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Canoe the Wild

canoe trip maine

Maine Canoe Trips

Nothing compares to pushing off in a canoe and experiencing Maine’s wild beauty from the water. Each river has a unique character and spirit, with enough variety to accommodate adventurers of all levels.

  • 2024 Scheduled Canoe Trips

When you set off down the river, you’ll be doing much more than just paddling a canoe. You’ll have opportunities to rest, relax, explore, and spend quality time with friends and family. Back country canoeing has a way of bringing the best out in people. As you make your way down the river, you’ll be improving on your paddling skills. Keep an eye out for wildlife such as eagles and moose.

At the campsite, you’re welcome to assist with camp chores including cooking over an open fire, or you may choose to just relax, take a swim or wet a line. Nights are filled with campfires stories and laughter beneath a canopy of stars.

Choose the northeast for your next family vacation or group outing. Take a canoe camping trip and discover Maine as a top destination for wilderness adventure. We’ve provided  a brief description of each river to help you decide which trip is right for you.

St. Croix River

The St. Croix River is a great choice for the first timer and seasoned paddlers. One of Maine’s finest canoe & kayak trips known for lively but mostly easy whitewater, rustic but maintained campsites and fishing for small mouth bass.

  • Available May-September, day trips, 3-5 days

Allagash Wilderness Waterway

The Allagash is Maine’s most famous canoe trip, with lakes, easy river sections and it best for spotting moose. Paddling lively Chase Stream Rips is an option. A great first timers and seasoned paddlers trip.

  • Available May-September, 5- 8 days
  • Five day trips all ages minimum age of 10, five days and longer-ages 12 & up

Baskahegan Stream

The Baskahegan Stream (near Danforth and East Grand Lake) is less traveled offering a variety of stream travel, lake and paddling on Crooked Brook flowage. A mostly flat water trip with fishing for small mouth bass and wildlife viewing opportunities.

  • Available May-early June and possibly in the fall (water levels permitting)

West Branch of the Penobscot River

Another  Maine destination known for its scenic and recreational value- as well as its wilderness and wildlife. The West Branch of the Penobscot River below Roll Dam has mostly flat water and is a great trip for first timers or folks looking for a more relaxed outing.

  • Available June-September

East Branch of the Penobscot River

The scenic East branch of the Penobscot River is a great choice for those looking to add a little more adventure to their outing.  Trip involves good moving and moderate whitewater. First timers will receive detailed instruction on how to handle a canoe in moving water.  Being in good physical condition is important as we have mandatory portages around four scenic waterfalls.

  • Available June-Mid September

Webster Stream

Webster Stream offers an exciting remote back country canoeing adventure with whitewater, great scenery, fishing and can be paddled all summer long. Being in good physical condition is important as there are a few short portages, linings, and a mandatory 1/2 mile portage around Grand Falls.

  • Available June-August

Machias River

Downeast Maine wilderness canoeing at its finest. With the feel of a northern river, the Machias begins as a series of headwater lakes with stream travel that includes fast water, tight turns and linings. The lower river sections  offering exciting whitewater. Being in reasonably good physical condition is important as there are several mandatory portages.

  • Available May through early June (water levels permitting), 3-5 days.

The St. John River

One of Maine’s finest remote canoe trips, the Saint John River flows 128 miles from its headwaters (Saint John Ponds) and meets up with the Allagash River just below the town of Dickey. If flows through a forest of balsam fir and spruce. A great trip for those with good basic paddling and camping skills looking for a more remote experience.

  • Available late May through early June, 6 days

New to canoeing? Be sure to view our instructional videos made in collaboration with Old Town Canoe. This short 3-part series covers: Basic Canoe Strokes, Canoe Paddling Maneuvers, Running Rapids. You can view them here .

Dave has spent lots of time on these Maine rivers and can assist you with putting together a quality outing for your family or group, corporate organizations, adult groups, boy scouts, girl scouts and church youth groups are welcome, and be sure to inquire about group discounts for youth and scout groups.

canoe trip maine

Other Maine Canoe Trips

Machias Stream:  Northern Maine, 2 to 3 days, month of May

Moosehead Lake and outlet to Indian Pond:  3 to 4 days, July and August

Moose River Bow trip:  Near Jackman, 3 days, May – September

Debsconeag Chain of Lakes:  Near Millinocket, 2 to 4 days, June-September

Inquire for more information on these trips and other less traveled canoe routes in Maine.

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Allagash Canoe Trips


We are Maine's oldest continuously running guided canoe trip service, with the fourth generation in training. We offer custom, scheduled, or group trips for all ability levels. We provide outstanding meals cooked before an open fire, quality instruction with Registered Maine guides, national canoe poling and downriver canoe paddling champions. Watch animals in their natural habitat, paddle beautiful & pristine waterways, and get away from it all!

canoe trip maine

Maine Canoe Trips

Enjoy a family canoe trip, paddling gently flowing rivers, or challenge yourself with rapids and portages.

canoe trip maine

Paddle some of Maine's most challenging whitewater, the upper Kennebec River and the Lower Dead.

canoe trip maine

Meet Your Guides

Chip Cochrane and Lani Love are both registered Maine guides, Chip has been on the river since 1971, Lani since 1988.

canoe trip maine


'My family and I have had three memorable and distinctly wonderful canoe trips over the last 10 years.'

