Answers to your  white water rafting, lodging, and river boarding questions.

When it comes to planning an adventure, there is so much to consider.   At Penobscot Adventures, we realize potential guests use the web as a planning tool.  Below are links to pages that contain the answers to the most common questions asked about our whitewater and outdoor adventure trips. For others, connecting to a real live person is a necessary step in planning a trip.  Outfitter and Adventure Expert, Maureen is available at info@penobscotadventures.com or call 1-877-356-9386. She can answer any and all questions.


Trip Planning and Booking

what to wear rafting

The mural of what to wear rafting.

Perhaps one of the most often asked and hardest to answer question is what to bring white water rafting in Maine? Here’s a small whitewater rafting packing list of essential items to bring on your rafting or river boarding trip at Penobscot Adventures.


Basic Whitewater Rafting Packing List

One-Day Rafting Trips and Adventures

  • Must Have Supplies
    • Swimsuit
    • Quick-drying shorts
    • Synthetic clothing: fleece, polypropylene, Capilene, etc. (spring/fall)
    • Sunscreen
    • Water bottle
    • Sunglasses with strap
    • Secure footwear: old sneakers, water shoes, sandals with ankle strap – no flip-flops
    • Prudent personal medication: EpiPen, inhalers, heart medication, etc.
  • Optional Comforts
    • Waterproof camera (disposable cameras work great)
    • Personal wetsuit, splash jacket/pants
    • Dry clothes for the ride home

Multi-Day White Water Rafting Trips and Adventures

  • What You Need
    • Swimsuit
    • Quick-drying shorts
    • Synthetic clothing: fleece, polypropylene, Capilene, etc.
    • Sunscreen
    • Water bottle
    • Sunglasses with strap
    • Secure footwear: old sneakers, water shoes, sandals with ankle strap – no flip-flops
    • Prudent personal medication: EpiPen, inhalers, heart medication, etc.
    • Long pants/long-sleeve shirt
    • Closed-toe camp shoes/hiking boots
    • Warm jacket and warm top
    • Raincoat
    • Winter hat
    • Insect repellent
    • Flashlight/headlamp
    • Sleeping bag/ground pad
    • Tent
    • Toiletry kit
  • Well Equipped Guests Will Have
    • Waterproof camera (disposable cameras work great)
    • Personal wetsuit, splash jacket/pants
    • Dry clothes for the ride home
    • Reading/journal material
    • Day pack for hikes
    • Musical instruments
    • Binoculars
    • Field guides: birding books, etc.
    • Limited amount of personal beer/wine/spirits
    • Small pillow
    • One or two trash bags/large zip-locks for packing wet gear

Wet Suit Rentals:

On the spring and fall rafting trips we need you to wear a wetsuit while on the river. You are welcome to rent one of our suits or bring one of your own. Rental of a full wetsuit is $12.00, a half is $6.00, spray tops are $6.00 and wetsuit boots are $5.00. The whole suit is $20 a savings of $3.00. Bring wool or fleece socks.

Please don’t forget to bring a change of dry clothing and footwear for your trip home!

These directions are to the Penobscot River Rafting Base. Click here to to the Corporate Office.

Directions from the South:

Take Maine I-95 North to Medway (exit 244), turn left coming off the ramp onto Maine Route-157. If your coming from Greenville or The Forks use the directions at the bottom of this page.

Directions from the North:

Take Maine I-95 South to Medway (exit 244), turn right coming off the exit ramp. If your coming from New Brunswick, Canada, use the Houlton Border Crossing instead of the St.Stephen Border Crossing. The trip is much quicker than coming from St.Stephen.

Once off the Highway:

Once your off the highway and on Route-157, go about 15 miles to Millinocket. Along the way you will drive through the towns of Medway and East Millinocket. You will see several signs that say Baxter State Park, follow these signs through and out of Millinocket. You’ll pass the Katahdin General Store, go under a railroad bridge, and then pass the Saw Mill Bar and Grille on your right, just before you drive out of town. Once out-of-town travel about 8 miles and you will come to the Big Moose Inn on the your right. This is just before The North Wood’s Trading Post, also on your right.

Check-in at the Inn if you are staying with us, or follow the signs around-the-back of the Inn to our base. This is Penobscot Adventures Base Camp, were all ow the trips meet. Meet us there at 7:30am for rafting trips 9:30am for all other trips and activities.


Directions from Greenville, The Forks, ME thought Guilford, ME:

From the central Maine area the best route to Millinocket is not the highway. Here are the travel directions from the three most popular summer vacation spots in Maine:

From The Forks, ME:

Take Route-201 South to Bingham, ME. Turn right onto Route 16 East after the bridge over Austin Stream. Follow this road for 24.7 miles to Abbot, ME, turn right onto Route 15 South. Drive 3.8 miles to Guilford, ME there will be a Mobil gas station on your right. Use the directions from Guilford, ME from here on.

From Greenville, ME:

Take Route-15 South through Abbot. ME 3.8 miles to Guilford, ME, there will be a Mobil gas station on your right. Use the directions from Guilford, ME from here on.


From Guilford, ME:

Follow Route-16 East to Dover-Foxcroft then continue through to Milo. In Milo get on Route-11 North and follow it for 38 miles into Millinocket. You drive through Brownville and Brownville Junction. Get gas before you get out of town. It’s 30 miles between Brownville Junction and Millinocket with nothing in-between. Once in Millinocket turn left to follow Route-11 to Route-157. Once there use the same directions as coming from the highway.

