The lazy days of summer are here and we couldn’t be more excited. Beach trips are high on our list of activities, but in a place like Maine there are so many other options! We’ve been planning
hikes that end in crystal clear beaches, water slide waterfalls, and fun walks in our own neighborhood. But, one of our favorite ways to enjoy a lazy summer day is by heading to the many rivers for tubing in Maine. You can do it yourself or you can head to a nearby adventure outfitter. Either way, you’re going to love these leisurely rides.
1. Stroudwater River, Portland
One of the things we strive for every summer is EASE. And this river trip is one of the easiest you can do if you're in the Portland area. First, park one car at the River's Edge Drive trailhead. Then head to the Portland Trails parking lot, about 20 minutes from downtown. You'll start your tubing trip here and travel about a mile and a half towards the Tate House Museum. When you're done, get out where you parked and the rest of the day is yours. Easy-peasy!
Address: 13 River's Edge Drive, Portland, ME, 04102.
2. Presumpscot River, Portland
We love this river because you can do it over and over again in a few different ways. It offers trips that vary in length, so you can spend all day or just a portion of it. For the shorter route, you'll park one car at the Sebago to the Sea trailhead on Blackstrap Road. Then head to the Hannaford Supermarket on Riverside Street to put in. Hop out where you parked! For a longer route, you can park at Overset Road. Just be sure you're off the river before the waterfall!
Hannaford Address: 787 Riverside Street, Portland, ME, 04103. Trailhead Address: 19-35 Blackstrap Road, Portland, ME, 04103.
3. Royal River, Yarmouth
It doesn't get much lazier than this river. It sometimes runs so slowly that friends have been known to bring a kayaker to pull them! Now that's a friend. Park one car at the boat launch in town near East Elm Street. Then head down Route 9 to Old Town House Park to put in. The entire river trip is about five miles
leading to the boat launch in town near East Elm Street. You can rent kayaks and canoes locally for about $10.
Old Town House Park Address: Memorial Highway, North Yarmouth, ME, 04097.
4. Bullfrog Adventures, Caratunk
To make a full adventure of your river time, head to Bullfrog. They have three different tubing trips from which to choose. Best of all: you won't have to plan anything since they do it for you. There are self-guided trips that you can make as fast or as leisurely as you choose. Or, take the group tubing option which heads down the Kennebec or the Dead River.
Address: 745 US-201, Caratunk, ME, 04925.
5. Androscoggin River, Bethel
Bethel Outdoor Adventure will arrange a super simple trip for you at a low cost of about $10. Rent a tube for a trip down the Androscoggin directly from them and they'll also sort out your shuttle ride back to the starting point.
Address: 121 Mayville Road, Bethel, ME, 04217.
6. Saco River, Fryeburg
As one of the most popular rivers for tubing, on the Saco, you're likely to run into some large groups of people having a good time. As such, this might not be the best option if you're hoping for some alone time. But it's great for a long trip in the sunshine. And we do mean sunshine as most of the route is not shaded. The entire trip is about four hours. Park one car at the Canal Bridge and then put in at Swans Falls.
Swans Falls Address: Swans Falls Road, Fryeburg, ME, 04037.
7. Crooked River, Waterford
This 58-mile tributary of the Songo River is perfect for woodsy tubing. And this option is extra-special because it's a bit of a secret. The river is long enough to plan your own rogue route, but the easiest option is to book yourself an overnight stay at the Crooked River Tiny House. From the house, you'll walk beyond the quarry to where you can put in. No need to park a car because you can jump out back at the house for a fun outdoor shower and s'mores! The route takes about two hours depending on the current.
to learn more about the Crooked River Tiny House and to book a summer stay.
8. Ogunquit River, Ogunquit
This route will take you to the beach, making it great for doubling your summer fun. Just make sure to time it right. Arrive halfway between high tide and low tide to make sure the river is flowing at a good clip as it heads to the ocean. It's not a roaring rapid, but it's a fun ride around the bend to the beach! And it's close enough to the starting point that you can head back and do it all again.
9. Three Rivers Whitewater Rafting, West Forks
"Lazy" might not be entirely the name of the game here, but if you're looking for something that's a step up, then this is for you. Three Rivers Whitewater has some great rapids trips. But they also offer tubing and inflatable kayak options. Tubing trips run down Kennebec River, while inflatable kayak options also include the Dead River and the Seboomook.
Address: 2265 US-201, West Forks, ME, 04985.