Featured Article

DownEast Magazine article about Allagash Canoe Trips

* Click on picture to watch Down East video

DownEast magazine recently featured a great article and video about a guided trip on the Allagash wilderness waterway with Allagash Canoe Trips.

Read the article here...

Photo Gallery

There are photo opportunities around every corner in the allagash, from amazing scenery to wildlife to meal prep time..

Visit our photo gallery...

Wildlife, Wilderness, Whitewater, Camping Under the Stars, Mouthwatering Meals...

Each day is a new adventure

We offer trips of varying lengths to suit your schedule, from day and overnight trips to week-long expeditions. We encourage you to consider the longer trips, which provide the best opportunity to experience the character of the vast woodlands we travel through.

Maine Canoe Trips

canoe trip maine

Allagash Wilderness Waterway

This iconic 100-mile canoe trip is the ultimate canoe and camping experience in the eastern U.S. It is a series of picturesque headwater lakes and free flowing river. The shorelines of the Allagash are undeveloped and offer outstanding opportunities for wildlife viewing. We will customize the length and start/end location to your needs and skill level – 4 to 10 days. 

West Branch of the Penobscot

This remote river and lake trip follows the route of Henry David Thoreau. It is an excellent choice for novice paddlers and offers abundant opportunities for wildlife viewing. We will customize a trip to your time constraints and needs – 3 to 6 days. 

Allagash Lake and Stream

This moderately difficult trip flows through one of the most remote sections of the Allagash Wilderness Waterway. This is truly a wilderness adventure that you will remember for a lifetime. This is a great canoe trip that can be combined with fishing in May or June.– from 4 to 6 days. 

Moose River Bow Trip

This small river/stream Maine canoe trip is mostly easy paddling with a few ledge drops added for excitement. This river is a great choice for family groups with varied skill levels – 4 to 5 days. 

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Maine Guide Company


canoe trip maine

With hundreds and perhaps thousands of river miles traveled from Maine to Alaska some of our favorites reside right here in Maine - Maine Guide Company offers a large variety of overnight trips and options for canoeing in Maine. With 25 years of collective outdoor experience (including several native canoe routes), Maine Guide Company shares a love for the outdoors and connecting people to the flow of the river. If you don't see the trip for you on our website we can build one (anywhere any length) for any skill level beginner to elite we can cater to what fits your needs. Please  Contact us for custom Itineraries or any questions you have.

St. Croix Maine.jpg

St. Croix River 3-4 Days

The St. Croix is a designated Canadian heritage river located in Eastern Maine along the border of Maine and Canada. This river is dam controlled so it offers water all summer long. Class I-II rapids frequent the way offering an opportunity for learning basic whitewater canoeing techniques. This is a 3-5-day trip that offers breathtaking scenery along its 33 mile section from Vanceboro to Kelly Landing. Maintained campsites along the way also make this trip a great opportunity for learning wilderness skills. 

for a personalized adventure

Relaxing River Portage along the Moose River in Jackman Maine.jpg

Moose River Bow Trip 3-4 Days

The Moose River Bow is classic Maine multi-day paddling. This trip can start and end in the same place. It’s a short trip that begins in historical Jackman Maine at Attean Pond before It wanders 42 miles through wildlife habitat disrupted by several short ledge drops and rapids that can be portaged if necessary. One portage is required around Holeb Falls. This trip sheds extraordinary appearing and reappearing scenery as it meanders all the way back to Attean Pond. This is an excellent multi 3-4-day trip for all skill levels and it offers a nearby hike up sally mountain. You will find greatness in the history and wildlife of the upper moose river valley while also learning and practicing low impact principals and ethics.

canoe trip maine

West Branch Penobscot River 3-4 Days

The West Branch of the Penobscot River is great for family and group-oriented experience to be enjoyed by beginners and experienced paddlers. Known for its solitude, scenery, and fishing this is a 4 or 5 day trip that covers roughly 35 miles from Lobster lake to Umzooscus stream. You will put in at lobster lake before entering the west branch of the Penobscot river and making your way north to cross Chesuncook lake then end at Umbsooskuss stream. This trip will either take out at or visit Chesuncook village where only a handful of year-round residents reside. One resident; Jack murphy runs Chesuncooks only store.

Photo Oct 13, 12 16 47.jpg

East Branch Penobscot River 4-5 Days

Maine's most kept paddling secret. Starting at Grand Lake Matagamon the East Branch of the Penobscot flows downstream with several Class I-II rapids. However there are opportunity for fishing, swimming, and floating downstream. You will experience rapids every day on this trip, starting with  Stair Falls and then Grindstone Falls, the largest rapid on the entire section of river (more than a mile and a half long) from start to finish. Many Class I-II will excite even the most seasoned  paddler. 

The East Branch of the Penobscot offers some of the most impressive scenery for canoe trips in Maine. Leaving the outlet at Grand Lake Matagamon, experience immediate breath taking vistas of the Traveler Mountain range located in the heart of Baxter State Park. The Traveler Range name derived in the rich history of Maine's log drivers on the East Branch of the Penobscot River and these Mountains appeared to move downstream, a phenomenon experienced on the river.


Allagash Wilderness Waterway 4-10 Days

5-8 day trip through Maine's Allagash wilderness waterway. The trip works its way north for nearly 100 miles before it meets and contributes to the St. John River.

