Penobscot River Rafting
14 miles of stunning scenery, a steep granite gorge, endless forest, class 5 rapids, rafting over waterfalls, floating past Mount Katahdin, crossing under the Appalachian Trail, on the edge of Baxter State Park. We first rafted the West Branch of the Penobscot River in 1976, and we’ve been perfecting our trip since then. Join us for a classic top to bottom river run, and one of Maine’s most epic outdoor adventures.
Whitewater Rafting on the Penobscot River: Maine’s Wildest River
Whitewater rafting trips on the Penobscot River meet at the Katahdin Adventure Base Camp, located at at the Big Moose Inn in Millinocket, Maine. Camp here or relax in a lakeside cabin, both within walking distance to two lakes, two restaurants (with a rooftop bar), and the meeting place for our Penobscot River whitewater rafting trips. The Base Camp sits just outside of Baxter State Park on Millinocket and Ambajejus Lakes, with pontoon boat moose tours right out your front door. Learn more about cabins and camping at the Big Moose Inn, and rally your crew for the best whitewater rafting in Maine!
Your Day Rafting the Penobscot River
Morning Check in
Whitewater rafting trips on the Penobscot River gather at The Katahdin Adventure Basecamp in Millinocket, Maine at 7:00am for a safety orientation, paddling instructions, and to gear up before a bus ride to the Penobscot River put in location.
Your River Trip- Including Lunch
A short ride up the Golden Road from our Katahdin Adventure Base Camp, you will meet your Registered Maine Whitewater Guide and launch your raft into the steep rock walls of Ripogenus Gorge, through the class V rapids of Exterminator and The Cribworks, to raft surfing at Big Amberjack. After a riverside lunch with steak, salmon, chicken, or veggie burger grilled over a hardwood fire, accompanied by stir-fried rice, salad, dessert, and beverages, get ready to tackle the 12′ drop over Nesowadnehunk Falls! This spot, endearingly referred to by river guides as the “whitewater playground”, is a fan favorite, where rafters spend time going over the waterfall, surfing, or watching all the action! But it’s not over yet- there are still two class IV rapids, Abol and Pockwockamus, before you take your raft out at Never’s Corner. Whew- it’s a busy, but FUN day!
Post River Trip
The rafting trip takeout is a short drive away from the base camp near Millinocket, Maine. Less time on the bus = more time on the river… and what a river it is! Back at base, your guides put on a slideshow of photos and video of you conquering the whitewater so grab a beer, kick back, and get ready to laugh!
Penobscot River Rafting Trip Details
Class III-V rapids
Katahdin Adventure Base Camp
Full day trip with gourmet grilled lunch included.
May 27 – Sept 4
$83+ Per Person
$47+ for kids <18
14 on Upper Penobscot
12 on Lower Penobscot
What to Wear
Water-friendly clothing & shoes
Available after morning meeting
Full Suit $20
Farmer John $10
Top Half or Paddle Jacket $5
Prices do not include taxes and fees
Where To Stay
Whitewater rafting on the Penobscot River is based out of our Katahdin Adventure Basecamp at the Big Moose Inn. Located in the east-central portion of the state, this region includes mile-high Mt. Katahdin and Baxter State Park, the vast southern Aroostook softwood flats, the hilly lake country south of Route 6, and the rolling farm country of western Penobscot County.
You may also be interested in…
Full Day Trip, 8 Scheduled Release Dates
15 miles of continuous class II-IV+ rapids. Located at The Forks Adventure Resort.
Full Day Trip, 4 Scheduled Release Dates
High water trip with class IV+ rapids on the Kennebec River. Located at The Forks Adventure Resort.
Full Day Trip, May-October
Class IV rafting, perfect mix of splashy waves and relaxing floats. Located at The Forks Adventure Resort.
Avid outdoorsman, Registered Maine Guide, V. Paul Reynolds pens a column for The Piscataquis Observer on Penobscot River Whitewater Guides -- featuring Northern Outdoors' icon Todd "Penobscotman" Mercer.
Nesowadnehhunk Falls on the Penobscot River is a rapid of pure heart-pumping enjoyment. As you round the corner, a natural ledge lies across the length of the river in between calm sections creating a fantastically fun 12-foot drop. Hold on!
Baxter State Park and Mount Katahdin, the Penobscot River, the infamous Golden Road, and the historic Boom House on Ambajejus Lake are all steps away from these private cabins situated between two lakes.