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Dead River Rafting: New England's Biggest Whitewater!

Dead River Rafting Maine

Dead River Rafting in Maine: 8 Special Releases, BIG White Water, Incredible Adventure Action

With more continuous whitewater than any other river in the East, rafting with Northern Outdoors on the Dead River puts you smack in the middle of river-running excitement! This dam-controlled river has limited releases a season with heart-pounding Class III, IV, and IV+ whitewater from below Grand Falls to the confluence of the Kennebec and Dead Rivers.
 Maine Dead River Rafting - 2016 release dates
Choose from 3 Trip Options on the Dead River: 
  1. Standard Raft - Full Day Trip (Standard size rafts for 8 guests plus a guide, 5000cfs - 7000cfs),
  2. Sport Raft - Full Day Trip (Diablo high adventure rafts for 4-6 guests plus a guide; 5000cfs - 7000cfs)
  3. Sport Raft - Summer Flow Trip (Water release volume is 3500cfs)
Check Availability & Book Dead River Rafting Trips Here

Dead River Rafting Videos: Start Your Planning Here

The Dead River 2016 Release Dates video is a great place to start to see what this awesome river has in store for you at every water level! With only 8 releases a year, this river fills up. The trip builds in intensity with great warm-up rapids at the top, and culminates in the Class IV-IV+ Poplar Hill Falls at the end. The wilderness and scenery are outstanding, if you have time to look! The trip ends just 5 miles upstream of our Northern Outdoors Adventure Resort at The Forks Resort Center.   Not into HUGE white water? Book a lower volume summer release, see the schedule below.
Dead River Rafting 2016 Release Dates- Northern Outdoors   Dead River Rafting - Northern Outdoors

What's So Special About The Dead River Special Releases?
  • Scenery: Wide open river basin is especially spectacular in the fall foliage. 
  • Whitewater Rapids: More continuous white water than any other Eastern river, with huge Class V action!
  • Food: Enjoy gorp on the river and a classic hot grilled lunch back at the Forks Resort Center and Kennebec River Pub & Brewery. You know the trip is non-stop when there's no time for lunch in the middle!
  • High Adventure Sport Rafts: Are available on ALL Dead River trips at no extra charge. Book early, limited supply. Learn more about these smaller rafts, and how they MAX your whitewater experience!
  • No Long Bus Ride: Short shuttle drive (<10 minutes) back to hot tub, swimming pool, cabins, and brewpub!
  • Video and Photo Slide Show: Yes! We're the only outfitter on the river who videos and photographs every trip. The post trip show is hilariously entertaining - we promise!


The Dead River Is New England's Biggest Whitewater - Check it out.

dead river rafting - northern outdoors   Dead River rafting - northern outdoors   dead river rafting - northern outdoors


  • What you need to know
Minimum Age
  •  Age 15 years
Meeting Time & Location
  • 7:30am at Northern Outdoors Adventure Resort in The Forks, Maine
What to Bring
  • See our Rafting FAQ. Wetsuits, booties, & paddling jackets are available for rent in cool weather.
Trip Length & Duration
  • 15 miles /Full day, lunch back at the resort and brewpub after the trip.
2016 Season Dates
  • $89 - $109 per person, not including taxes and fees
Waiver Forms
Trip Photos
Where's the Dead River?  Find out with our area map!
River Fees
  • A user fee of $12.50 per person to cover road access to the river and a levy paid to the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries & Wildlife will be added to each rafting guest.
Major Named Rapids
  • Spencer Rips, Humpty Dumpty, Elephant Rock, Mile Long Rapid, and Poplar Hill Falls

 2016 Dead River Release Schedule

SPRING: May & June Releases

  • Saturday, May 7th:  7000+ cfs* 
  • Saturday May 14th: 7000+ cfs* 
  • Sunday , May 29th (Memorial Weekend): 5500+ cfs  Spring Raft 'n Brews Weekend
  • Saturday, June 4th: 5000 cfs
  • Saturday, June 11th: 3500 cfs Summer Flow Trip (Standard: High Adventure Sport Rafts)
  • *Potential for HUGE Water with additional spring runoff

FALL: August, September, October Releases

  • Sunday, September 4th: (Labor Day Weekend): 5500 cfs
  • Saturday, September 17th: 3500 cfs Summer Flow Trip (Standard: High Adventure Sport Rafts)
  • Saturday, October 1st*: 6000 cfs Octoberfest Fall Raft 'n Brews Weekend
  • Cfs = cubic feet per second, a measure of release volume
Still not sure if the Dead is right for you? Email us or call us via phone @ 1-800-765-RAFT1-800-765-RAFT FREE (1-800-765-72381-800-765-7238 FREE). We're here to help! 

For an Extra Value Getaway: Raft a Second River For 1/2 Price

  • Combine a day of white water rafting on the Dead River with a Kennebec River or Penobscot River Whitewater Rafting Adventure and save 50% per person on your second (and third day of rafting).
Your Family Package was a great way to introduce our two suburban, TV loving children to the wonders of Maine. And, it didn't hurt that the whitewater rafting was more exciting than any theme park ride! Our family will definitely be back.

– Jim M. - Norwalk, CT
Just had the best time ever rafting the Kennebec. Will be back to do Dead River and the Penobscot. Thank you all for such a fantastic time. The staff/ guides are all stars. Hopefully see you all next year

– Catherine L.