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Best Places to Paddleboard in the United States – Maine 2021

Best Places to Paddleboard in the United States – Maine 2021

Maine SUP

1: Mount Desert Island

Mount Desert Island SUP

Mount Desert Island is one of the most popular coastal destinations in Maine due to the variety of SUP activities available. There are dozens of freshwater lakes and inlets around the island, perfect for those learning how to paddleboard or want still water for practicing yoga. At the same time, you can wander to the island’s southern shores to get your surfing on or embark on several tours around the island, Bar Harbor, or Acadia National Park.

Seals and porpoises love to swim near and even right up to paddlers, or you can keep your eyes focused on the air to spot a large number of migratory birds and seabirds that fly by the area. There’s plenty to see and do, so while it is a bit out of the way, it’s worth driving down to paddle around Mount Desert Island.

Average Clear Weather Days per Year: 191
Distance to Major Cities: Direct Access to Bar Harbor, 30 Minutes to Ellsworth
Motor Vehicles Allowed: Yes
Paddleboard Rentals Available: Yes

2: Casco Bay

Casco Bay SUP
Portland is the most populated city in Maine, so while you’re visiting, make sure you paddle around Casco Bay. Many paddleboard vendors offer gear, lessons, and are especially helpful when you want to surf some major waves in the greater Gulf of Maine.

If you want to go exploring and sightseeing, or perhaps look for some buried treasure, Cliff Island, Peaks Island, and Cushing Island are all worth checking out by paddleboard. Cushing Island is an especially fun destination, as the 1898 Fort Levett remains, though the island is now more popular for the private condos that litter it.

From great waves to cool historical sights and exotic boats, you’ll see something new every day you visit Casco Bay in Maine.

Average Clear Weather Days per Year: 203
Distance to Major Cities: Direct Access to New Orleans
Motor Vehicles Allowed: Limited
Paddleboard Rentals Available: Yes

3: Moosehead Lake

Moosehead Lake SUP
Moosehead Lake is the largest lake in Maine but the largest mountain lake found within the east coast states. There is a total of 75,000 acres of water and 280 miles of shoreline to explore, though paddlers will be especially interested in the eighty-plus islands that are all worth investigating. The lake’s name is borrowed from the number of moose that live in the area and the unusual shape of the lake that resembles moose antlers.

Salmon, Trout, and Bass are all found in abundance at Moosehead Lake, but if you aren’t an angler, the calm waters are still great for cruising or mediating as you gaze upon the beauty of nature. A favorite meditative spot of poet Henry David Thoreau, it only takes one visit to understand how many adventures fall in love with Moosehead Lake.

Average Clear Weather Days per Year: 177
Distance to Major Cities: 3 Hours to Bangor
Motor Vehicles Allowed: Yes
Paddleboard Rentals Available: Yes

4: Merrymeeting Bay

Merrymeeting Bay SUP
One of the largest freshwater estuaries in the entire country, Merrymeeting Bay is also the staging ground for many migratory and endangered birds. If you are an avian aficionado, Bald Eagles, Osprey, and forty other bird species live or pass through the area. Birds are attracted to fish, with Sturgeon, Shad, and Salmon all populating the waters as well.

Merrymeeting Bay is one of the warmest water bodies on the East Coast and is especially delightful to paddle on for visitors stopping by Maine in the summer. However, the fast-changing tides make this mostly an intermediate and advanced paddling destination, with great surf and fast rapids for those looking to test themselves. If you have a bit of experience, you will have a great time paddling around Merrymeeting Bay.

Average Clear Weather Days per Year: 200
Distance to Major Cities: Direct Access to Bruinswick
Motor Vehicles Allowed: Yes
Paddleboard Rentals Available: Yes

5: Damariscotta River

Damariscotta River SU

While there are plenty of places to fish in Maine, the Damariscotta River is the best place to do it. The name of the river is the Abenaki title for ‘river of many fishes.’ An annual gathering is held on the river during May and June to catch the millions of alewifes that swim through the river. If you prefer something larger or different from the rest of the crowd, visit other times to try to catch Trout, Charr, Salmon, or Whitefish that also inhabit the area.

Lastly, clamming, oyster, and mussel farming are all popular as well, and you can take pictures or even grab 2,500-year-old oyster shells from the middens that have formed on the river. This is a fishing paradise, so if you want to combine two of your favorite activities, paddleboarding, and fishing, you can enjoy them both by paddling the Damariscotta River.

Average Clear Weather Days per Year: 200
Distance to Major Cities: Direct Access to Damariscotta
Motor Vehicles Allowed: Limited
Paddleboard Rentals Available: Yes

Conclusion: Plan Your Paddle Board Trip and Have Fun!

Thank you for visiting our article on the top paddleboarding destinations in the state of Maine! While we’ve had the chance to visit a few of these destinations, there are several places that we’ve had to rely on other paddlers to learn about. If you’ve been to one of these destinations yourself, or you have a suggestion or two you would like to make to our list, be sure to let us know! You can leave a comment below with your thoughts or send us an email if you would prefer.

We also have a top fifteen paddleboarding destinations in the entire US that you can visit right now and are hard at work developing recommended destinations for Maryland and other states throughout the US. While you’re here, you can also check out the latest reviews for some of the most popular paddleboards on the market, quick tips and instructional guides that will help you become a better paddleboarder, and video breakdowns of paddleboards!

Be sure to reach out and let us know what you think of paddleboarding in Maine, and remember to have fun SUPing!

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Heyo! At SupBoardGuide.com we are a team who love the water, the outdoors, and are more than grateful that our full-time job allows us to review stand up paddle boards. We paddle year round (it helps that we are just about 2 hours outside of Las Vegas), and we bring in a wide range of paddlers with the goal of providing our readers with the best, most in-depth, and accurate stand up paddle board reviews.

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