The Allagash is inspired by amazing environmental diversity while it travels lakes, and pristine waters of the the designated ALLAGASH WILDERNESS WATERWAY. Chase rapids, are a great fun introduction to reading and running whitewater in a canoe. The greatest highlights during a wilderness experience like are the opportunity for personal growth, learning about history, wildlife and ecosystems. The physical and mental challenges can be tiring but we find plenty of time in our schedule, for sites such as Allagash falls, for some relaxing, swimming, and exploring. 

canoe trip maine

EMCT 10-14 Days (Advanced)

This 130-mile route crosses the Gassabias Portage as a bridge between the St. Croix River watershed and the Penobscot River watershed. Not for the “light hearted” adventurer, this native american canoe rte begins in Vanceboro, Maine on the popular St. Croix River.

Most canoe trips finish the St. Croix River trip at Kellyland where the EMCT continues westward into the amazing Grand Falls flowage, and across Big Lake to the first of several portages. 

Fourth Machias Lake presents the historical  3-mile Gassabius Portage through old growth forest, bogs, muck and myer crossing us into the Penobscot Watershed. This is a crux but also the last major portage of the trip.

Now the portaging is done on to Nicatous Lake, and a class I-II whitewater section down Nicatous Stream into the Passadumkeag River, Soponic pond, and finally the mighty Penobscot River where we end our trip in the town of Passadukeag. Contact us for more information about your trip.

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Maine Canoe Trips

We offer a variety of Maine canoe trips to suit all interests! Our Maine canoeing day trips can range from a challenging whitewater river trip to a paddle on one of Maine's calm lakes or ponds. Overnight canoe camping trips are also available, our Maine canoeing adventures include family canoeing as well as Boy Scout High Adventure Trips. Check out our canoe trips on these fine Maine waters!  The Kennebec, Moose, Penobscot, Sheepscot, Piscataquis, St. Croix, St. George, and Roach rivers as well as Wyman and Spednic Lakes, Donnell, Indian and Flood’s Ponds and also Kenduskeag Stream.

Our prices are based on a minimum of 4 people per trip. We also have group discounts that would apply to groups of 8 or more for our guided day trips, please ask for details! If you see a trip that you like but the dates listed just don't fit your plans, try contacting us we can try to make it work for you!

Overnight Canoe Trips

  • Spednik Lake Canoe Trip
  • St. Croix River Canoe Trip
  • Wyman Lake Canoe Trip
  • West Outlet Canoe Trip
  • Moosehead Lake Trip
  • Moose River Canoe Trip
  • Donnell Pond Canoe Trip

Day Canoe Trips

  • Kenduskeag Stream Canoe Trip
  • St. George River Canoe Trip
  • Kennebec River Canoe Trips
  • Fields Pond Canoe Adventure
  • Penobscot River Canoe Trips

Begining 2022 season. I've decided not to list scheduled trip dates. All trips will be based on your desired dates and my availability. All trips will be customized for your family or group. Reducing the number of trips with mixed groups.

Spring Trips * Day Trips - Family Specials - Multisport Trips * Summer Trips Fall Trips * Winter Trips * Partner Trips

COVID-19 Travel and Visitor Information

The keep maine healthy plan aims to protect maine people, protect visitors, and support maine small businesses by reducing, to the greatest extent possible, covid-19 risks associated with travel. the plan relies on three cornerstones: 1) testing that encourages all visitors to "know before you go"; 2) screening for symptoms among travelers; and 3) engaging maine communities to promote covid-19-prevention best practices and public health. if you are traveling, or planning to travel to maine, please consult the keep maine healthy plan and faqs for the latest guidance . a list of maine covid-19 testing sites is here . how it might affect your trip with maine path & paddle guides: - may require guests to drive their own vehicle to put-in - may request testing upon arrival for trip - smaller groups and preference to family trips, winter - day trips, winter - multi-day trips, spring trips 2023.

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Day Trips * Family Specials * Multisport Trips

Summer trips 2023, fall trips 2023, multisport partner trips.

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Maine Canoe Trips

Maine Canoe & Camping Adventures

Maine boasts so many river and streams that it can be very difficult to plan where to take your canoe for a paddle. Luckily, our registered Maine Guides know the best routes on the most exciting rivers in Maine. Get away from technology for a while and experience all that the Maine woods can offer to an adventurous spirit.

canoe trip maine

The St. Croix River is perhaps Maine’s best, if not only, choice for a relaxed extended canoe trip with whitewater in the middle of the summer season and into the fall.

canoe trip maine

Allagash River

​The Allagash Wilderness Waterways is truly a jewel of the North Maine Woods. With intermittent white water (class I-II) and beautiful campsites makes the Allagash well suited for paddlers of all ages and skill levels.

canoe trip maine

East Branch Penobscot

This trip is not for the faint of heart and is one of our most physically challenging trips we make available in Maine. However the work is worth the rewards of remarkable fishing and white water combined with the scenic views.

canoe trip maine

West Branch Penobscot

A canoe trip down the West Branch of the Penobscot with Smoking Rivers is an excellent option for those seeking a relaxed and leisurely canoe trip.

canoe trip maine

From its humble source deep in the heart of Maine you and your party will plunge headlong into a river trip that few will ever forget. The river boast a number of large, Class III+ whitewater sections, guaranteed to keep even the best paddlers on the edge of their seats.

canoe trip maine

Machias River

The Machias, Passamaquoddy for "bad run of river", features a large variety of whitewater, ranging from Class II-III+ depending upon water levels, making it an ideal choice for spring whitewater trips.

canoe trip maine

Webster Stream

Canoe trips on Webster Stream will make the paddler feel as if they are on a true expedition and the river has a marked feel of being on a Northern Canadian trip.

canoe trip maine

Thoreau Canoe Trip

Coming Soon!

canoe trip maine

Allagash Stream Canoe Trip

Want to learn more about smoking rivers and what's expected on a trip.