  • Approximate Driving Times to Penobscot Adventures
  • From Portland, ME 3 Hours
  • From Boston, MA 5 Hours
  • From New York, NY 8 Hours
  • St. John NB 3 Hours
  • Moncton, NB 5 Hours

map-direction


Penobscot Adventures Whitewater Rafting runs rapids in the Class III-V range. We have trips for families and friends who are looking for adventure. We match the guides, the routes taken and the size of the rafts to the whitewater being run and the crews in the boats. The difficulty of a river rapid is classified on a scale of Class I to Class VI. Class I rapids are very easy and Class VI unrunnable. Rivers are generally classified based on normal moderate water flows but during times of high or low water levels, the grade can be increased. Most commercial rafting trips, ours included,  take place on a grade III – V rivers.

Class I: Moving water, small waves, clear passages. (The rafts need little or no guidance.)

Class II: Easy rapids with bigger waves, the straight forward and clear. (Waves rock the raft, but very good for self guided trips.)

Class III: Many waves in the 3-4 ft range, high, irregular; rocks; eddies; rapids with passages clear but narrow. Guides should be in every boat.

Class IV: Long rapids; big powerful waves,  boiling eddies; powerful and precise maneuvering required.

Class V: Exceedingly difficult, long and violent rapids, following each other almost without interruption; riverbed extremely obstructed; big drops; violent currents; very steep gradient.

Class VI: Commercially unrunnable.

This is an awkward question, but the answer is no. There is no weight limit, but you need to be able to fit into our gear. We have two sizes of adjustable PFD’s for children and adults. Children’s PFD’s cover a weight range from 50-90 lbs an adult jacket covers a weight range from 90 lbs to whatever weight accompanies a 57 inch chest? Our jackets adjust to that size and float anyone who can buckle it up. We have two sizes of adjustable helmet and they will fit everyone. Our paddles are all 60″ inches long.

The Day of Your Trip

Did your guide do an exceptional job? If you felt like they went above and beyond, tip away. A standard tip is about $5-10 dollars per person.

“Chest high to a duck” is the classic answer to this age old question. The answer is that the depth varies incredibly from spot to spot. The water is deepest in the rapid channels and gets shallower on the edges of the rapids. Depth should always be checked before you enter the water. Always jump feet first when entering unknown water or learn to do a swift water entry which is taught in a swift water rescue class.

rafting shuttle bus

Riding the Bus to the river.

Penobscot Adventures has buses and vans to provide shuttles for you during your trip. Every trip except the Lower Penobscot River Trip and the Upper Penobscot River Trip starts and ends at our Rafting Base behind The Big Moose Inn in Millinocket, Maine.

The Lower Penobscot River Trip checks in at our whitewater rafting base at 8:00 am in the morning. We shuttle your car out to our lunch site, by the river. Once the lower portion of the daily trip is done we have lunch and your already back at your vehicle. The rest of the day is your to explore the area. Many people go to the CribWorks to watch the rafts run Class V whitewater. If you feel like a hike, a very popular one is The Blueberry Ledges. The trail head to the Blueberry Ledges is minutes from our lunch site and your vehicle.

The Upper Penobscot River Trip checks in at the Abol Bridge Store and Restaurant. Be at the visitors parking lot by 11:30 am to catch the bus down to our lunch site. There will be guides present to outfit you and give you a trip talk about what to expect for your Class V adventure. Once we have lunch, your all suited up, and given a trip talk, we’ll ride the bus to McKay Station and then run some of the best whitewater in the Eastern half of the United States.

You can’t drink alcohol on any Penobscot Adventures trip. Once you get off the bus though it is a different story, you can bring beverages to the slide/video show. North Woods Trading Post keeps plenty of beer and wine selection on hand.

If you need any medications between the hours of 8am-4pm bring it with you. If you need the medication at lunch you can leave it with the driver in a locked box on the bus. If you need the medication in emergency situations (like an epi-pen or inhaler) give it to your guide and they will keep it close at hand.

After Your Rafting Trip

We’re always looking for qualified staff.

Full and part-time job opportunities are available for the summer. We are seeking personable, competent, and energetic people with strong leadership, communication, and interpersonal skills to join our team in Millinocket, Maine. A neat appearance and outgoing personality is an absolute must. Spend the best summer of your life in Maine, canoe, kayak and raft an endless number of lakes and streams.


 See if you have interest in any of these Maine summer jobs.


Whitewater Rafting Guides

Penobscot Adventures is always looking for Certified Level 2 Maine Whitewater Rafting Guides. We do require that you’ve had your license for at least 2 years. If you don’t have a Maine white water guides license, take our guide training program in the spring. You get a weeks training on the river and in the classroom. For more information please call us at 1-877-356-9386.


Videographer/Photographer/Shuttle Driver

Combined positions, shuttle drivers take the daily trip slides and/or video. We provide training for these activities, but computer literacy is a must. Your day will start with lunch perpetration in the morning (your assisted by guides), then you take the daily slide show at Nesowdnahunk Falls. After that, you have a few hours to go to the lunch site and prepare lunch. Finally, you shoot the Gourge pictures and finish your day with the guides.


Bus Drivers

Qualified candidates for these positions must have a Maine Class B drivers license with a passengers endorsement. The ability to use a digital camera is also a plus, this job is strictly seasonal.


Download Employment Application

Maine State Whitewater Guide Application Form

You can check out your days picture and video show and download them here.