My Book!!

One opportunity that the blog has brought me is the co-authoring of a guidebook, Paddling Southern Maine! It is something in which I take a lot of pride! My writing partner, Sandy Moore, and I have created a book with 54 amazing trips that are within about an hour of Portland! Our motto as we wrote the book was wanting to 'get people to spend the day on the water and not in their cars!'

If you want more information on our book please visit Sandy and I are available to attend/present various functions/events. Please email me at for more information!

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Yarmouth, Maine: The Royal River

Body of Water: Royal River, Yarmouth, Maine [Maine Gazetteer Map 5, D5] *There are various places from which you can launch your kayak.  I put in at the Yarmouth Water District  located at 115 East Elm St. in Yarmouth, but there are other places. 

Directions (from Portland, ME): North on I-295, take Exit 15 to Rt. 1 North. Turn onto Rt. 115, which becomes Main St. Turn Right onto East Elm St. The water district building will be on your left and the parking area/park is on the right.

Boat Launch:  Asphalt driveway then drops off into the river.  The edge is somewhat steep when putting in, but manageable. 

Parking: You can not park at the water district, however you can unload/load your kayaks at the water district then park across the street at the Royal River Park.

Wildlife: Turtles, ducks, blue heron

Notes: Looking at the river, you want to paddle upstream (to your left).You will go under a couple of railroad trestles and can paddle for hours! There is little to no current on this part of the river.  The river twists and turns a lot and is a lot of fun.  The water is cloudy, and there are lots of logs in the water making many places for turtles to sun themselves.  If you do this paddle during the day it is nice to go inside the office at the water district to ask if it is okay to launch from there.  I am sure they have a lot of people launching from their building and appreciate people being courteous about using their launch site.  I paddled up the river, lazily, for over two hours and could have gone much longer before turning around.  This would also be a great place for beginners, little current and enough turns in the river to practice steering, yet lots to see to satisfy more seasoned paddlers. 

 Looking up the river.  You can't see too far ahead at one time because of all the turns. 
 Some Canada Geese welcomed me to the river.
 A duck family...

 Pind weeds!  (I am sure there is a more technical term, but that's what I call these purple flowers.)
 Cat tails!
 I am not sure what these are, but they were cool!
  A blue heron.  I was excited to see this guy. He was the first blue heron I saw in the summer of 2011. 
 There are a lot of logs in the water. Many are really a light gray color. 
 Another bend in the river !


  1. Thank you!! I have been wanting to do the Royal River but as a relatively new kayaker, I just wasn't sure what I would run into or what the current would be like. I really, really appreciate knowing ahead of time that there are lots of turns. I get nervous when I can't see far enough ahead to know what I'm getting into. Your photos are great!! I may be headed out there today!

  2. Just discovered your site. Great information for myself and my son-in-law who are thinking of doing the river. Thanks for taking the time and posting photos and directions.

  3. Okay. Here's another one. Just over the South Berwick line in Rollinsford, New Hampshire, there is a boat launch at Bicentennial Park. Here you will enter the Salmon Falls River, above the dam (turn left onto the river or you will be caught in the falls!). This is truly a gem. The shoreline is heavily wooded, the current is gentle, and you get a sense of how Maine/New Hampshire rivers must have been before the Industrial Revolution. Definitely worth trying out. Oh, almost forgot to mention. There is a rather territorial swan nearby -- just bring some bread to toss to him and you'll be fine. A very beautiful bird, by the way.

  4. Mark, THanks for this comment. I apologize for not responding to it sooner or posting it for that matter. I kept it in my 'Awaiting moderation' category, so that I would add it to my trip list. I think I am going to go soon and am excited. Stay tuned!

  5. I launched at the Yarmouth History Center parking lot yesterday and there were three other paddlers launching at the same time. Parking lot was about 3/4 full at 11am. Nice sunny Saturday in late April. Pulled off in a couple spots along the river to rest on the way. Saw several cabins and rope swings along the river. No one had their launches out as of yet, as it is early in the season. Had a muskrat come up right beside me and scared the crap out of me about 3/4 of the way up the river! Saw a blue heron, some Canadian Geese and two big black duck like birds that I couldn't identify and a small turtle.

    Did the 6 miles upstream in about 2.5 hours. Paddled up the Route 9 launch, which was a tough spot for a novice to get out (muddy, deep drop off, etc.) but was able to stretch out a bit and take a break. 3 other boats launched while I was there. Went a bit further up river and to the right toward Chandler Brook Reserve, but turned around before the rapids under the two bridges.

    Going back, the flow didn't assist as much as I figured, but it did cut about 20 minutes off the return trip. About 12.5 miles in 5 hours total. Saw 10 or so paddlers on the way back. Nice, gentle spot to paddle. Great write up above, thanks again.

    My second voyage in my new boat and it was a great day. Remember, you, "CAN'T STOP HIP HOP."