Tonia Polak

"Our 6 day canoe trip went by way too fast! We were lucky enough to have some beautiful fall weather and the colors were amazing. The guys from Smoking Rivers completely made the trip. It just wouldn't have been the same without them. They worked hard and took great care of us. The food was delicious and they accommodated my vegan diet! We had so much fun and I've made some lifelong friends. I hope to do this trip again next year! Highly recommended!"

- Tonia Polak

Dr. Anat Maril

"We decided to have a family canoeing adventure for our girls' 12th birthday. I can now declare that I wish most of the decisions we made in life were as brilliant! It's hard to nominate the star of this trip: The stunning river, the amazing woods and wildlife, the thrill of crossing a patch of whitewater, the blessed distance from the rest of the world- these are all good candidates, but the gold medal has to go to Jason and Dan, our guides . We never canoed before, let alone on a lively river, in what felt like the edge of the world, and we felt completely safe the whole time. These guys 'walk' the river on their canoes like we walk a city sidewalk, with ease and confidence and strength..."

- Dr. Anat Maril

Esq Mark J. Berardoni

"Just had a great camping & canoeing trip down the St. Croix- Maine at its finest! Beautiful scenes of the river, sky, and the woods with cool wildlife thrown in! Plenty of whitewater excitement too! None of our canoes ever flipped, while many others' did! That speaks loudly of the skills of our two guides, Jason & Dan, who provided us with great training as to any different paddle strokes and lessons on reading the river for the 'V's.' However more importantly they were always near to help when we happened to forget some of that training- they both are the consummate professionals - Our whole group loved the experience and wow can those boys cook !!!"

- Esq Mark J. Berardoni


Martin brown & assocs. ~ master maine guides, 888-490-9300 • 207-942-9300 • [email protected].

Sunrise County Canoe Expeditions was established in 1973 by Martin Brown , in the heart of the Downeast Maine interior - as a traditional Maine guiding outfit. With the Maine Guide style and legacy as our working trademark, Sunrise evolved into a significant international resource for paddlesport and adventure travel; Sunrise International's operations subsequently encompassed intriguing river destinations worldwide.

MACHIAS RIVER - Eastern Maine

The Machias offers what is probably Maine's, if not the entire northeast's finest combination of technical whitewater with an extended and diverse wilderness canoe trip. Dropping and winding through the remote interior of eastern Maine - the Machias watershed is characterized by glacial formations, white pine stands, and Arctic-like blueberry barrens.

The Machias' (Anglicization of the Indian word “bad run of water”) has a variety of (Class II-III+) - ideal for spring whitewater clinics. The singularly beautiful Machias Lakes provide superb isolated beach campsites, and the river and it's many tributaries are known for excellent trout and salmon fishing. Itineraries of varying length and difficulty can be arranged utilizing the numerous streams and lakes of the watershed.

SAINT JOHN RIVER - Northern Maine

Late May; 7-9 Days Custom trips available. (8 days) $1850 (incl. Fly-In) Custom Scheduling Upon Request Saint John trips meet evening prior in Bangor

Other Maine Waterways

Can be utilizeded for private and custom parties , including those focused on fishing, ornithology, natural interpretation, hunting, etc.. Possibilities include the Penobscot watershed and the Grand lakes Chain, and numerous other smaller streams and rivers throughout eastern and northern Maine.

Our Pricing reflects an unmatched commitment to service and safety and to providing a Maine trip experience that will meet everyone's highest expectations. We offer generations of guiding experience, superb cuisine, and the highest calibre of technical instruction.

Private parties also have the options of arranging for additional services, such as special provisioning, additional transport services and charters, and a welcome dinner and accommodations at our Eastern Maine Base at Cathance Lake .

canoe trip maine


Richard aspinall registered master maine guide.

canoe trip maine

  Sunrise Canoe and Kayak

Flowing just beyond the mainstream since 1996., river guides since 1996., go canoeing or kayaking in maine, it's good for the soul, machias river, eastern maine, **guided canoe trip info**.

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The Machias (muh-CHAI-yus) river flows through the remote woodlands of eastern Maine 75 miles from headwaters to the sea. Regarded as an adventurous and challenging wilderness canoe trip, the Machias is also nationally recognized for it's high concentration of valuable atlantic salmon rearing habitat.

In 1973 the last dam was removed from the Machias making the river and it's tributaries one of the largest naturally flowing river systems in the eastern United States. Today, nearly the entire Machias watershed has been preserved through conservation efforts ensuring the river's natural beauty, pristine wildlife habitat and recreational access for generations to come.

The word "Machias" is loosely translated as "bad run of water". True to it's name the river has a number of class III ledge-drop rapids spread throughout it's course which are a source for many fireside tales. These class III drops are relatively short and easy to scout which is advisable since the nature of these rapids can change as water levels fluctuate in early spring. Holmes falls is the only mandatory portage but depending on our itinerary and water levels we may elect to carry or line some of the hairier class III's.

Trip Overview

Our guided trips.

