What to Know Before You Go: A Guide to Whitewater Rafting in Maine

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedInPin on PinterestEmail this to someone

A whitewater rafting trip in Maine can be enjoyed by folks that may be a little apprehensive to the most adventurous travelers.  Make sure that your first trip out whitewater rafting in Maine will be a memorable and enjoyable one by knowing what to expect and how best to prepare for this out of your comfort zone experience.  Following our straight forward guidelines will help provide you with a great time whitewater rafting with friends and family.  Once you review our “What to Know Before You Go: A Guide to Whitewater Rafting in Maine” and get out on our Northeast Whitewater rivers, you will discover a hobby that will create lasting memories with family and friends.

When is the best time to go white water rafting?

Our rafting season in Maine runs from May – October, seven days a week.  Maine is fortunate to have dam controlled rivers.  This gives us guaranteed daily scheduled water flows on all our whitewater rivers throughout our entire season. So you are guaranteed an incredible whitewater rafting day whether you visit in the spring, summer or fall.  Some factors to keep in mind are both air and water temperatures which vary throughout the season.  Just an inside tidbit; since Maine’s whitewater rivers are dam controlled, you can choose to raft in say, August when it’s warm and sunshiny and have the same river flow for rafting that someone gets in May when the water is still cold.  Keep that in mind.

Do I need to have white water rafting experience?

Experience is not necessary. However, minimum ages do apply for each river (beginning at 8 years old). There is NO maximum age limit. Having normal health is advised and expected. There will be approximately 8 guests per raft, and your Registered Maine Guide will be with you at all times. You can choose to have your own private raft, called sport rafts.  Northeast Whitewater has both 4 and 6 person sport rafts.  Please note: smaller rafts make for a wilder ride and guarantee the best guide.  We offer a detailed safety orientation before all whitewater rafting trips to maximize your safety and fun!

How to make a reservation for whitewater rafting?

northeast-whitewater-raftingDo your research by searching for the right whitewater rafting company that fits into what you are looking to get out of your trip.  Is it a family friendly experience that you are looking for or is it to howl at the moon with your buddies?  There are companies that can accommodate both types of people, so make sure you have picked the right place for you.  Put Northeast Whitewater Rafting to the test today by calling to ask us questions, talk about what you are looking to get out of your whitewater rafting trip experience or request a brochure!

It’s important when you call a whitewater rafting company to ask, why you should choose their company.  Make sure you are given specifics and what their company does to make the whitewater rafting trip interesting and fun, both on and off the river.

Planning a Group Rafting Trip

Organizing a group whitewater rafting trip doesn’t have to be stressful, but can be if you aren’t aware of when to plan.   Start by selecting your rafting date and collecting money from the group members.  A deposit is required when you book your whitewater rafting trip to hold your spots in the rafts for your specified date.  At Northeast Whitewater you can choose to pay for the entire group or can create an online group reservation for individuals to pay for themselves.  Recognize that there are discounts in rafting when scheduling as a group, so individual payments may cost you and your group more.  Remember to book for the number of rafters that you know, not what you don’t know.  Check the cancellation policy before you pay for the entire group. Cancellations within 30 days of the trip are non-refundable.  Whitewater rafting companies in Maine have a short season and limited space in rafts and on trips each day – these limits are set by the State of Maine legislation and operational capacity.  When you make a reservation, you are buying a seat in a raft on a certain date on a certain river.

How Long is a River Rafting Day Trip?

A typical whitewater rafting day kicks off between 8 and 9 AM and wraps up between 4 and 5 PM.  This will depend on which river you and your family choose for your day trip in whitewater rafting.  Average river miles range from 10-15 miles.

What is Provided for Whitewater Rafting?

northeast-whitewater-raftingMaine whitewater rafting outfitters provide the tools needed for a fun, safe day on the river; paddles, type V personal flotation device (PFDs), helmets (which are typically required for rapids greater than class II), wetsuits for cold weather rafting days are available for rental, Northeast Whitewater has state of the art self-bailing rafts, Registered Maine Whitewater Raft Guides at the helm of each raft, a BBQ riverside lunch, transportation, a photo slideshow of the days adventure, and a super fun, exceptionally amazing whitewater rafting day.

Can I Bring My Own Gear?

If you have your own wetsuit and footwear you may wear it, as long as it meets Northeast Whitewater Rafting and State of Maine standards. You must wear our PFD’s during all Northeast Whitewater Rafting trips. Helmets are required on all trips and if you have your own whitewater helmet you may wear it on the river.

  • Wear proper gear: Expect to get soaked (who doesn’t love a good chance to show off that bikini). But, to stave off what we call “Raft Butt” pack a pair of gym shorts or water-resistant shorts for a barrier to the raft, so your bum won’t get chaffed. Adventure Coordinator at Northeast Whitewater Jessica Hargreaves recommends wearing synthetic materials because cotton pulls heat away from your body, which drops your core temperature. And to protect the toes, Hargreaves suggests water shoes or sandals that are securely fastened to your feet, instead of wearing flip-flops and no bare feet.
  • De-bling: Leave jewelry and money in the car.  If you don’t want it to get wet or take the chance of slipping off and losing your wedding ring to the river gods.
  • Dry off: Pack a change of clothes, a towel, and some water — though drenched, you’ll likely be thirsty once the rafting day is over.  Wear sunscreen, sunglasses and bring medications that you can not live without.

Where To Stay?

Northeast Whitewater at Moosehead Lake uniquely offers a variety of lodging options suitable for everyone all near to our quaint little town with gift shops and restaurants for your evening out after your day of whitewater rafting.  We offer cost-effective Stay & Play Packages that incorporate staying in campgrounds, cabins, Inns, or motels along with the total price for your trip.  If you aren’t familiar with the area, have a large group, or simply don’t want to bother with finding your own accommodations this is the way to go!

Additional Information:

Get as much information about Moosehead Lake things to do when you call.  Northeast Whitewater offers many adventures from 3 hour tours to full day trips.  Don’t forget to bring some extra money for wetsuit rentals (if a chilly day), a polyester Northeast Whitewater river shirt, souvenir t-shirts, hats, eye glass retainers (chums), pictures of the rafting day and any other last minute items that will help to make you more comfortable or provide an awesome souvenir for your whitewater rafting day trip.

All Northeast Whitewater Rafting guided trips meet at Northeast Whitewater Lodge & Guide Service 5 miles south of Moosehead Lake located at 155 Greenville Road Shirley, Maine 04485.