Dead River Overview
Dead River at a Glance
Price: $$
River Rapid Class: Lower: III-IV
Trip in Miles: Lower: 15
Trip Duration: 1 Day
Season: May-October
Raft Types: Paddle Raft, Inflatable Kayak
River Sections: Spencer Stream to West Forks (lower)
Nearby Towns: West Forks, ME
Gateway City: West Forks, ME
Driving Times: Portland, ME: 3 hours, Quebec City, Canada: 2.5 hours

The Dead offers some of New England’s longest continuous whitewater, with numerous Class III-IV gauntlets named things like Spencer Rips, The Minefield, Humpty Dumpty, Elephant Rock, and Mile Long Rapids. Most commercial rafting trips take place on the lower Dead, putting in below horseshoe-shaped Grand Falls and taking out 15 miles later where the Dead converges with the Kennebec at the town of West Forks. Running through some of Maine’s most pristine wilderness forest, the scenery here is quintessential New England, too. If you can, make a reservation during one of the high-water releases from the Kennebec Water Power Company’s Flagstaff Dam. Usually scheduled on at least six weekends between May, June, September, and October, this is when you’ll experience the most dependable action. Low-water releases for the rest of the spring and summer open up the Dead for guided inflatable kayak trips on some fun Class II-III water. Make a weekend of it by basing yourself out of West Forks or Carrabassett Valley (home to Sugarloaf ski resort) and enjoy rafting on the Dead and Kennebec, as well as other outdoor adventures like rock climbing, hiking, and mountain biking.

Published: 28 Apr 2011 | Last Updated: 25 Aug 2011
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication


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