White Water Rafting Maine | Top Rafting Destinations in Maine

white water rafting Maine

White water rafting in Maine is a physical and adventurous way to enjoy nature while exploring the great depths of the river. Ranging from calm and still waters to wild and almost unmanageable, rafters will come across a variety of difficulties and try to battle nature’s challenges by navigating through both the easy and hard patches. While the boost of adrenaline is one thing you will never forget on your adventure, you’ll also bond with a crew of people for a thrilling, fun experience which might change your viewpoint on the great outdoors. Here is our list of the top health benefits of whitewater rafting.

Satisfies your thirst for adventure

The majority of the rivers utilized for white water rafting in Maine are in scenic areas which provide you the opportunity to explore your surroundings in an entirely new way. Adventure is great for the mind because it is a positive change of scenery which offers you a new point of view on exploration.

Offers an adrenaline rush

Rafting guarantees a boost of adrenaline. Adrenaline rushes permit rafters to only focus on the thrill they feel instead of the physical exercise of whitewater rafting.

Decreases stress 

Rafting offers an escape from reality. The calmness of nature enables you to relax and leave all of your worries behind, particularly as the river is moving slowly. In this time, it’s possible to bask in the moment of peace. And yet, once the river gets going again, you may find your usual stresses melting away through the physical exercise that is required in heavy paddling!

Fresh air and spending time outdoors

Being out in nature is one way to take in the sun and inhale nothing but fresh air. As a matter of fact, research shows that outdoor exercise is more advantageous to mental health over activities indoors.

Strengthens muscles

White water rafting in Maine is a challenging, fun physical activity. Utilizing your upper body, you paddle vigorously and quickly through the river. The paddling movement tones the back, arms, and shoulders, and as the water resistance increases and the river’s current grows swifter, so too will your muscle strength improve as you continuously battle the river’s challenge.

Outstanding cardiovascular workout

Whitewater rafting is a vigorous activity requiring endurance. Rafters have to maintain lengthy periods of paddling on swift-flowing rapids to make sure they are properly navigating the waters and preventing the raft from tipping and sending passengers overboard. Your endurance and stamina has to be at peak levels to make sure you successfully can achieve the challenge.

Builds teamwork

Being in the wilderness with a team of people provides you the chance to bond with the group. You’ll learn about their weaknesses and strengths, and since rafting takes leadership skills, teamwork, and discipline, knowing your group is critical to success. The communication between group members will ensure that the entire group is on the same page.

Chance for family bonding

Rafting is an adventure it’s possible to participate in with your family, allowing all family members to bond. Without modern-day distractions like technology or work, families are able to, at last, have time to interact in conversation as they overcome challenges.

Increases self-esteem

Rafting leaves passengers with a sense of accomplishment and increased feeling of confidence. Depending upon the river’s difficulty, the activity might initially seem intimidating, but as you finish it, the feeling of accomplishment runs through your veins, giving you the confidence to beat many additional challenges.

Psychological journey

Whitewater rafting may be seen as therapeutic in the way that it is a vigorous sport that has minimal risk of harm or injury. In secluding yourself from modern-day concerns, you become one with yourself, as well as your team within the boundless territory of nature. The mind psychologically journeys with the body down the river, and metaphorically reveals your journey throughout life. While there are several obstacles, you quickly learn that with enough help from friends, dedication, and hard work, it’s possible to accomplish anything.

How did the sport start?

Rafting began in 1811 as explorers made the decision to attempt to make it down Snake River in Wyoming in wooden boats, and without the right training or kit. Unfortunately, the excursion was not a success and it took until the year 1840 for Horace Day and Lieutenant John Fremont to develop the original rubber raft which could take the beating of whitewater rivers.

These boats became increasingly popular with researchers who utilized them for research expeditions. In the year 1940 as there was a surplus of rafts left over from World War II and commercial whitewater rafting excursions began to become more and more popular. The ‘70s saw kayak slalom introduced to the Olympics, giving rafting a big boost as well. In ‘97 the IRF was launched to represent rafting worldwide and these days, rafting is so sought-after that if there is a stretch of water rapids close to you there is a good opportunity that you will see rafters on them in their kayaks.

What are rafts made of and how do rafts work?

They differ in size from 1-passenger models up to models which are able to carry twelve or more people, yet the common size is from six to eight passengers with a guide sitting in the back. Normally, the rafts are designed of synthetic materials such as urethane which slips easily over rocks and is tough-wearing. The inflatable has different chambers. If one of the chambers tear there will still be air inside the others to keep you above the water.

