Portland, ME: Presumpscot River Paddle

This 5.4-mile paddle runs two rivers past stretches of undeveloped land, ending just short of a steep rapid. Bonus: Explore side trails from the riverbank.
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Mapped by Kari Bodnarchuk

Trail Facts

  • Distance: 4.2



Location: 43.7241173, -70.3032303

Launch from muddy riverbank and point hull downstream. Turtles hang on downed trees along this wooded river stretch


Location: 43.7286835, -70.2992172

River briefly snakes SE, then curves NE


Location: 43.7311821, -70.2929993

Cottonwoods shade the river-carved banks


Location: 43.7297707, -70.2889633

Turn L; this is a moderately challenging paddle against the current of the lovely Piscataqua River, passing fields and forests


Location: 43.7332993, -70.2863312

Stay R @ fork; enter Piscataqua's East Branch under a sheltered arc of hardwoods


Location: 43.7348671, -70.2874146

Retrace route to WPT 4; turn L @ T onto the Presumpscot. Optional: Continue paddling on East Branch and portage around natural dam of downed trees


Location: 43.7280197, -70.2857819

Run class I-II rapids in shallow water under Maine Turnpike. Test your skills in larger rapids on R, or stay L for smoother ride


Location: 43.7225494, -70.279686

Continue downstream. Optional dayhike: Steer R, and climb wooden steps to a riverside hiking trail (roughly 2.5 mi. long)


Location: 43.7207489, -70.2732468

Land boat next to steps on R. Hike to overlook near Presumpscot Falls, a 4-ft. whitewater drop. Retrace route back to boat landing. Extra mileage: Portage several hundred feet around falls (steps lead to short dirt trail along river); paddle 4.5 mi. downriver into Casco Bay


Location: 43.7244415, -70.3024445

©Kari Bodnarchuk

Presumpscot River

Location: 43.7265816, -70.3011475

©Kari Bodnarchuk

Presumpscot River Paddle

Location: 43.7258682, -70.3013763

©Kari Bodnarchuk