Tag Archives: ME Rivers

Kayaking Ogunquit River – Ogunquit, ME

The Ogunquit River in Ogunquit, ME is a shallow tidal river popular with kayakers, paddleboarders and tubers alike.  On any summer weekend you’ll see many different types of crafts paddling this sweet little river.

Because the Ogunquit River is so shallow,  it can only be paddled for a couple of hours either side of the high tide which limits your time on the water making this a rather short kayaking trip.  However, the real draw to the Ogunquit River is its fantastic location directly behind Ogunquit’s famous Foot Bridge Beach, considered one of the best stretches of beach on the Gulf of Maine.

Kayakers can enjoy both the river and the beach on the same day without the need to move their car.  After you finish kayaking, grab your beach gear and simply walk across the pedestrian bridge and enjoy the rest of the day at the beach. This easy access to Foot Bridge Beach makes kayaking the Ogunquit River worth the effort.  We highly recommend this outing, especially with kids.  A fun little river to kayak and a great beach make for a perfect family day in the sun.

WHY PADDLE HERE? –  For a combination kayak and beach day,  family fun, scenic beauty, coastal nature, tidal river experience, or a sunset paddle.

THE PADDLING ROUTE – We launched from the Foot Bridge Beach boat ramp located at the eastern end of Ocean St. in Ogunquit, ME and turned left, paddling upriver exploring the marshy river until the river narrowed.  We then reversed course and paddled downriver with the outgoing tide. We paddled past our launch point and continued down-river paddling under the Beach St. bridge to the Ogunquit Main Beach area where the Ogunquit River meets the Gulf of Maine.

In the main beach area, we paddled around for a little bit and then began to paddle back upriver, fighting against the strong current of the outgoing tide.  Once we paddled back under, and away from, the Beach St. Bridge, the worst paddling was over as the current significantly slackened. It was only 15 minutes past high tide and the current was already quite strong.

We continued paddling upriver and took a break on the side of the river along the way. There are plenty of places to stop and at least one spot with direct beach access.

After our break, we paddled back to the launch site, loaded up our kayaks and gear, then hit the beach for the rest of the day.  This is  definitely a shorter kayaking trip but still very enjoyable.

Keep track of the tide or you might end up stranded!

CAUTIONS- Watch the tides!  Kayaking on Ogunquit River is only accessible close to high tide, launch 2 hrs. before and return 2 hrs. after high tide if you want to play it safe.  Also, there are strong currents near the main beach where the river and ocean converge.  Avoid paddling under the Beach St. bridge with young or novice  paddlers as they may have trouble paddling against the currents in this area.   

PARKING & LAUNCH – A large parking lot with boat ramp is managed by the town of Ogunquit, ME at Foot Bridge Beach parking lot located at the East end of Ocean St. in Ogunquit, ME.  There is room for kayak trailers, unload your kayaks at the boat ramp and park in the rear of the lot.  There is a $25 fee to park and launch, $50 if you bring a kayak trailer.  They do accept debit/credit cards.

RESTROOMS – Yes! Public restrooms are located across the river from the boat launch at the opposite end of the Foot Bridge Beach pedestrian bridge.

WHEN TO VISIT – For kayaking, launch 2 hrs. before high tide and return within 2-3 hrs after high tide.  After kayaking, load your boats on your car and then walk across the Foot Bridge Beach pedestrian bridge and enjoy some time on the beach.  Avoid weekends if you can, especially holiday weekends.  Although the parking lot is large, it fills up fast.  An early morning high tide is your best bet to secure a parking spot for the day during busy summer weekends.





Kayaking Pepperell Cove – Kittery, ME

Pepperrell Cove in Kittery, ME is one of several premier kayaking destinations for paddlers in southern Maine.  Pepperrell Cove’s beautiful views, central location and all-tide boat ramp make it easy for paddlers of all experience levels to launch a kayak and enjoy a day on the water.

Located near the Atlantic Ocean on the Maine side of the mighty Piscatacqua River, Pepperrell Cove’s location lends itself to several paddling trips of varying lengths.