Our canoe trips are led by Master Maine Guides who have worked as professional river guides for over 20 years. All of our guides started on the Machias river in the early 1990's learning the basics of whitewater canoeing on the lower stretches then challenging themselves on the upper river and tributaries. Today, the Machias still remains at the top of the list for spring whitewater.

Before Your Trip

Our goal is to meet if not exceed your expectations while providing a river trip you will not soon forget. Your trip forms are very helpful to us in striving to meet this goal. Each individual should fill out and return a completed trip form to us at their earliest convenience.

Your guide will be in contact with you prior to your trip to answer any questions you might have concerning the trip or preparing for it. Your guide will also want your input in preparing the menu for the trip and may have specific questions for you after receiving your trip forms.


First Day Of Your Trip

Your guide(s) will meet you the morning of your trip and travel to the put-in. At the put-in, they will cover canoe packing procedures and conduct a basic dry-land canoeing/river orientation including a safety briefing. Then you will put in and head down river where you will encounter rapids on your first day!


The Machias will challenge and strengthen your whitewater canoeing skills and your guides will be right there to help you get the most out of your Machias river experience!

Scouting wilderness whitewater and making decisions on how to best negotiate a rapid is a crucial skill for a wilderness canoeist. Your guides have been making these decisions for themselves and the parties they've led for over 20 years and they have run the rapids on the Machias at many different water levels with loaded and unloaded canoes. Even so, many of the rapids on the Machias need to be scouted first before making a decision on how to negotiate them because the water levels can change from day to day. Your guides will discuss and share their experience with you at each rapid helping you to make the best decision on how to negotiate them considering your skills and ability.

Solo canoeing is a specialty of your guides! If you have the basic skills and some experience solo canoeing in whitewater then the Machias will be a very rewarding experience for you! Your guide will coach and help hone your skills as a solo canoeist. Your guide will have individual conversations with you about how to negotiate each rapid while sharing their knowledge and experience with you as well as making recommendations for you based on your skill level.

Canoe poling is another skill your guides rely on and will be happy to teach you the basics. Many of the rapids on the Machias are difficult to pole with ledge and rock bottoms that are easy to get a pole stuck in but there are also beautiful stretches of gravel bottom river to pole as well especially at lower water levels.

Camp sites on the Machias river will have a fire ring, but not always a picnic table or privy. Other than these simple improvements, there are no other facilities available along the river corridor.

Morning and evening meals are prepared by your guide over an open fire. The entrees change each day. Typical morning meals include ham and eggs, french toast and bacon, and pancakes with sausage accompanied with fresh fruit, cereal, juice, coffee, and tea. Evening meals include chicken stir fry, breaded pork chops with green beans, marinated steak with rice, or pasta dishes with a hearty red or white sauce accompanied by appetizer, wine, and dessert. Lunches are buffet style with deli meats and cheeses, bread or wraps, fresh fruits and vegetables, pickles, chips, and cookies.

Your guide will go over the planned menu with you before your trip and welcome any input regarding personal preference or dietary requirements you may have.

Fishing on the Machias river can productive for brook trout in the spring and generally decent action for smallmouth bass throughout the summer. The larger headwater lakes have healthy populations of white perch. Fishing licenses are required for anyone wishing to fish.

If you plan to fish, a Maine fishing license is required. 3-day, 7-day, and seasonal licenses can be obtained online through the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife website ( http://www.maine.gov/ifw/licenses_permits/fishing.htm ) or at most fishing supply retailers.

Bald eagles are common sightings and those with a keen eye may spot a couple nests along the way. Moose, white-tailed deer, black bear, and coyote also inhabit the Machias valley. Seeing a coyote or a black bear is extremely rare. It is possible to hear coyotes in the evening.

Bears along the waterway have not been a problem which may be an indication of how little use the river actually sees over the course of a year.

Last Day Of Your Trip

We will canoe to our take-out point on the morning of the last day planning to arrive there by noon. If your vehicle is parked in the Machias area this will ensure you are back at your vehicle and off to your next adventure by 2:30 pm. If we are transporting you party back to the Bangor area this will ensure we back at your hotel by 4:30 pm.

The Details

We typically run trips of 3-4 participants with 1 or 2 guides however if you have a larger group interested in running the Machias it's not a problem for us. A second guide will be added to your trip if there are at least 7 participants or 4 boats however a second guide may be added to your trip regardless of the number of participants.

Trip Length

Machias river trips are generally 3-4 days in length. If your schedule allows, longer itineraries can be arranged depending on water levels and access.

A minimum of 4 participants is required to run the trip. A 30% non-refundable deposit is required to confirm your dates.

Included in the price: services of registered Maine Master Guide(s), transportation to and from the river, all meals on-river which is typically lunch the first day through lunch the last day, and all canoeing/camping/packing gear.

Not included in the price: sleeping bags, personal items and clothing (a personal packing list will be provided to you), personal beverages, transportation round trip from Bangor, and fishing licenses.

Getting Here

If you are arriving by car, your Machias river trip will meet in Machias, Maine. If you are arriving in Bangor by plane we can meet you at your hotel and provide transportation for your party (up to 8 participants) round trip from Bangor for an additional fee of $240.


Contact Sunrise Canoe and Kayak, Rob Scribner

Most Popular Overnight Canoe Trips in Maine

Most Popular Overnight Canoe Trips in Maine

Maine, with its rugged wilderness and picturesque landscapes, is a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts, and one of the best ways to experience its natural beauty is through Overnight Canoe Trips . Offering a mix of adventure and tranquility, these 4-7 day Guided Canoe Trips provide an immersive experience in some of Maine’s most remote and undeveloped waterways.