The majority of rafts follow the same design with an upturned tail and nose and a few thwarts – inflatable tubes that run across the boat’s bottom – which passengers utilize to sit on. Thwarts also are used by passengers to jam their feet underneath which assists them in staying inside the boat as paddlers at the front utilize foot loops fixed to the raft’s floor.

The guide is going to be the most skilled individual inside the boat and often will have either one or two longer paddles which are utilized to steer the raft through the water. The responsibility of the guide includes securely navigating the boat down the river and to informing passengers when to paddle to steer through the rapids. The paddlers have short single blade paddles. They need to work together. Paddling at the proper time will create the forward thrust in the direction that is needed.

Who Can Go Rafting?

On tours, the majority of paddlers will have very little to no experience, relying upon the guide’s river knowledge; therefore, do not be concerned if you get inside a boat that has an entire load of folks who also do not seem to know what they’re doing, although for class 4+ rapids it usually is great to have some expertise.

No matter what level of rapids you are tackling there is a good chance that you will wind up in the water. You do not need to have the ability to swim to go rafting, yet you will have to have the ability to go into the defensive swim position, lying on your back with feet floating close to the surface and pointing downstream to guard you from the rocks. You also will have to be reasonably in shape to go rafting because you will be burning an average of about 300 calories per hour while paddling.

How hard is this sport?

All rivers have their own difficulty rating, so you’ll know what to expect.

Rafting difficulty is based upon how tough the water is to navigate. Rivers around the world normally are graded by a system created in America which separates white water into six categories with one being the easiest and six being the most dangerous:

Class One: Easy – Swift moving water with very few obstructions.

Class Two: Novice – Straightforward water rapids with clear, wide channels. A few obstacles which may require maneuvering yet are avoided easily.

Class Three: Intermediate – Whitewater rapids with irregular and moderate waves that may be difficult to avoid. Powerful water currents may be found, and professional maneuvers often will be needed to get through parts of the river.

Class Four: Advanced – Intense, yet predictable rapids which require precise boat handling and quick maneuvers under pressure. Moderate-to-high injury risk to those in the water. Large waves, dangerous obstacles, narrow shoots and holes. Experience strongly suggested.

Class Five: Expert – Extremely violent rapids with demanding, complex routes. Extensive experience, proper equipment, and practiced rescue expertise is critical. There’s a great risk of injury to those in the water and rescue may be challenging.

Class Six: Exploratory and Extreme Rapids – Dangerous, unpredictable, and tough. Only for teams of experts, mistakes may have serious consequences and rescue might not be possible. After a Class VI rapid is run several times, its rating might be reduced.

If you are going rafting in the Grand Canyon be aware that they run their own grading system which runs from one to ten with a grade ten being roughly equivalent to Class V on the International scale.

What Equipment is Needed to Go Rafting?

white water rafting Maine
Credit to vecteezy.com

Aside from the obvious paddle and boat, rafting gear is very simple and is mostly centered around keeping you warm enough to enjoy your excursion and keeping you afloat. If you’re going rafting with a tour guide all the required gear ought to be provided to you; however, if you want your own kit here is what’s needed:

Wetsuit – Unless you are rafting somewhere tropical with zero wind you will want a wetsuit. Yours ought to be thick enough to keep you cozy and warm yet not so thick that it’ll cause discomfort or rubbing while paddling. A 4/3 suit ought to be a great investment for whitewater rafting; however, a 3/2 suit might do for warmer locations or the summer.

Footwear – There are a few options here. Many tour operators are going to request that you bring spare sneakers along with you, and if so attempt to ensure that they have a good grip and are fairly sturdy to give your feet some protection if you fall into the water and to provide good traction upon slippery rocks etc. as you stroll the boat down toward the water or make a dignified exit from the water.

Your second choice is wetsuit boots that may not have the same support as sneakers yet are going to keep the feet a lot warmer. Aim for a 5 millimeters thick boot and invest in the toughest sole possible to provide the best support and grip.

Buoyancy Aid – Additionally referred to as PFD (personal flotation device), lightweight jackets utilize foam to assist you in floating on the water. You ought to be searching for an open cut, slimline model which will offer you freedom of movement while paddling. It’s possible to get both female and male model personal flotation devices and each is made to provide a different float degree, based upon the person’s body weight; therefore, be certain to invest in one that is right for your size.