Depending on one’s experience and skill level, a kayaker may opt to paddle in the cove or venture down Chauncey Creek to Brave Boat Harbor.  Other paddlers may choose a trip down the Piscataqua River and over to Little Harbor and some may choose to travel up the Piscataqua River to Spruce Creek or other locales.  Several worth while trips originate from Pepperrell Cove making this a very popular launch site for kayakers in southern Maine.

WHY PADDLE HERE? – For harbor views, scenic beauty, coastal nature, a tidal water experience, or a combination paddle/beach day.


THE PADDLING ROUTE – We launched 1.5 hrs. before low tide and paddled across Pepperrell Cove then headed east along the northern side of the Piscatacqua River to access the beach area just west of Fort Foster.  We ate lunch on the beach and then paddled in the waters adjacent to Fort Foster before returning to spend more time on the beach.  We then reversed course paddling with the incoming tide back to the boat ramp.

CAUTIONS- Tides, waves, fog, rapidly changing weather conditions and frequent large boat traffic. 

PARKING & LAUNCH – The town of Kittery, ME maintains a working pier with an all-tide boat ramp located at the end of Bellamy Lane. There are approximately ten free parking spots available to the public at the pier. The rest of the parking spots are either resident parking or limited to one hour.  There is a $5 launch fee per kayak.  Pay envelopes are located at the top of the boat ramp.  The Harbormaster’s office is located at the pier and both the Harbormaster and the local police are frequently on-site at the pier.

RESTROOMS – Yes! There is a singular public bathroom located at the end of the Harbormaster’s office building.

WHEN TO VISIT – Avoid busy summer weekends and holidays if you can as public parking is limited at the boat ramp.  Paddle 2 hrs. either side of high tide for the easiest paddling.  If you love spending time on the beach, launch 2-3 hrs. before low tide for the best access to the beaches and return at least 1 hr. after low tide.




DIRECTIONS Click Here – 

Kayaking Webhannet River/Wells Harbor – Wells, ME

WHY PADDLE HERE? – For scenic beauty, coastal nature, tidal river experience, marsh area, harbor views or a sunset paddle.

THE PADDLING ROUTE – Once launching from the boat ramp, or the hand carry launch, you have a choice of either paddling up river (turn right) or down river (turn left) into Wells Harbor.  We usually start our paddle by first heading up river enjoying the marsh views and the sounds of the seagulls flying nearby then turning back and leisurely traveling into Wells Harbor before returning to the launch area.  Sunset is my favorite time to paddle here, perfect after a long day of work.

CAUTIONS! Tidal river and motor boat traffic.  If you are unfamiliar with paddling a tidal river, plan to launch two hours before high tide and return to the launch no later than two hours after high tide. Paddling this close to either side of the high tide ensures you will not be stuck in the mud.  Do not launch at or near low tide.  Please note,  there is no swimming allowed in the river.

LAUNCH & PARKING – The Town of Wells provides three separate and distinct boat launch locations all of which provide direct access the Webhannet River/Wells Harbor.  The launch we normally use is located at the end of Harbor Rd. off of Rte 1.  Experience has taught us that this launch is more conveniently located and easier to reach. You have to two choices at this location, you can either use the designated boat ramp at the end of Harbor Rd. or hand carry from the Wells Community Park parking lot.  This trip we chose to use the hand carry launch as the parking lot was near empty.  If you are trailering  your kayaks you should  use the designated boat launch. Starting in 2017 there will be a $12- fee to park at the designated boat launch parking lot.  A  pay and display meter (cards only) will be located at the lot.  There is no parking fee to park in the hand carry parking lot for vehicles without trailers.  The Harbor Master has an office located near the boat ramp.

RESTROOMS – YES! Restrooms are located at the entrance to the Wells community parking lot.

WHEN TO VISIT – Avoid busy summer weekends and holidays if you can.  Time your visit with the tides in mind paddling at or near high tide for safety.  Avoid low tide.  Because this paddle is on the shorter side, a sunset paddle is particularly appealing to experienced paddlers with proper lighting.



DIRECTIONS – Click Here.