Exploring Maine’s Dead River
From Flagstaff Lake to The Forks where the Dead River joins the Kennebec River, runs 42 miles of flatwater, whitewater and the grandest of waterfalls. With hiking, biking, cross-country skiing and snowmobiling trails next to the river, and 8 white water rafting releases, exploring Maine’s Dead River offers different adventures every season. When we say Northern Outdoors is a four season resort (not a Four Seasons Resort,) adventures along the Dead River show what we’re talking about.
Winter is pure magic at Grand Falls, one of our favorite snowmobile destinations. Not only do you get to ride one of the most scenic snowmobile trails in Maine along the Dead River into the Enchanted Forest but you get to take in this view of the 100′ wide waterfall. Click for video…
(If you’re as into waterfalls as we are, check out: 6 Stunning Maine Waterfalls to Add to Your Bucket List.)
Maine’s Dead River has the most continuous white water rafting in New England, and spring releases mean 7000cfs! Adrenaline-fueled spring releases are for class V thrill seekers.
The dam releases mellow out over the summer allowing more casual rafters to enjoy summer flow trips. These smaller releases are also a great time to enjoy afternoon float trips from The Forks to the takeout at our riverside campground. We rent inflatable kayaks, or bring your own tubes, paddleboards, pool floats. The float trips put in where the whitewater rafting trips take out, at the confluence of the Dead and Kennebec Rivers. The rivers run side by side to Wyman Lake, their flow and colors remaining divided much of the way. Our flotilla of paddleboards and inflatable kayaks… (some companies have conference rooms, we meet on the river!)
Rafting is not the only way to explore the Dead River from the water. We have fly fishing and bass fishing trips from May through November. Let the whole world disappear as you cast beneath Grand Falls.
Autumn on the Dead River is all about fall foliage (this is New England.) While there is one more HUGE whitewater release aka Last Blast in October, fall colors begin popping up in September which has 3500cfs and 5500cfs releases. Our friends upstream at the Hawk’s Nest Lodge captured this view of our rafts completing their Dead River fall foliage journey.
Fall is also a beautiful time of year to hike or bike on the trails along the Dead River (thank you, Maine Huts & Trails!) This is the flatwater section between Flagstaff Lake and Grand Falls, (fantastic for cross-country skiing in the winter too.)
The Dead River may be a small part of the Kennebec River watershed but it’s a big four season outdoor playground (with some interesting Maine history too.)
How do you explore Maine’s Dead River? Rafting, hiking, biking, snowmobiling, cross-country skiing, fishing…?