In this article, we’ll explore the most popular Overnight Canoe Trips in the state, each offering unique characteristics and attractions for canoeing enthusiasts.

canoe trip maine

1. Allagash River Canoe Trip

The Allagash River, designated as a National Wild and Scenic River, is an iconic destination for canoeing in Maine. While paddling through this 92-mile-long river, you will camp in the Boreal Forest and paddle approximately 40 miles of lakes if you do the entire Allagash. During the shoulder months of May, June, and September, you may encounter strong winds on big lakes like:

  • Chamberlain Lake
  • Umsaskis Lake
  • Long Lake, among others.

Another option would be to only canoe the most northern section of the Allagash, which would be roughly 50 miles of river paddling with beginner-level rapids.

Depending on the time of the year, there’s abundant wildlife in this area, including:

  • Various bird species like bald eagles, common loons, great blue herons, ospreys, wood ducks, and warblers.

On this overnight canoe trip, you get to experience a scenic canoeing experience and camp under the starry skies. If it’s clear, you may even catch a view of the Milky Way like you’ve never seen before. The campsites are maintained by Rangers and each contains a picnic table, fireplace, and an outhouse. They are comfortable but rustic.

2. West Branch of the Penobscot River

The West Branch is a leisurely 4-5 day canoe trip with only very easy beginner-level rapids and no carries/portages. It is very popular for a first-timer’s overnight trip or a family canoe trip.

Most people put in at Lobster Stream and go up into Lobster Lake to stay for their first night, which has beautiful, natural white sand beaches. Then, you will have a few days paddling down the West Branch to the north end of Chesuncook Lake. You could end your canoe trip here at Chesuncook Village as there is now (unfortunately) road access.

Your other option is to continue down Chesuncook Lake, which has spectacular views of Mount Katahdin and the surrounding mountains in Baxter State Park. Wildlife commonly seen on the West Branch includes:

  • Bald eagles,
  • White-tailed deers

3. East Branch of the Penobscot River

The East Branch of the Penobscot should only be undertaken by very experienced canoeists who are comfortable in Class 2 and, in high water, Class 3 rapids. In addition to the rapids, there are four mandatory carries in the first seven miles of this river trip, so you must also be in very good physical condition. The carries vary in length from ¼ to ½ mile.

As you wind your way down the river, the views of the mountains in Baxter State Park are truly spectacular. I have seldom encountered other groups on this river, likely due to its demanding nature.

When it comes to the river flow, the most reliable time is May and June, and possibly into July if it is a normally wet summer. On the East Branch, a water level of:

  • 300 to 500 CFS is doable, but it would be much better with a setting pole rather than a canoe paddle.
  • 550 to 800 CFS is ideal for paddling.
  • 800 to 1,100 CFS requires extra caution when approaching the mandatory carries because the river starts to become very pushy.
  • 1,100 to 3,500 CFS can only be handled by excellent paddlers who also know the East Branch very well.

Depending on where you take out on your East Branch trip, it can last 3-5 days. The most common take-outs are the logging roads at Whetstone Falls or just below the roadside rest area on Route 11 in Grindstone Falls.

4. St. Croix River Canoe Trip

A St. Croix River Overnight Canoe Trip can last 3-5 days depending on where you take out. The most common take-out points are Loon Bay and Kelleyland.

During this trip, you will most likely encounter Canadian canoeists on the St. Croix as the river forms the international border between the U.S. and Canada. On the left side lies New Brunswick, while Maine occupies the right bank. Moreover, don’t be surprised if a border patrol agent requests your ID somewhere along the way, as this occasional interaction underscores the shared sovereignty and security measures along the border.

Because the St. Croix River is fed by a series of interconnected lakes, it often has good water flow even in a drier summer. There are numerous Class 1 and easy Class 2 rapids on the St. Croix, in addition to one technical Class 2 rapid (could be Class 3 in higher water) called the Little Falls.

I have not seen much wildlife (of the four-legged kind) on the St. Croix canoe trips I’ve done. Large mammal sightings seem to be scarce, although you will most likely see:

  • Bald eagles
  • Blue herons

I’m not a bass fisherman, but I’ve heard bass fishing on the St. Croix is pretty good in places.

5. Moose River Bow Trip

The Moose River Trip near Jackman, ME is one of the few canoe trips in Maine where you do not need to do a vehicle shuttle. This Overnight Canoe Trip usually takes 4-5 days and is mostly easy river paddling with a few lakes and ponds at the beginning and end of the trip.

To embark on the trip, the put-in for the bow can be found at the northern end of Attean Pond, where there is a public boat landing site. The trip starts with a delightful mix of lakes and ponds, offering a serene and picturesque setting to begin your adventure.

As you venture further, be prepared for a 1 ½-mile carry between Attean Pond and Holeb Pond, which adds an element of challenge and adventure to the journey, requiring some physical effort and careful navigation. When the river enters the south end of Attean Pond, you will encounter your most difficult set of Class 2 rapids called Attean Falls.

When it comes to wildlife, here is what you need to know:

  • Fishing for native brook trout can be pretty good, especially early in the season, and if you know the right spots.
  • Moose and other large mammals are fairly abundant in this remote part of northwestern Maine.
  • The mosquitos in June are world-class. My favorite times to do the Moose River are in May before the bugs or in the fall after a good soaking rain.

