E. Branch Penobscot River
from Bowlin Camps

near Patten, Maine

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Paddle Trip(A Level 2 Trip)
E. Branch Penobscot River from the Bowlin Camps
A 1 - 3 day river trip along the East Branch of the Penobscot River. Includes Class 1 - III rapids. Some rapids require scouting and portaging. No crowds and lots of scenery. Lots of flatwater, very nice casual paddle.
The Launch: The Bowlin Camps are located 30 miles west of Patten, Maine. From the Patten/Sherman exit (exit 264) off I-95, take Route 11 to Patten. At Patten turn left on Route 159 to Shin Pond. Continue 10 miles past Shin Pond on Route 159 to the Bowlin Camps entrance (just past the ranger station). From there it is 8 miles to Bowlin Camps.

Paddling time and distance: 1 - 3 days.

Route: For the most part straight forward, run river left at Whetstone or portage the same. Grindstone can be run to the left or far right. This is a stair falls made of ledge so as with all rapids stop and scout.

Paddling Tips: There are three rapids Spencer Rips, Whetstone Falls, and Grindstone Falls. This river is free flowing for the most part since the Hydro Co. turned the dam over to the owners of Mattagamon Store and camp site. It is best paddled for beginners after spring run-off June-September. I have paddled as late as the middle of October when the water level was 400 cfs. I just put in and take out at different locations. This river sees very little traffic which makes for no competition for camp sites. No camping or gate fees either.

Stretch Your Legs: A good spot to take out if you do not run rapids is Hay Brook or right at Grindstone Falls which has day use picnicking with an out building.

-- Trip contributed by Bryant Davis

For an account of a longer East Branch River trip, click here.

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