Kayak Spots in Southern Maine

Kayak Spots in Southern MaineAre you an avid kayaker looking for new and exciting places to explore? Look no further than Southern Maine! This picturesque region is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts, offering a wide range of kayak spots that will satisfy your thirst for adventure.

From tranquil rivers to breathtaking coastlines, Southern Maine has it all. Whether you’re a beginner looking for easy-going paddles or an experienced kayaker seeking hidden gems, there’s something for everyone.

Get ready to embark on a journey through the crystal-clear waters of Southern Maine. Let’s dive into the best kayak spots this region has to offer and discover the beauty that awaits you.

Easy-Going Paddles (Great for Beginners, Too!)

If you’re a beginner or prefer a relaxed kayaking experience, Southern Maine has some fantastic options to choose from. These easy-going paddles are not only beginner-friendly but also offer scenic beauty and tranquility on the water. Let’s explore a few of these beginner-friendly kayak spots.

Kayak Spot 1 – Shaw Park, Gorham

Located on the Presumpscot River in Gorham, Shaw Park is an ideal spot for families and beginner paddlers. The park offers easy launch access, ample parking, and a serene paddling experience. Whether you want to paddle along the river, enjoy the peaceful surroundings, or have a picnic by the water, Shaw Park has it all.

Kayak Spot 2 – Kennebunk Pond, Lyman

Kennebunk Pond in Lyman is another excellent option for beginners. With its shallow waters and unique basin, it provides a safe and beginner-friendly environment for paddlers. Explore the tranquil waters, observe the local flora and fauna, and enjoy the peacefulness of this picturesque pond.

Kayak Spot 3 – Songo River, Naples

For a quiet and peaceful paddling experience, head to the Songo River in Naples. With minimal boat traffic and ample opportunities to explore, this spot is perfect for beginners and those seeking solitude. Discover the beauty of the river, paddle through marshes, and perhaps even spot some wildlife along the way.

Kayak Spot Location Features
Shaw Park Gorham Easy launch access, serene paddling experience
Kennebunk Pond Lyman Shallow waters, unique basin
Songo River Naples Minimal boat traffic, opportunities for quiet paddling

Favorite Coastal Paddles

In Southern Maine, there are several favorite coastal kayak spots that are sure to impress paddlers of all levels. These locations offer stunning views, diverse coastal landscapes, and the opportunity to spot wildlife along the way.

Mere Point Bay

Mere Point Bay in Brunswick is a picturesque spot that is perfect for saltwater paddling. It features protected coves, scenic marshes, and a chance to see various wildlife. Paddlers can enjoy the tranquility of the bay and take in the beauty of the surrounding nature.

Back River

Back River in Boothbay is a popular choice among paddlers, offering a river-like experience with breathtaking coastal scenery. The calm waters and scenic landscape make it an ideal spot for both beginners and experienced kayakers.

Stovers Point

Stovers Point in Harpswell is a hidden gem that is owned by the Harpswell Heritage Land Trust. It offers stunning views and a postcard-worthy paddling experience. Paddlers can enjoy the tranquility of the area and explore the pristine waters surrounding the peninsula.

These favorite coastal kayak spots in Southern Maine provide unforgettable experiences for paddlers. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced kayaker, these locations offer the perfect blend of natural beauty and tranquility.

Another Beginner-Friendly Option

Southern Maine offers a plethora of kayak spots suitable for beginners, and one such spot is the Webhannet River and Marsh in Wells. This scenic location provides options for both a sandy-bottomed river and a twisty marsh, allowing paddlers to choose the environment that suits their preferences. The Webhannet River and Marsh is a great place for beginners to gain confidence on the water while enjoying the beautiful surroundings.

For those who don’t have their own kayak, rentals are available at the launch site, making it convenient for anyone who wants to explore this beginner-friendly spot. After a day of paddling, a visit to Fisherman’s Catch in Wells is highly recommended, where you can indulge in their famous fish tacos and unwind after your kayaking adventure.

