Photo courtesy of Northern Outdoors, The Forks, Maine
Kennebec River White-Water Rafting
When the logging era ended on the Kennebec River in 1976, Wayne Hockmeyer saw opportunity and launched Northern Outdoors, Maine’s first white-water rafting company. In the decades since, Northern has grown, and other companies have joined it. The Kennebec is a 12-mile run in rafts with licensed Maine Guides barking commands as you paddle. The river drops from the Harris Station hydro dam down to the Forks, where it merges with the Dead River. It flows through the Kennebec Gorge; the Alleyway, a white-water roller coaster; over Magic Falls, a Class IV drop; and calms down enough in the latter half to more like the pace of a float trip, ideal for swimming and intra-boat water fights. Day journeys include lunch, usually a riverside barbecue. Note there are age and weight minimums at some outfitters.