Helmet – With all of the paddles and rocks flying around odds are good that you might get hit in the head; therefore, you will need a helmet which is able to deal with the river. You will require a helmet that’s made for water sports because some, (for example, skate helmets), aren’t made to deal with water and have a high risk of getting damaged by it. A whitewater helmet comes in number of styles, depending upon what your preference is, yet a peaked model will assist in keeping the water out of your face and the sun out of your eyes. In addition, get a contrasting and bright color so that you are easier to see if you fall in.

With that being said, let’s go over the top 9 rafting destinations in Maine:

 

1.) Three Rivers Whitewater Rafting

white water rafting Maine
Credit to threeriverswhitewater.com

From their humble beginnings inside the little red house in 1997, this company’s crew has always been a committed group of extremely fun folks who enjoy showing guests a good time!

They began with their famous “Hollow Log Bonfire” and JC & the Pick-Ups playing fantastic rock and roll on the deck on Saturday evenings. Kim, April, Ma Christopher and the remainder of the reservations staff carefully developed a vacation adventure while Nolli, Jen, Matty, Heinz, Tanzer, Timmy, Cordog, Mike Randall, Uncle Scott, brothers Dennis and Ross, Tony, Joe and the reminder of the original river crew offered the most thrilling river trips ever with their modest equipment and amazing skills.

Today’s operation has Kim, Tony, and Joe fostering the expansion of a couple of resorts, an inn and cabins that were assisted by the incredible Kristin managing river operations with her big river crew of the most experienced river guides. Chef Mickey and Chef Morris lead the charge on excellent food and amazing restaurants with a friendly environment cared for by Kim, as well as sweet service offered by Amy, Becky, Sarah, Ashley, and more.

From check-in to reservations with Charli, April, Jaime, and Paula, camping or lodging to adventure trips, this staff is a group which cares for those they serve and strive to meet and exceed your expectations above the call of duty. They’re very proud of their staff at Three Rivers and the entire crew says “Thank You” to the multitude of visitors who really make it “The Home of Serious Fun.”

2.) North Country Rivers

white water rafting Maine
Credit to mainekayak.com

This company is the Premier Outdoor Adventure Outfitter in Maine. They started operations in the year 1983, inside The Forks, Maine. From that location they provided quality rafting excursions on the Dead, Penobscot, and Kennebec Rivers.

In the year 2000, they acquired one of their main competitors, Maine Whitewater, then moved their operations to Bingham, ME. From their new location, they expanded their services beyond rafting, by providing packages which include platform tent camping, tent camping, deluxe cabins, RV camping, and Patrick’s restaurant and pub. Additionally, they developed their ATV & snowmobiling operations in Bingham, ME, providing tours, rentals, and packages for side-by-sides, ATVs, and snowmobiling enthusiasts.

More recently, they added a nine-hole golf course to their facilities; it complements the biking and hiking trails, fly-fishing, trail bikes, horseshoes, volleyball, and much more. All those activities are included in every package while staying at North Country Rivers base inside Bingham, ME.

Today and down the road, the company is dedicated to excellence in offering the finest services and trips they can to enjoy the outdoors in Maine.

3.) Northern Outdoors

white water rafting Maine
Credit to northernoutdoors.com

Imagine no self-bailing rafts, bulky life jackets, and no helmets. Whitewater rafting was in its infancy in the United States when Northern Outdoors became rafting pioneers in 1976 in Maine. And they were in love–with Kennebec River, rafting, as well as sharing the amazing beauty of western Maine. Within the year 1983, they became a year-round resort because they added snowmobiling to their repertoire. Over the next 40 years, they added the Penebscot and Dead rivers. With excursions from May through September, breathtaking scenery, skilled guides, and grilled riverside lunches, the company continuously leads some of the best rafting adventures in Maine.

 

4.) Jump and Raft

white water rafting Maine
Credit to jumpandraft.com

This company is here to provide guests the trip of a lifetime and bring them the ultimate Maine Whitewater Rafting & Skydiving weekend.

In only one weekend it’s possible to skydive from 11,000 feet and raft the Class Five Penobscot River! The adrenaline-packed weekend comes to you via Three Rivers Whitewater.

Travelling out of Millinocket airport it’s possible to jump directly beside Maine’s tallest peak, Mount Katahdin then overlook the most breathtaking scenery the northeast offers. Add one day of Class Five rafting and you’ll have the most exciting weekend of your life.

All that’s needed for the Maine Skydiving & Whitewater Rafting experience is there. Huge bonfires, live music, lodging, camping, nightlife, drinks, food, rafting, and skydiving are offered. Their staff is there to make guests feel alive.