6. St. John River Canoe Trip

The St. John River is normally a 6-8 day Overnight Canoe Trip depending on where you put in and take out.

Common put-in options include:

  • Fifth St. John Pond

Take-out options include:

  • The town of Dickey (which is the first possible take-out)
  • Allagash Village
  • Pelletier’s Campground (7 miles downstream from Allagash Village)

St. John starts as a small stream flowing out of Baker Lake with numerous Class 1 and 2 rapids in the first five miles. Then, for the next few days, the river varies between easy beginner-level rapids to quiet, calm stretches with no rapids.

Nearing the end of the trip, you will encounter the two biggest rapids on the St. John River known as Big Black and Big Rapids. These are normally technical Class 2, but can become Class 3 in higher water. Therefore, it is recommended that people have some whitewater canoeing experience before paddling the St. John River.

Wildlife is common along the river, including but not limited to:

7. Downeast Lakes Bow Trip

The Downeast Lakes Bow Trip is an excellent choice for a beginner’s Overnight Canoe Trip . There are no rapids and only one short carry in this chain-of-lakes route. The water is crystal clear, and many of the lakes have a natural sandy shoreline making it ideal for swimming.

It is called a Bow Trip because you can make a big loop from the north end of Sysladobsis Lake to Pocumcus Lake, then north through Junior Bay to Junior Lake, then west to Bottle Lake boat landing, which is about one and a half miles from where you started.

The ideal time for this canoe trip is July and August when the lakes’ water has warmed up, offering perfect conditions for swimming and enjoyable water activities. During this time, you will also get strong, all-day winds that are more prevalent in the later summer months, adding excitement and a sense of thrill to your journey.

Moreover, if you have a passion for fishing, these lakes are renowned for bass fishing, providing ample opportunities to test your skills and enjoy the sport amidst the breathtaking natural surroundings.

Maine’s most popular overnight canoe trips offer a range of experiences, from serene and scenic journeys to thrilling adventures. This blog is meant to serve as a brief overview/summary of Maine’s most popular Overnight Canoe Trips. It is not meant to be a conclusive guide to any of these trips. For more information or resources about these trips, feel free to contact us at Mahoosuc Guide Service .

More News & Updates

canoe trip maine

Avoiding the Crowds on an Allagash Canoe Trip

I have been guiding on the Allagash river since 1974 and over the years I’ve seen a distinct pattern in terms of usage. Canoeists must use designated campsites on the waterway and there is no reservation system. In peak periods if paddlers don’t secure a campsite by mid-day or shortly thereafter, they may end up […]

canoe trip maine

Fall is Here!

We were able to do our canoe trips later this year as the weather has been unusually warm and beautiful! Here in the Bear River Valley our  fall colors are past peak and the leaves are starting to fall. Temperatures remain very comfortable to do outside projects. There is a chill in the air at […]

canoe trip maine

Siobhan Passes On…

Siobhan went to doggy heaven today. She was one of Kevin’s dogs and always up for anything. She loved people and children and whenever anyone came to visit the kennel she always thought they came to see her! She ran in any position in the team and was versatile sometimes going with Polly’s teams if […]

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I was impressed with your knowledge of the river, technical skills, and ability to manage everything, including transportation, canoes, campsites, food and helping all of us have a good time. I was sorry that we didn’t give you the floor more of the time because your stories were so cool and I could tell you were just scratching the surface. Your guiding was great and there’s nothing I can think of for how you could have done it any better.

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The recommended water flow should be above 800 cfs. you can check the usgs water flow by . clicking Here Ability: experience required for unguided trip Difficulty: moderate Duration: 4-7 days Price: varies with services required Guided Canoe Trip Schedule

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A recent post on the Music Network of Maine Facebook page by singer-songwriter Anni Clark about an upcoming show.

Maine music fan and guitarist John Perry started the Music Network of Maine Facebook page about a decade ago. It’s described as a place for videos, photos and events involving Maine musicians and shows in the state.

On any given day, you can see anywhere from a handful to dozens of posts about upcoming performances by musicians and bands happening at venues all over the state.

Singer-songwriter Anni Clark is an active contributor, and her most recent post shared info about a May 9 show in Westbrook. Another recent post had details about a Fleetwood Mac tribute show scheduled for May 18 in Bath.

Account: Music Network of Maine

Platform: Facebook

Followers: 12,700

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Canoeist on camping trip found dead in BWCA lake

The body of a Duluth man was found by canoeists Friday in a lake in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area, the St. Louis County Sheriff's Office said.

The victim was identified as Mark Ham, 62, who family members said was on a solo camping trip in the BWCA.

According to the Sheriff's Office, canoeists called 911 at about 5 p.m. Friday to report a capsized canoe and a partly submerged body on Lake Agnes, about 25 miles north of Ely.

Officials with the Sheriff's Office rescue squad and the U.S. Forest Service responded and recovered the body. The victim was not wearing a life jacket that was found at the scene.

The Sheriff's Office and the Midwest Medical Examiner's Office were investigating.

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Bangor Daily News

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Maine could join 3 states that let residents waive their right to buy guns

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canoe trip maine

To reach a suicide prevention hotline, call or text 988 or visit 988lifeline.org.

AUGUSTA, Maine — When her two kids were younger, Donna Nathan took her family from their Massachusetts home to visit Maine each summer for camping, canoeing and other outdoor fun.

