Maine Canoeing

Subject considering relocation to Maine. Major priority in life is paddling traditional and solo canoes on lakes and other flatwater.

Maps suggest Maine should be tops, but I’m concerned about access to all that beautiful water.

How is it up there?

What would be the choicest areas where real estate is not outrageously expensive?

Will appreciate all input.

Haven’t been to Maine…
since 1981. Spent a week in Jackman and have always wanted to go back. I wish I could afford a summer place up there. The wife and I loved it! We will get back up there sometime. Beautiful in late September. Good luck in your search…Doc

Look at a map . . . any lake mostly likely has public access. Tons of backcountry paddling to the west, north and east. If you don’t have to make big $$$ to support yourself, alot of the rural towns, Greenville, Millinocket, Jackman, Ashland, etc… have low cost housing because they are traditional Maine rural communities. Most of these towns have lost their primary industries so they tend to be stressed but nicest people in the world.

The cities where there is a little more culture and services, Bangor, Waterville, Augusta, are more expensive and the coast is pretty much way over-priced. A house that sells for 75K in Ashland will be 200K in Bangor and will be 400K on Mount Desert Island.

Maine Canoeing
I live in far Northern Maine. Right on the Canadian border. Despite my name I am an avid solo canoeist. Access to lakes and rivers is pretty easy. Within an hours drive I can access 9 major lakes and over 100 smaller lakes and ponds. 2 major rivers and several smaller streams. Rivers and streams are best paddled in the spring. Late summer and fall they are too bony to be much fun, though you can paddle the sections above dams throughout the paddling season. Paddling is phenomenal, I rarely see any other people while out paddling. Lots of canoes and kayaks on top of cars here but I run into other paddlers infrequently on the water. You get a definite sense that you are paddling in a wilderness, even near populated areas. The beauty up here is incredible in all seasons, except for “mud” season.

Get The Maine Atlas and Gazetteer
This resource by DeLorme is a must. It has detailed maps and pages of information. Also, get a copy of “Outdoors in Maine,” a regular publication of the Bureau of Parks and Lands. It lists the hundreds of state sponsored and assisted boat ramps, parks, camping areas, snowmobile trails, etc. etc.

As for housing, I understand that much lower priced real estate is in Washington County. This area is rich in great people, but poor in industrial and commercial development. It is well east of the over-priced areas near Acadia. Fresh water lakes abound and the salt water bays and coast nearby. Also, being along the coast, the winters are not deadly cold and the snowfall is less than in the north.

I’ve loved almost all of the time…
…I’ve spent and folks I’ve met in Maine (a lot). I have often said that I’d move there if I could figure out a way to provide for my family.

The reality may be that most of the time I’ve spent there has involved vacation from my day-to-day life. If I lived there, I might feel differently.

Without doubt, there are countless nearly ideal places to paddle inland, or on the coast, once thawed. Winter is the great equalizer up there!


– Last Updated: Sep-05-08 10:49 AM EST –

born in Houlton in Aroostook county, lived 40-60 miles north of there in Presque Isle, Easton, Caribou area for 21 years after college---now live in Bangor Area(also have lived in Freeport--Portland) If you are looking for cheap land, beautiful country, and good fresh water paddling opportunities, then Aroostook County is the place--beware however the winters are very very long(you should like to ski, snowshoe, or snowmobile) and for people in most careers, the job opportunities are limited---in southern and central Maine more saltwater(as well as fresh) wanter paddling, more job opportunities, and shorter winters. But bring your check book because the further south you go, the more expensive real estate is. Washington County is closer to the coast with shorter winters but very little economic opportunities, much fewer than in Aroostook even---would be ok to go there if you were retired and had a pension but wouldn't reccomend it if you have to work for a living.

Check out Grand Lake Stream area.

lots of water…

– Last Updated: Sep-05-08 5:03 PM EST –

Maine has lots of water..tons of flatwater both large and small volume. A little restricted on the creeking side cuz of lack of mountains, however there are streams. Still some undeveloped land, but the state is lumbered! Public access in Maine woodlands for the most part means..."Accessible...If you can get to it"...which is the way it should be...the state hasn't gotten paved over yet...hope it never does..I hope some developer does some vertically-challenged stuff...instead of bulldozering out more woods for the sake of backyards that will be, in time, littered with toys.
**With the way suburban communities love to pave it all over...I'm not so sure that the timber companies are the demons they were once called.
*For property...just have to do the in lots os mixed in with top dollar. Larger RE firms have driven up prices everywhere I guess.


i would love to move to maine…
if i could just convince the wife.

i dont think it really matters where in maine it is that you go - its gonna be beautiful. tons of lakes and rivers.

my family has properties in and around waldo county. about halfway between augusta and bangor, and maybe a half an hour’s drive from waterville.

a decent 3b/2ba house in that area on a lake might go for 175-200. another poster was right on when they said that you can find better deals if you shop around.

google “mls maine” and there are plenty of websites that come up.

Eastport, Machias, Calias
I am on love with these citys in Washington county. In Maine there are lots of nice official boat ramps everywhere. Salt, freshwater, 20’ tides, whitewater, lakes, camping… It is paradise and I hope to retire there in 35 years. I wish I could move there now but there is no way to make money.


– Last Updated: Sep-06-08 7:20 PM EST –

This is my fav area of Maine- large and small lakes for canoeing, lots of loons, moose, nice small town, not congested or crowded, a few nice restaurants. As one get older though, the thing that worries me about these places far from larger cities is good and nearby health care. Would hate to drive an hour for an emergency, specialist, etc.

Health care…
Yes that is an issue in rural areas. My parents live in north central WI. The closest town has a “hospital”, but a lot of the docs are circuit riders, coming through a couple of times a month. Anything major requires a 90 mile (one way) trip to Eau Claire. I’ve had to take them on that trip 3 times this year.

cost of maine

– Last Updated: Sep-08-08 1:07 AM EST –

curious, what you save in housing/real estate do you pay out the yingyang for fuel and winter heating? it seems everyone up that way heats with oil....spendy.

also, not only is health care a concern but it seems as people get older they prefer the warmer climates for those creaky bones.

…country using more oil than cities…
…my $.01 guess would be the opposite…

need not be on the coast
nor on the water.

There is a wide range of housing north of Portland ranging from 150 k on up.

I live northeast of Sebago Lake and if you get that Gazeteer you will find the launch areas are all over the place.

No need to go to Bar Harbor or Rangeley if they are too pricey for you.

Taxes are two to three times higher on waterfront property. I live across the road from the lake and my taxes are reasonable and my house in the 200 K range with eight rooms and 3000 sq ft.

You need not live on a lake to paddle on a lake.

Friend of mine lived in Millinocket.
He had relatives there. Burned 6-7 cords of wood for heat every winter. Snow 3-4’ deep.Moved to Florida;now lives in Atlanta.

yes. Geothermal is starting
but in rocky areas the prep cost for that can be a deal breaker.

Gas for your car has to be factored in to the cost of living.

More four wheel hybrids would help. The Prius is no use up where I live.

My supermarket trips involve a thirty mile round trip. If you run out of something between trips you might get it at the general store. but if its something like a mango forget it.

Most folks around here shop every two weeks and if you are really in the woods, every month.