Directions (From Portland, ME): Head West on Rt. 25 (Brighton Avenue) towards Westbrook/Gorham. Pass Kohl's plaza on Rt. 25 coming into Westbrook. You will pass Amato's on your left and McDonald's on your right. Stay straight. Pass Dairy Queen on your left, go straight at the light. You will come into a rotary type traffic pattern. You will take the third off option to stay on Rt. 25, Almost going around Rite Aid. (passing up the option to turn onto Warren Ave. and River Road by the mill). Stay on Rt 25 coming into Main St. Westbrook. (Subway and Riverfront park on your right, then Cumberland Farms & Dunkin Donuts on left) At light by post office & Big Apple, go straight. Come down into Main St. Turn Right at the light onto Bridge St. (Across from CVS, next to Fajita Grill/Frog & Turtle restaurants)
Once on Bridge St. You will pass mill on left. Once Bridge St. begins to curve to the right, you will turn Left onto Lincoln St. You will pass some condos on your left and will see an outdoor hockey rink. You will park here, at the hockey rink.
Boat Launch: This is a carry in boat launch. There is a wide path that leads to the river, passing by the side of the hockey rink. You will walk to the river and the boat launch itself is dirt. You can not see the river from the parking area, but once you walk towards the river you will easily find your way. It is a bit of a walk to the river from the parking area. You may want someone to help you carry your kayak to the river or use a dolly like this:
I find this set of wheels makes my kayaking life much easier and allows me to be very independent. (Got this set from craigslist for $25 or $30! Regularly priced at LLBean's for $65 I think!)
This is the path you take to get to the water. (Passing the hockey rink.)
Parking: Free. There is a lot of parking available next to the hockey rink.
Wildlife: Turtles, Ducks, many birds, dragonflies, I suspect blue heron's may visit this river, & beavers (I did not see any beavers, but saw the dam!) Great plantlife, including pink lilies, late August/Early September.
Notes: This is a BEAUTIFUL location to kayak. This place is so close to my home and so easily accessible that I cannot believe today was my first paddle here! I like this trip a lot because the scenery changes along the way. There are lots of trees, lily pads, and lilies like other places, but there are also some places that are open, looking across fields, which was a nice contrast. I paddles up the river for a couple of hours and could have gone longer if I didn't have to go to work later in the day. I am definitely going to plan an entire day this fall, once the leaves are peaking, and take a lunch with me and spend the day on this part of the Presumpscot. There is a very cool stone bridge along the way. You cannot paddle through this bridge to get to the other side because the beavers have blocked it off, but you can get in under the bridge and appreciate the artistry and architecture of the bridge. I also like that there were few houses along the river, at least as far as I went today. The lack of houses made me feel like I really was 'away' from things and allowed me to really relax. There were lots of turtles sunning themselves along the way. It is important to note that leaving from the boat launch you need to turn right to head up the river. Turning left would leaf you to Sacarrapa Falls, not a good idea. The current in the river was pretty mild. On my paddle back down the river the wind was blowing against me. If the wind was strong it would make for a harder paddle, but overall a very easy paddle. I HIGHLY recommend this trip! .