The summer trips ended as the kids grew older, and Nathan eventually moved to New Orleans in 2004 to be closer to her daughter. More than a decade later, Nathan sought out inpatient mental health treatment. After her voluntary stay ended, she left her home on June 26, 2018, drove to a nearby gun shop, purchased the only gun she would ever own and killed herself not long after leaving the store.

Nathan was 67 years old.

Her death led to “Donna’s Law,”  which allows people to put their own names on a “do-not-sell list” for firearms. Washington state had already adopted such a measure in 2018 before Nathan’s death, and Virginia and Utah later followed by passing similar laws.

Maine may join that group in adopting Donna’s Law, though not immediately. A bill from Rep. Vicki Doudera, D-Camden, came out last year and was amended  this session into a 13-member task force that would study a process for Mainers to voluntarily waive their firearm rights.

The proposal received far less attention than the various gun control measures  the Democratic-controlled Legislature passed  after the Oct. 25 mass shooting in Lewiston , including a 72-hour waiting period bill . But supporters said it is a key suicide prevention tool in a rural state with fairly high gun ownership rates .

In Maine, 158 of the 178 firearm deaths in 2021 were suicides, per the latest data . Doudera said she introduced her bill  after conversations with NAMI Maine and a woman’s death by suicide in September inside Holden’s Maine Military Supply .

“It’s such a preventable tragedy that has repercussions that ripple down through the generations,” Doudera said.

Doudera was 14 when her 19-year-old cousin died by suicide. She said she has never forgotten coming home from school that day and seeing her parents’ faces streaked with tears.

“That’s what drives me,” Doudera said. “Remembering that day, the families I’ve met and realizing that suicide is an act that is often very impulsive.”

canoe trip maine

Other states such as Delaware  are also considering versions of Donna’s Law, which has support  from the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, National Alliance on Mental Illness and other groups, while the National Rifle Association  and Gun Owners of Maine  have argued vulnerable people could be coerced into signing away their firearm rights.

The bill  from Doudera, who co-chairs the Legislature’s Gun Safety Caucus, passed each chamber in April along party lines, with Sen. Rick Bennett, R-Oxford, the lone Republican supporter. It did not receive funding despite its study only costing $3,050 next year , but Doudera said that is because she told colleagues she can work independently on finding answers over the summer before coming back with her proposal next year.

A key question Doudera brought up during committee hearings  is which agency would handle the process allowing people to register for the confidential list. Before it was amended  into a study, her bill would have let people submit their voluntary firearm rights waiver form to a county court clerk, who would send the form to Maine State Police to enter the information into the National Instant Criminal Background Check System .

People could ask to be taken off the do-not-sell list after at least seven days, under the initial proposal. The three states with similar laws in place require  in-person or mailed-in requests to either court clerks or law enforcement agencies, though Utah also now allows  residents to apply through health care providers.

But Doudera said the Judicial Branch could not handle a do-not-sell list on its own, nor could agencies such as the Bureau of Motor Vehicles. Still, she plans on working with Public Safety Commissioner Michael Sauschuck on the best path forward logistically.

Nathan’s daughter, Katrina Brees, who has advocated for states to pass the legislation named after her mother, said momentum is growing nationally.

“People are understanding the value of it and how it doesn’t negatively affect anybody,” Brees said.

Fredrick Vars, a University of Alabama law professor who is credited with coming up with the idea that later became known as Donna’s Law, has conducted numerous studies  on do-not-sell lists. Vars said even in “gun-loving Alabama,” a survey of 200 psychiatric patients found 46 percent would register for a do-not-sell list, as would about 30 percent of general population respondents in a separate survey.

“The key thing is educating the public and getting people to sign up,” said Vars, who has bipolar disorder and has previously contemplated suicide.

Supporters of Doudera’s proposal include Lauren Jacobs, whose sister-in-law died by suicide with a gun in 2022. She was in her early 30s and a farmer, and Jacobs of Old Town described her as a “super creative” and “incredibly sensitive soul” who loved feeding people healthy food.

“When an adult is in crisis, there’s very little that family can do,” Jacobs said. “And having one more tool in a very scant toolbox is very worthwhile.”

More articles from the BDN

Billy kobin.

Billy Kobin is a politics reporter who joined the Bangor Daily News in 2023. He grew up in Wisconsin and previously worked at The Indianapolis Star and The Courier Journal (Louisville, Ky.) after graduating... More by Billy Kobin


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  20. Maine canoe trips, Allagash River Canoe Trips, Guided and Self guided Trips

    Ability: experience required for unguided trip Difficulty: moderate Duration: 4-7 days Price: varies with services required Guided Canoe Trip Schedule. Maine Canoe Trips! Call toll free 1-866-223-1380 | [email protected] Northwoods Outfitters | Main Street, PO Box 160 | Greenville, Maine 04441 | Local (207) 695-3288

  21. Stay in the know about shows with Music Network of Maine on Facebook

    Questions about your account? Our customer service team can be reached at [email protected] during business hours at (207) 791-6000.

  22. Canoeist on camping trip found dead in BWCA lake

    According to the Sheriff's Office, canoeists called 911 at about 5 p.m. Friday to report a capsized canoe and a partly submerged body on Lake Agnes, about 25 miles north of Ely.

  23. Maine could join states that let residents waive right to buy guns

    AUGUSTA, Maine — When her two kids were younger, Donna Nathan took her family from their Massachusetts home to visit Maine each summer for camping, canoeing and other outdoor fun.