5.) Maine Rafting Expeditions

white water rafting Maine
Credit to maineraftingmre.com

This company specializes in personalized, small rafting trips to ensure guests receive the best experience they can. Maine Rafting Expedition prides itself on spending the most time possible out on the river and allowing guests to experience every element of the excursion to the fullest! Their whitewater rafting guides are highly skilled to ensure guests have an enjoyable and safe trip. Check out their number of trip options to make either your initial or next Maine rafting experience the perfect adventure. Whether you are searching for fun or a safe and calm adventure, their trip options and crew can allow you to control how wild or mild you’d like the ride.

Their whitewater rafting in Maine excursions are back dropped by an amazing view of Mount Katahdin and Baxter State Park in which eagles and moose are usually seen on a daily basis. Each excursion includes all of the rafting equipment, registered guide, a riverside chicken and steak and BBQ and videos/photo of the trip. They have a knowledgeable and skilled reservation specialist waiting to assist you in planning your trip and ensuring that you get “The Best Maine Whitewater Experience” you deserve! Call them anytime from 8am – 8pm, seven days per week at 1-855-RAFTMRE right away. The company also allows online booking.

6.) Northeast Whitewater

white water rafting Maine
Moose Watching
Photo Credit to northeastwhitewater.com

This company is a locally owned, small whitewater rafting in Maine adventure business situated in the pristine and beautiful Moosehead Lake Region in Maine. After wife and husband team, Jessica and Jeremy Hargreaves worked for one of the biggest whitewater rafting businesses in Maine, they left to begin their own business with the aim of offering personalized, quality expeditions within the Maine outdoors, as well as bring value to the product, through relationship building and exceptional service. The company hopes to meet and exceed all expectations.

7.) Maine Whitewater

white water rafting Maine
Credit to mainewhitewater.com

This company provides fun and affordable Maine adventure trips – for groups, families, as well as individuals. Their cost-effective vacation packages include white water rafting in Maine, fishing, ATVing, hiking, biking, cabin rentals, snowmobiling, RV camping, tent camping, and/or meals! They have it all.

From April to October they run wonderful rafting trips on the Penobscot River, the Dead River, and Kennebec River. The trips are perfect for individuals, families, and groups. And best of all, no experience is needed, and the company supplies everything necessary for guests Maine adventure trip.

8.) Magic Falls

white water rafting Maine
Credit to magicfalls.com

Whitewater rafting in Maine is more than “just a business” to the team at Magic Falls. It’s even more than the excitement of whitewater. It’s a moment to shed stress and worries – a time to laugh and smile, a time to be part of the unending flow of the river. Come enjoy and feel their natural high. Allow the river to be yours, as well. The company strives to personalize your experience by keeping their groups small. They first priority is safety. Their second mission is to provide a rafting trip which excites the soul and touches the heart.

In 1989, the company was founded by David Neddeau. His passion for the whitewater rivers and knowledge says it all. Neddeau had a desire to develop a whitewater rafting excursion everyone could remember, from the initial moment they arrived until they left. It’s likely the main reason the company has experienced so much success.

Donna and David begin with one trailer, one raft, and not much else, except David’s vision. Magic Falls, 25 years later, has more than 25 inflatable kayaks, 40 rafts, vans, buses, trucks and 60 to 70 of the top guides you’ll ever meet. Some of the guiding crew has been with the company since the year 1989. Accommodations comprise the Dead River Lodge with queen, king, and bunk rooms, a housekeeping guesthouse for groups of sixteen called the Rivers Inn and, campground that has cabin tents and camping sites. David founded Magic Rivers in 2010, creating a rafting business committed to providing a double run of Upper Kennebec Gorge. The company’s Multi-Gorge excursion is for thrill-seekers. In the year 2013, David added the “Cheap Thrills” Trip, an inexpensive and quick method of experiencing white water rafting in Maine.

9.) Penobscot Adventures

white water rafting Maine
Credit to penobscotadventures.com

As guests join Penobscot Adventures for one of their amazing whitewater rafting in Maine expeditions, they expect a personalized, small, safe trip. Offering a great rafting adventure falls on the shoulders of their incredible professional staff of guides. Each of their employees is a Level II Maine guide. They really know the business from both aspects of the trip, the support and the river.

Certified by Maine’s whitewater rafting commission, and holding their licenses for at least 3 years, the company recognizes their crew as the backbone of their business. They’re the key to their excellent safety rating, and amazing outdoor adventures.

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