new england kayak camping

Any suggestions for great kayak camping in new england? My husband and I are planning a trip for August and September.Great fishing would also be a bonus.

Maine Island Trail Association

They sell a guidebook well worth it. It cannot be purchased separately but comes with membership.

Also Tamsin Venn has Sea Kayaking along the New England Coast.

Dorcas Miller has suggestions for trips along the Maine Coast

Lee Bumsteads book “Hot Showers” has kayak friendly campsites.

Umbagog, Flagstaff, Moosehead
Great lakes to visit for a few days at a time.

see the forum for Flagstaff
Umbagog invariably requires reservations for overnight (thankfully I can do that one on a day paddle from home) and Lily Bay State Park is a good place to start from. You can explore the NE side of Moosehead as well as Mt. Kineo… Lily Bay has some island sites for kayakers.

Other places are Bureau of Public Lands areas…such as Attean Pond near Jackman and Donnell Pond (just spectacular) but northeast of Acadia past Milbridge…on the other side of the state from me.

Also Lobster Lake and Chesuncook Lake (very large) is worth exploring…former off the Golden Road and the latter actually you can launch from the camps near Ripogenus Dam.

in addition to all of the above
which are great places, try the Stonington area–it contains many public islands and some private ones open to MITA members—(any one can camp on the public ones)—you can base out of Old Quarry Ocean Adventures, a commercial campground catering to kayakers and have 50 plus islands to explore—go to for more information about the area.

thanks for info
Thanks for all of the great info i’m sure I will have more questions once I plan the route from PA

Northern Maine is like water-world. There are huge lakes within walking distance of one another. My friend and I made an 8-day kayak trip on Moosehead, the West Branch, Lobster, and Chesuncook last September. I was going to send you a trip report, but looks like I never posted one. What’s wrong with me?

Most sea kayakers that go up that way head to the coast and the Islands trail, which is supposed to be fabulous. From a paddling perspective, the Lakes seem underappreciated. Campgrounds are free, very nice, and highly available after labor day.

Plenty of alternatives available, I envy your dilema in choosing among them.


I’d love to read about that
any big portages along the way? last summer we did the Allagash waterway from Indian Pond below Eagle Lake up to the town of Allagash, and already are longing to go back.

reply to your post
You should look into the St. Croix river. The fishing is incredible that time of the year (small mouth). I have done the St. Croix numerous times and have tons of info for you if you would like.

Moosehead to W Branch

– Last Updated: Mar-07-09 7:12 PM EST –

has one long carry along a road. Bet Raymonds store does a shuttle.

The rest of the West Branch and Chesuncook is portageless.

BUT Camping on Lobster, West Branch and Chesuncook is part of the West Branch corridor and is not free. Its a minimal charge..last year five bucks a night pp for camping.

Pay at the North Maine Woods checkpoint.

If you come up from Moosehead you probably wont go through a checkpoint, but a Ranger is on duty and if you got by you are lucky.. They DO check permits.

Northern forest canoe trail . …samples several NH - Maine lakes while sleeping to loons and watching moose at dawn.

My experience w Shuttle & Fees
My experience with Raymonds was that the first time I was there they were closed. Last September they (he) told me they were open 7-days a week. I called (the number is hard to find…found it on the State’s fish & game site) and sent them USPS mail to tell them I’d be there on a certain day looking for shuttle. When we got there the man said, “nope, not tahday”. Tomorrow? “Not shuah.” We found a good samaritan shuttle. The previous trip, good samaritans offered to shuttle me. So I was 0 fer 2 on shuttles by Raymonds.

My experience with camp site fees varied. Last year, Ranger Tammy came by our site on Lobster and collected fees for the sites at Lobster. On a 2003 trip (W. Branch, Lobster and Chesuncook), that didn’t happen. Last year we paddled through to the the big white house at the point where Ripogenes meets Chesuncook, and did not pass through any gates for payment of the camping fees for the sites on Chesuncook. In 2003, we took out at East Umbazookus and came out via the Telos Rd, passing through the Telos gate, where fees were collected, based on an honor system accounting of nights camped.


The Boston Harbor Islands National Park can be fun. Hard to get reservations on weekends but it’s cool to be camping on an island an look out at the Boston skyline.