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

Gorham/South Windham, Maine: Shaw Park, the Presumpscot River

Body of Water: Presumpscot River, Gorham/South Windham, ME  [Maine Gazetteer  Map 5, E2] *Also can access Pleasan River from here! (See notes below.)

Directions (from Portland, Maine): Take Brighton Ave. (Rt. 25) through Westbrook and into Gorham. Turn Right onto Rt. 237. You will come to a small rotary/traffic circle/ intersection of Rts. 237 & 202. Stay on Rt. 237 for about a mile. You will pass Shaw Brothers gravel pit then on the right you will see a sign for Shaw Park. Drive down a short road and you will see a parking area on the right, do not park there, go through the gate and into the second parking area near the swingset.

Sign along Rt. 237
 This is the first gate, go straight through. 
 This is the arking area:

Boat Launch:  Shaw Park, drive into Shaw Park, through the gate by baseball fields and park near the swingset.  You have to carry your kayak down to the water about 10 yards down a small hill.  Put in next to grassy shore, rocks/gravel.  (You gotta maneuver around the rocks, but it is pretty easy!)

Parking: Free. There is room for 10-12 vehicles in this parking area.  If it is full, you could unload the kayak and park in the parking lot further up. 

Wildlife: Turtles, turtles, and more turtles.  Also Canada geese and ducks. 

Notes: During the summer, starting around June 1st, there is a caretaker of the park area who stays in a camper if you have any questions.  There can also be canoes and kayaks for rent here, but sometimes are being used by the Gorham Rec. Dept.  If you paddle far enough up the Presumpscot River you will go under a covered bridge.  I have paddled up as far as I could paddle without portaging, the current is pretty mild for most of the river.  It picks up a bit after the covered bridge, but subsides.  On a windy day this is a tough place to paddle.  The wind usually goes against the current and can cause the water to be quite choppy.  When paddling up the river, going under the railroad trestle where kids are often jumping off, there are two places on the right that go off from the river. The second turn off is the Pleasant River and goes for a long time.

 This was taken coming back down the river, above the covered bridge. 
 The covered bridge!
 I caught this guy with my own hands.  He was not thrilled, but I was!

 Canada goose family. 


  1. Awesome spot for canoeing too!!! Thanks for the tip.

  2. Thank you so much for the info and the pictures! The pictures are beautiful! My husband and I have been to many of your destinations.Your directiond are quite helpful! Thanks!

    1. I am so glad that you are paddling and using my directions! Hoping to explore even more places this spring/summer!

  3. My name is Will Blanchard and I had an awesome time with my friend Wil Rossignol jumping off the trestle! IT WAS AWESOME!

  4. how high up is the bridge/trustle

  5. Hmm... I am terrible at estimating the height... maybe 20 feet up?

  6. Made it from Shaw Park upriver to Dundee Dam this past Sunday. Water was so clear, compared to other section of the Presumpscot in Westbrook. I could see trout swim by me, one so big it scared me! I also saw a big bald eagle and a few tiny turtles, like those above in the picture. With all the camps on the shore, this is indeed a great place to bring a family for a paddle. There are a couple sections that the water is swift, but overall, it feels more like paddling in a pond, than on a river.