Webhannet River and Marsh: Key Highlights

  • Perfect spot for beginners to learn and gain confidence
  • Choice between a sandy-bottomed river or a twisty marsh
  • Rentals available at the launch site
  • Visit Fisherman’s Catch in Wells for delicious fish tacos
Beginner-Friendly Kayak Spot Location Launch Site
Webhannet River and Marsh Wells Rental available

Hidden Gem: Ferry Beach in Scarborough

Ferry Beach in Scarborough is a hidden gem nestled near the Nonesuch River, offering a picturesque setting for kayaking enthusiasts. With its tranquil atmosphere and stunning natural beauty, it is the perfect spot for those seeking a serene and scenic paddling experience.

When exploring Ferry Beach, kayakers have the option to paddle into Saco Bay or venture through the breathtaking marshes. The marshes are teeming with wildlife, providing an opportunity for nature enthusiasts to observe a diverse range of bird species and other fascinating creatures.

One of the highlights of Ferry Beach is the stunning sunsets. As the day comes to a close, the vibrant colors streak across the sky, creating a breathtaking backdrop for an evening paddle. It is a sight not to be missed and a perfect way to end a day of exploration on the water.

Overall, Ferry Beach in Scarborough is a true hidden gem, offering a peaceful and captivating kayaking experience. From the picturesque marshes to the stunning sunsets, it is a destination that will leave kayakers with lasting memories of Southern Maine’s natural beauty.

Other Popular Kayak Spots

Exploring Southern Maine by kayak offers a variety of picturesque destinations for paddling enthusiasts. In addition to the previously mentioned spots, there are several other popular kayak locations that deserve recognition. From unique tidal rivers to serene beaches, these spots provide diverse experiences for kayakers of all skill levels.

Kennebunkport’s Tidal River

Kennebunkport’s Tidal River is a hidden gem for kayaking enthusiasts. This scenic river offers a tranquil paddling experience with its changing tides. As the river winds through the picturesque landscape, paddlers can enjoy the serenity and beauty of the surrounding nature. It’s an ideal spot for those looking to connect with nature and experience the peacefulness of the water.

Rachel Carson Wildlife Refuge

Rachel Carson Wildlife Refuge is a must-visit destination for nature lovers. This stunning wildlife refuge provides breathtaking views and abundant wildlife sightings. However, it is essential to adhere to strict conservation rules while exploring this unique ecosystem. By following the guidelines, paddlers can have a truly immersive and eco-friendly experience.

Biddeford Pool

Biddeford Pool is a versatile kayak spot that offers a blend of ocean outlets and salt marshes. Paddlers can enjoy the peacefulness of the marshes while also having access to the vastness of the ocean. It’s a perfect spot for those who want to explore different ecosystems and witness the diverse marine life that inhabits the area.

Cape Porpoise and Goose Rocks Beach

Cape Porpoise is known for its charming lobster industry, iconic lighthouses, and picturesque islands. Paddlers can immerse themselves in the local fishing culture while enjoying the stunning views of the coast. Goose Rocks Beach, on the other hand, offers a family-friendly experience with its soft sandy beaches and calm waters. It’s an ideal spot for a leisurely paddle with loved ones.

Ogunquit Beach and River

Combining the beauty of Ogunquit Beach with the adventure of kayaking on the river, this spot offers a unique experience for paddlers. After an exciting kayaking adventure on the river, paddlers can unwind and relax on the soft white sands of Ogunquit Beach. It’s the perfect way to end a day of exploration and adventure.

Whether you choose to explore the tidal rivers, wildlife refuges, or coastal beaches, Southern Maine has a wealth of popular kayak spots for every adventurer. Each location offers its own distinct charm and adventure, inviting paddlers to immerse themselves in the natural beauty of the region.

