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!

Friday, May 20, 2016

Scouting New Locations is Important! (Presumpscot Portland)

Attempted... didn't paddle, and don't recommend... 
Presumpscot River near Rt. 302/Riverside Street.  

Hello!  I was excited to get out of work today because I wanted to get on the water.  My debate was where to go.  I have been thinking about the blog a lot lately and want to add some new destinations.  One of the places I wanted to try was a part of the Presumpscot River I have not yet paddled on... the part that flows under Rt. 302.  From what I had researched the launch site was along Rt. 302 across from the Trolley Park.  Here is a screenshot of the area using google earth. (Sorry for the poor quality) 

I went there, parked in the lot and was pleased to see a very nice path leading down towards the water.  I almost unloaded my kayak right away, but thought better of it, and walked the path first.  (I forgot to take pictures... me..forgetting to take pictures... sorry!)  The path is maintained by Portland Trails (a great organization.)  After walking a bit there was a sign that indicated there was a canoe/kayak launch.  It was a longer walk than most of the launch sites.  I was excited as the path looked fairly wide and I think it would have been easy to get my kayak, with cart, own the path.  As I got closer to the water the path branched off into a couple of directions.  (In addition to being access to the water ,there are trails here that are part of Portland Trails.  (Mentally noted as a place that I am sure would be fun to explore.)  I walked down what looked to me to be the most obvious 'launch' site.  The path led to a set of stairs that went directly down to the water.  I wish I had photos of the stairs... as I was going down them there was a very narrow (maybe 8 inches wide) ramp that looked like perhaps that was how people could lower canoes to the water.  At the bottom of the stairs I looked around and into the water.  The water closer to the stairs looked deeper than places from which I usually launch and the ground looked very uneven.  I am not sure that is a place I would feel good about using to launch.  I think trying to lower a kayak/canoe down the stairs while going down the stairs and trying to balance a boat while trying to figure out footing to be able to get into my kayak would be hard, especially solo.  (The steps were fairly steep as well.)

I also looked at the water flow.  The water looked to be moving fairly fast.  When I looked to the right, looking under the bridge, there seemed to be some rocks under the surface of the water and I wondered if people tried to paddle downstream if they would make it over the rocks easily and if paddling back would be difficult... I would assume people would paddle upstream... (But my assumptions have been wrong before!)

So... first impression of this launch, for me, is that I would probably prefer other destinations, especially if I was going solo.  If I had someone who really wanted to paddle here, I would go, but I do not foresee myself returning any time soon.

That being said... I could be passing up on a beautiful spot.

If you have paddled this part of the Presumpscot and have different views I would love to hear from you.  Please send me an email at  I have made bad judgments before, especially when visiting someplace only once and later changed my tune. (I also am still in the post surgery recovery mode where I am less likely to take even small risks which may sway my view.) 

So... I didn't get on the water today after work as planned, but will get on the water again soon!   But, it was a good reminder to scout out locations before getting your gear unloaded! 

I will post some new places soon, I promise!  (I would have posted pics tonight had this destination worked out!)

Also if you have places that you think I should visit and write about I would love to know about it! 

**UPDATE: Thank you to a blog viewer, Cindy, for reaching out and sharing her experience with this launch.  She said she did not like the launch itself, said even with 2 people it was difficult.  She also said the conditions when she did it a couple of years ago were not great for paddling and not clean.
 Thanks for sharing your info!

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