Frequently Asked White Water Rafting Questions
• What Do I Need to Bring for a Rafting Trip?
1. A Towel and change-of-clothing for the end of the trip.
2. Foot apparel – like strap-on sandals or old sneakers (we can also provide wetsuit booties). Aqua socks" can be good to bring as well
3. A bathing suit or shorts (but you may need to bring more clothes to wear under wetsuits in the Spring).
5. Sunglasses (with a strap) and a hat (both are optional).
6. Non-cotton, synthetic clothing (preferably Polypropylene or Capilene) for added warmth when you get wet. This clothing is strongly recommended in Spring and Fall.
7. A willingness to try something new; like enjoying the outdoors. Be ready to have a smile “plastered" onto your face after just the first rapid!
• What Equipment Do You Provide for Rafting? We provide life jackets, paddles, helmets, wind breakers, wetsuit booties, wetsuit rentals, rafts and safety equipment. Wetsuits are required for early Spring and Fall trips. Full wet-suit rentals are $20 U.S. (e.g., a full wetsuit), and $10 for a half wetsuit. With a wetsuit you also be provided wetsuit booties, gloves, and a windbreaker. So, you’ll just need to wear a swim suit under your wetsuit.
• What is a Certified Raft Guide? He or she is an expert on running rafts down a river; tested, certified and registered by the State of Maine. We have a trained, certified and registered whitewater guide in every raft
• Is There A Safety and Orientation Lecture? Yes. To make paddling easier and more fun we go over some simple pointers before we shuttle to the river put-in.
• Do You Offer A River Lunch? Yes. We offer a vegetarian lunch option as well!
• When Is Rafting Season in Maine? Trips run daily April through October.
• Will There Be Enough Water if I Book a Date Months in Advance? YES! You see, our rivers are DAM CONTROLLED. Thus, great whitewater rafting is ensured all season!
• When Are the Water Levels the Highest – for Really Exciting Whitewater Trips? Typically, the biggest releases (and the wildest rides) are in the spring (due to melting of the large snow pack in Maine. However, there are some large releases scheduled in the summer.
• When Are the Conditions Warmest in Maine? Typically this would be in late June through early September. Water temperatures are 40-50°F in May, 50-65°F in June, 65-75°F July, August and early September. Peak foliage is late September and October.
• Do I Need Prior Experience to Go Rafting? NO. However, there are age minimums. On the Kennebec River’s lower section it’s 5 Years; the Kennebec Upper & Summer Dead River – 9 Yrs; Penobscot River & High Water Dead River – 13 Yrs; Penobscot River Ultimate and Kennebec “turbine test releases" – 13 Yrs. Non-swimmers welcome as well – and normal health advised. If you are uncertain about your health, then consult your physician. Desire to have fun is the most important thing!
• What Kind of Lodging/Camping Packages Do You Offer? MANY. Please look them over on the website, or, call toll-free and we’ll set everything up for you that way.
• Where Do You Meet for Trips? For Kennebec River trips it would be our main base complex [36 Main St – Route 201 – Bingham, Maine 04920] at 9:00 A.M. Same location for all Dead River trips – 9:00 A.M. – except we meet at 8:00 A.M. for all “high water" release dates (5500 CFS or greater) and for summer and medium release flows (2400-3500 CFS – cubic feet per second). All Penobscot River trips meet at The Big Moose Inn • Baxter State Park Rd • Millinocket, Maine 04462 – 9:00 A.M.. We recommend checking in 20-30 minutes prior to the meeting time. Our trips do not wait for late arrivals – and no refunds or transfers are available for late arrivals.
• How Long Will I Be On the River? Plan on four to six hours; depending upon the river and flow levels. Trip distances vary between 12 and 16 miles
• How Do I Make a Reservation? After choosing trip dates and lodging arrangements, if space is available, a 50% deposit will confirm your reservation (date, river, number in party) . The full balance is due 45 days before the trip date. All deposits are non-refundable, but they are transferable in the current calendar year with 45 days notice in writing. Reservations can be made within 45 days of the trip based on availability. Reservations can be made by phone, fax, mail, email or through our website. NO REFUNDS AVAILABLE FOR DEPOSITS OR FINAL PAYMENTS. North Country also reserves the right to transfer the trip to another river or section of river. Major credit cards, personal & corporate checks, cash, and money orders are accepted.
• Do You Discount for Large Groups? YES. Typically, one persons fee is waived per 16 rafters (e.g., pay for 15 and the 16th is FREE). To be eligible for the group discount, the reservation and both deposits must be handled by one person; one 50% payment for the original reservation and one payment for the final deposit. We also have discounted rates on off-peak dates, and for Youth Groups; such as Scouts, Camps, Churches, Schools, Colleges.
• Do You Have a Liability Release Form? YES. You are required to read, understand and sign a liability release form prior to participating on any of our whitewater rafting trips. Download your PDF liability release form.
• We have the largest lodging and recreational complex in Maine; with a restaurant, a pub, a game room, a family room, and private showers. In the winter, we also offer fully-furnished log cabin rentals. When you consider that we have immediate access to Maine’s top snowmobiling and ATV trails, New England’s premiere whitewater rivers, hiking trails (Appalachian Trail), biking trails, fly fishing, skiing, “moose safaris", we’ve got everything you need for an awesome outdoor vacation in Maine!