07 May Appalachian Trail Canoe Ferry at the Kennebec River, Maine
The Appalachian Trail (AT) is the longest foot trail in the United States and runs 2,178 miles from Springer Mountain, Georgia to Mount Katahdin, Maine, passing through 14 states along the way. In Maine, the trail comes out of New Hampshire’s, White Mountains, through the Mahoosics, over the Height of Land, through the 100 Mile Wilderness, before reaching its Northern terminus in Baxter State Park.
There are numerous creek and river crossings along the way, some small enough to walk across, some spanned by sturdy bridges. The Kennebec River Crossing is another adventure entirely.
At 70 yards wide and too deep to safely ford, the Kennebec River is the longest unbridged river crossing on the entire length of the AT. The Maine Appalachian Trail Club has contracted with David P. Corrigan of Fletcher Mountain Outfitters to provide a scheduled Ferry Service to AT Hikers. While not open to use by the general public, it is a site worth seeing.
The Ferry consists of a large, red canoe paddled expertly from one shore to the other carrying hikers and their gear. It’s quite exciting to watch the Ferry in action, and anyone visiting the area for Maine whitewater rafting, hiking or fishing while the Ferry is running, should stop and see it in action.
The Ferry is located on the Kennebec River where the Appalachian Trail meets the river at Caratunk, below the part of the river known for Kennebec river rafting. There is an area for cars to park off the road, allowing visitors to hike the short distance along the AT to see the Ferry.
The Kennebec River Appalachian Trail Ferry schedule for 2010 is as follows:
- May 28 – July 15 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. only
- July 16 – September 30 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.
- October 1 – October 11 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. only
(Northern Outdoors provides a daily scheduled shuttle service back to the Ferry Crossing / Trail to AT Hikers who stop at our adventure resort for a bite to eat or a good night’s sleep and hot showers.)