Portland Paddle Guides’ Favorite Paddling Spots

When it comes to kayaking in Southern Maine, the Portland Paddle guides have their own favorite spots that offer unique experiences and stunning natural beauty. Let’s explore some of their top recommendations:

Burnt Island in Muscongus Bay

Located in Muscongus Bay, Burnt Island is a hidden gem for paddlers. It offers not only a pristine kayaking experience but also a hiking trail that allows visitors to explore the island’s rugged landscape and enjoy breathtaking views. With its secluded beaches and tranquil waters, Burnt Island is a perfect destination for nature lovers seeking tranquility and serenity.

Nonesuch River in Scarborough

The Nonesuch River in Scarborough provides a maze of marshlands to navigate, making it a favorite paddling spot among the Portland Paddle guides. Paddlers can immerse themselves in the beauty of the marshes, observe the abundant wildlife, and enjoy the peacefulness of this hidden waterway. The Nonesuch River offers a unique and immersive paddling experience, perfect for those looking to escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life.

Richmond Island in Cape Elizabeth

Richmond Island, located off the coast of Cape Elizabeth, is a kayaker’s dream. Paddlers can explore the island’s shoreline, taking in the stunning scenery and enjoying the balance of calm waters and moderate currents. Richmond Island also offers a trail that leads to a historic cemetery, providing a unique opportunity for paddlers to combine their love for kayaking and exploration.

Five Islands to Kennebec River

If you’re seeking an adventurous kayaking route, the Five Islands to Kennebec River trip is one to consider. However, it’s important to note that this route requires experience in handling strong currents and careful timing. The journey takes paddlers through picturesque coastal scenery, showcasing the rugged beauty of Southern Maine. It’s an exhilarating and challenging paddle for those looking to test their skills and push their limits.

Whaleboat and Little Whaleboat Islands near Harpswell

For a truly immersive kayaking experience, the Whaleboat and Little Whaleboat Islands near Harpswell are perfect destinations. These islands offer opportunities for camping, allowing paddlers to spend the night under the stars and wake up to the tranquil sounds of the ocean. The islands also provide ample exploration opportunities, with hidden coves and secluded beaches waiting to be discovered.

Fort Gorges in Portland Harbor and Jewell Island in Casco Bay

Two must-visit destinations for history and nature enthusiasts are Fort Gorges in Portland Harbor and Jewell Island in Casco Bay. Fort Gorges, a historic fort located on an island in Portland Harbor, offers paddlers a chance to explore its fascinating architecture and take in panoramic views of the harbor. Jewell Island, known for its beautiful trails and scenic landscapes, provides a peaceful and serene environment for paddlers to enjoy.

These are just a few of the Portland Paddle guides’ favorite kayaking spots in Southern Maine. Each location offers a unique experience and a chance to connect with nature. So grab your paddle and discover the beauty of Southern Maine’s waterways.


Southern Maine is a kayaker’s paradise, offering a diverse range of kayak spots for enthusiasts of all skill levels. From easy-going paddles perfect for beginners to stunning coastal routes and hidden gems waiting to be explored, there is something for everyone.

The comprehensive guidebook, “Paddling Southern Maine: Day Trips for Recreational Kayakers, Canoers, and SUPers,” provides valuable insights and recommendations for an exceptional kayaking experience. With detailed information on parking, launch sites, landmarks, and insider tips, this guidebook ensures a seamless and enjoyable adventure on the water.

Additionally, Portland Paddle guides share their favorite paddling spots, adding another layer of expertise and local knowledge to enhance your kayaking journey. Their insights, coupled with the guidebook’s recommendations, guarantee memorable moments and breathtaking views.

So, whether you’re seeking tranquility on a peaceful river, the beauty of a scenic coastal paddle, or the thrill of discovering hidden gems, Southern Maine has it all. Grab your paddle, embrace the waterways, and embark on an unforgettable kayaking adventure in this picturesque region.

Richard Dodds

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