple drop off and pick up points make the lower Penobscot River a favorite for half day, full day and brief overnight stays.


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Katahdin Outfitters * PO Box 34 * Millinocket, Maine 04462 * Telephone & Fax: (207) 723-5700
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