WHITE WATER RAFTINGLike my passion for the sport of Fencing; I have a passion for white water rafting. My first foray into rafting was on the Hudson River, right here in New York. The rafting adventures are up in the Adirondack Region and the trips can be beautiful and fun; but for me they lack a bit of adrenalin. Rafting on the Hudson is dependent on the environment, where as in Maine the rivers I prefer to raft are damn controlled.
Our rafting adventures are with Crab Apple White Water in The Forks, Maine.
The Forks, Maine is in Somerset County and has a population of 35 (no that is not a typo, it is in fact 35.) It is where the Dead River and the Kennebec River converge.
The Dead River is damned for Flagstaff Lake Reservoir control and recreation. So, the rapids are not reliant on the weather. But, the snow melt run off doesn't hurt; and since this is Maine we are talking about there tends to be generous snow melt run off for the Spring rafting.
The Dead River
The Kennebec River is damn controlled for Hydroelectric Power at Harris Station. And it is the largest Hydroelectric plant in the state of Maine.
The Kennebec River
Boats heading down the stairs to the river next to Harris Station.
We have rafted both rivers several times in both the Spring and in the Fall. I have never rafted in the Summer. Spring is my preference due to the run off from the snow melt, which does intensify the water speed that is released front he damns. The question you are asking is the water cold? The answer, yes. On one occasion when we where rafting in April, there was still snow on the ground. We have photos of us in our wet suits standing in the snow.
But, Fall in the Forks can be magical, with the leaves changing colors. And, depending on the Summer weather, the rivers can be so warm. There are opportunities to get out of the boat and float; this is much more comfortable in the Fall.
Rafts on the Dead with snow of the shore.
Both rivers have class 3, 4 and 5 rapids.
Hitting a hole on the Dead.
Dropping in another hole on the Dead.
Some easy floating on the Kennebec.
The water moving a bit faster on the Kennebec.
Crab Apple offers videos of trips down both rivers at the end of the weekend, and they have a few promotional videos that give you a little taste of the experience.
There are a lot of dump outs in the video, but don't be scared, with all the times we have rafted the two rivers, we never lost anyone (that we will admit to.)
The Guides getting ready for the season.
For me it is not just the amazing rapids that make this a wonderful getaway. There are two days of rafting, but we usually go up a couple of extra days just to enjoy the beautiful undisturbed land.
We always take an easy hike out to see Moxie Falls.
Flagstaff Lake is a nice side trip too.
Then there are the moose
And then there is Berry's. If Berry's doesn't have it, you don't need it.
It is a nearly 7 hour drive (longer with much needed stops) from our home in the Capital District; but well worth it. I love the State of Maine and there is something so magical about being deep in the Maine wilderness.