Rafting Maine's Dead River, the Longest Stretch of Whitewater in the East

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Maine's Dead River, which flows from Flagstaff Lake, offers the longest continuous stretch of Class III to V whitewater in the East. The sixteen-mile trip begins below Grand Falls, culminating at the famous Big Poplar Falls and the confluence with the Kennebec River in The Forks. The Dead River releases high water only ten times a season, six of which are in the spring, May 5, 12, and 27 and June 2, 9 and 17.

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Lake refills are right on target. We can expect to have all high water releases as scheduled.

Maine's rafting season traditionally begins May 1st but some hardy souls have been known to push the season right after ice-out in April. The water is chilly and wet suits are mandatory but the rides are thrilling with the added volume of the spring run-off. Melt waters from Maine's deep snow pack insure high water levels throughout the spring. Wes Hallowell, river engineer for Kennebec Water Power that oversees the Kennebec and Flagstaff watershed reports, "Lake refills are right on target. We can expect to have all high water releases as scheduled."

The Dead River, which flows from Flagstaff Lake, offers the longest continuous stretch of Class III to V whitewater in the East. The sixteen-mile trip begins below Grand Falls, and runs through rapids appropriately named the Minefield, Humpty Dumpty, Elephant Rock Rapids, Mile Long Rapids and culminating at the famous Big Poplar Falls and the confluence with the Kennebec River in The Forks. The Dead River releases high water only ten times a season, six of which are in the spring, May 5, 12, and 27 and June 2, 9 and 17.

As an added raft trip benefit, spring in Maine is the ideal time to view wildlife, especially moose, feeding along the rivers before they head deep into the forest to escape the summer heat. Eagles and osprey are building their nests high above the river gorges.

http://www.RAFTMAINE.COM, the website of Raft Maine, an association of professional whitewater outfitters, provides a map of the Dead River locating the rapids, their Class levels, current river flow, water temperature and wave height. The website answers common questions about rafting in Maine including age limits, safety, and appropriate clothing and gear.

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WENDE GRAY
Raft Maine
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