In need of the right river!

Looking for a river comparable to the Saco river in Maine…

Flat water,clean, camp anywhere but with out all the partying and crowds. I live in Holden Ma. And would travel for a great river.

Please help!

Green, Missouri
Buffalo ( some sections are moving and mild), Current.

West Branch Penobscot.

Saco is not crowded midweek even in the summer. I live there. The problem is weekends but there is less partying going on now that Fryeburg has a police presence.

Thanks I will chk that out. I would love to do the Saco during the week but to get my group to take a couple day off from work would be a nightmare.

Ditto on the W.Br.Penobscot…the

– Last Updated: Mar-20-14 9:57 PM EST –

Seboomook Dam section, easy put-in(Burbank Rd) below Roll Dam(2 ledges) to Chesuncook Village(or just upstream..Salmon Pond Rd or Pine Str. Rd extension?) both(I think) public access roads, ~20mi+...with campsites(fees?-on wkends definitely)..can't remember a needed portage.
Think both should have ~1-2 previous trip threads.
Can head up either side of Moosehead L.(eastern side will get you a daily tollgate, have not seen the road to Seb.Dam from the west in 3yrs..answers should show by your date). ~20mi+ shuttle between, but easy.

Your in the right area
Though I have never paddled the Saco, I think you are in the right area to find nice canoeing rivers.

“Flat water,clean, camp anywhere but with out all the partying and crowds.”

You should do the Alligash. I’ve only been there once and it was September and after Irene, which may have suppressed the traffic, but we saw only a 7 paddlers and 2 rangers over 63 miles. The St. John has a couple rapids and about a 100 miles of flowing water, when you can catch it flowing, and it sounds like you all have enough water to make it flow until May. I’d say if I lived where you live, I’d be checking out those rivers.

Upon further reflection, neither of those rivers meet the “camp anywhere” criteria, but there are enough camping areas that you can chuck that criteria, especially in the face of camping areas that are remote, have fire rings, tables with ridge poles and mowed camp sites. But you are not going to see any crowds in those places.


one of the reasons the Saco and rivers like it get that way is because they don’t offer any obstacles to the novice paddler. It is amazing how the slightest obstacle will cut out crowds. My suggestion is that you consider developing the skills necessary to travel on class two, maybe three, whitewater and/or that you gear up and travel in a way that you can carry around trouble spots. This will significantly expand the rivers and trips available to you and will take you to some gorgeous places without all the crowds etc. These skills do take some effort to acquire but it ia all very doable and man what a difference it makes.

Put in on the Androscroggin below Errol

– Last Updated: Mar-23-14 10:31 AM EST –

There is some fast water but its nice all the way down to Pontook.

There is camping.. Mollidgewock Campground has primitive camping.

Upper Ct river
Take a look at the upper Connecticutt River, Colebrook down to wherever

Andro below Errol
I did this a few years ago and it took 4 hours from Errol to Pontook Dam.

right river
That is the cry of the canoeist. the right river that is not too far away with plenty of camp spots and few buttheads.

Try the quiet corner of CT!
I don’t live too far from you if you are in Holden. I an in Northeast CT. From the Worcester area there is never traffic down I-395 to the Quinabaug, Shetucket, and Willimantic River areas. These are all usually class 1 quickwater sections for the most part. Some flatwater near the dams. Good scenery through forest and farmlands.