Dead River Rafting

Hayden’s Landing, Mile-Long, and Big Poplar are just a few of the class IV+ rapids that come to greet you when rafting this 16-mile stretch of the Dead River. Beginning just below Grand Falls and ending in The Forks, whitewater rafting on the Dead River is a truly remote and wild Maine experience.

Whitewater Rafting on the Dead River: New England's Most Continuous Whitewater

Get ready to ride some seriously huge whitewater with thrilling class 3 and 4+ rapids on the most continuous stretch of whitewater in Maine! The dam-controlled Dead River has only 8 releases per season from below Grand Falls to the confluence of the Kennebec and Dead rivers, and it’s just a short shuttle drive from the Northern Outdoors Adventure Resort where the brewpub awaits your return.

Your Day Rafting the Dead River

Morning Check in

Whitewater rafting trips on the Dead River gather at The Forks Adventure Resort at 8:00am or 8:30am for a safety orientation, paddling instructions, and to gear up before the ride to the Dead River put in.

Your River Trip- Including Lunch

After your ride to the Dead River put-in location, just below Grand Falls, you will meet your Registered Maine Whitewater Guide and hop on the river. Your Dead River trip builds in intensity with great warm-up rapids at the top, and culminates in the class 4+ Poplar Falls at the end. Prepare yourself for gorgeous scenery–especially when the leaves turn into vivid reds, oranges and yellows during Last Blast in October!

Post River Trip

The trip ends just 5 miles upstream from our Northern Outdoors Adventure Resort, where you’ll enjoy a classic grilled lunch of steak, salmon, chicken, or veggie burger served alongside fried rice, salad, and dessert. Also at our adventure resort? Craft beer from our very own Kennebec River Brewery! After lunch, your guides put on a slideshow of photos and video of you conquering the whitewater so grab a craft beer, kick back, and get ready to laugh!

Dead River go pro
Water Level Matters!

The Dead River at 5,000 cubic feet per second (CFS) and higher is made for the adventurous souls. It’s high volume, with big waves and fun rapids all throughout the 16 mile river trip. For an even wilder ride, request the 6 person “Sport Raft” for just $15 more per person!

The “summer flow” trip, under 4,000 CFS, is slower-moving, a bit more low key, but still has some solid class III rapids. This trip is geared more toward first-time Dead River folks who want to dip their toes in before committing to the big flow. 6 person “Sport Rafts” are standard on these trips, with no added charge.

Choose Your Trip

Dead River Rafting Trip Details


Class III-IV rapids

Registered Maine Guide Badge


16 miles


The Forks Adventure Resort
The Forks, Maine

Meeting Time

8:15 AM

Trip Duration

4-6 hours


Full day trip with gourmet grilled lunch included.


Spring & Fall

Trip Pricing

Starts at $79+ Per Person

View trip prices


Age Limits

14 Minimum Age

What to Wear

Water-friendly clothing & shoes

Wetsuit Rental

Available after morning meeting

Full Suit $20
Farmer John $10
Top Half or Paddle Jacket $5
Booties $5

2024 Dead River Releases

May 4th

6000+ CFS


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May 11th

6000+ CFS


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May 18th

6000 CFS


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May 26th

6000 CFS


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June 1st

4000 CFS


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Sept 1st

5500 CFS


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Sept 14th

3500 CFS


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Oct 5th

6000 CFS


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All river trips have the options of our 13′ Sport Rafts for a wilder ride. Seats 6 – ask for this option when you make your reservation, and book early! Sport rafts are $15 more per person than price listed above, except on summer flow trips. 

Availability Calendar

Prices do not include taxes and fees


Where To Stay

Whitewater rafting trips on the Dead River are located at Northern Outdoors Adventure Resort in The Forks. Think: cold, craft beer in the hot tub after your trip, wide selection of private cabins, riverside campground, and fun events every weekend!

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There's no better way to kick off rafting season than with 16 miles of continuous whitewater, a rowdy river adventure that delivers some of the best rafting in New England!

Adventuring to Maine in autumn is a no brainer: with 90% forest cover, Maine's fall foliage is INCREDIBLE! But, what's the best way to see it all? Whitewater rafting, ATVing, and more make our top 5 list of the BEST things to do in Maine in the fall!

It’s the final Dead River release of the year. The river will be running at 6000 cubic feet per second. The guides’ excitement is palpable — October may just be the most spectacular time on the river.