Kayaking Maine waters is the perfect way to spend an hour, day or even a week. From a long coastline, to countless lakes and ponds there are so many places to go kayaking in Maine. Paddle along rocky shorelines, wander up river into marshes, and dodge lobster traps along the coast. This article shares 10 amazing places to go kayaking, but if you’re local, I also encourage you to explore the water near your home – chances are there are perfect places to kayak close to your home!
Best Kayaking in Maine
If you are planning a visit to Maine and want find the best kayaking in Maine as part of your vacation, you may want to consider one of these kayaks below. Always make sure you are prepared for kayaking, check the weather and have the proper training. You can also find a few suggestions of where to rent kayaks in Maine throughout article.
Finally, there is no way to include ALL the amazing places to go kayaking in Maine on this list so it’s worth looking even more locally if possible.
Best Places for Sea Kayaking in Maine
Maine Island Trail Association Kayaking
If you are interested in sea kayaking in Maine, you should start by checking out the Maine Island Trail Association. This amazing organization includes the entire coastline of Maine and helps boaters reach over 200 islands for picnics and camping. There are excellent options for all levels of kayakers. Our family has done several kayaks using the information at the Maine Island Trail Association.
Once you become a member of the Association, you can get details on the Islands. Many of the islands are easy to reach even as a beginner although it’s important to consider all the conditions, including tides.
Check out our 3 day kayak trip on the coast of Maine.
Cape Porpoise Harbor, Kennebunkport, ME
If you’re looking for a short sea kayak near Portland and the Southern Region, this sea kayak in Southern Maine is an amazing way to see a bit of everything. East Stage Harbor is the quieter side of Kennebunkport and a fun place to explore by boat. This kayak takes you through a quintessential Maine harbor out to an island with a lighthouse.
You can launch right at the causeway on Pier Road. If you’re looking for more details about this kayak or need rentals, check out Kayak Excursions.
Kayaking Acadia National Park
Acadia National Park is the jewel of the Maine coast, and seeing it from the water is even more fun. There are many ways to get out on the water in Acadia, but kayaking Acadia is one of my favorite ways to explore this park.
Eagle Lake and Jordon Pond
There are two fresh water options for kayaking in Acadia National Park, and both make excellent places for a paddle. Eagle Lake. From Eagle Lake you have excellent view of Cadillac Mountain and this makes a great alternative to Cadillac Mountain for watching the sunrise. You can explore as much or as little of the lake as you want making this a great beginner kayak in Maine. The lake shoreline is completely undeveloped making it a scenic place to paddle.
Another excellent freshwater option for kayaking in Acadia is Jordon Pond. This Pond is right next to the famous Jordon Pond House and is a great place like Eagle Pond to see wildlife such as loons, falcons, and more. There are several nearby places to rent kayaks or even canoes.
Off the southern point of Acadia these islands are a fun place to explore and paddle. You can make this kayak into a multi day trip by staying at one of the Islands either at a campsite or a small lodging establishments on Little Cranberry Island. This is a beautiful place to explore and somewhat protected.
Best Lakes and Rivers in Maine to Kayak
Considered a large alpine lake, at Flagstaff Lake you can spend a few hours or even days kayaking on the lake. You can launch your kayaks at Stratton and explore the lake from here. If you want to spend a few days, check out the Maine Huts, or one of the many campsites in the area. You can find more information on kayaking at Flagstaff Lake.
Moosehead Lake is the largest lake in Maine. With a lake this big there is plenty of shoreline to explore and lots of campgrounds. There is other boat traffic on the lake so be aware when you’re out on the water.
Sebago Lake is well located and an excellent place to paddle. The lake has many types of boats on it and is about 12 miles long. You can launch from Sebago Lake State Park. The are also many smaller nearby lakes and ponds including Trickey Pond, Range Pond, and Long Lake. You can rent gear at Sebago Trails Paddling Co.
The Saco River is a slightly more ambitious kayak. Originating in the White Mountains on NH the waters of the Saco River are beautiful and you will find places to camp and beaches to explore. For an afternoon kayak, you can do a half day from Swan’s Falls to Walkers Bridge or you can do a longer stretch and camp along the way.
Best Places to Kayak in Southern Maine
York River, Southern Maine
The best place to kayak in York is the York River. The York River is tidal so if you plan your trip right you can ride one way on the tide and the other back. You can put your kayaks in right in York Harbor right off 103 and paddle from here up the river and around the harbor. It is possible to paddle out to the ocean, but note that it can get rough here with the tides.
Webhannet River, Wells, ME
An amazing place to kayak in Southern Maine is the Webhannet River in Wells. On this kayak trip, you will paddle through a small tidal harbor and marshes. To avoid the mud, kayak around high tide and you can launch your kayaks as Wells Harbor Community Park, Harbor Road.
Kayaking in Maine is a great way to explore and see this beautiful place!