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10 Places Anyone Can Paddle in Southern Maine


Ten Spots to Take a Rental Kayak or SUP

If you’re starting a paddling trip on Casco Bay, our site at the East End Beach is a terrific place to launch. But there are LOTS of other great spots to paddle nearby, and you can rent our kayaks and SUPs for as long as you need to and transport them to wherever you like. Head over to our Multi-day Rentals and Deliveries page for all the details and read on below for some tips on where to take the kayak or SUP you rent! And new this summer, we also offer Rental Memberships – a perfect choice for frequent paddlers!


1. Sebago Lake State Park and the Sebago Lakes Region– kayaking and camping on one of Maine’s largest lakes (you might want a sea kayak!)

2. Great Pond, Cape Elizabeth – beautiful way to mix things up close to Portland. Enjoy the nearby walking and bike trails as well!

3. Highland Lake, Falmouth, Westbrook, and Windham – another great option near Portland, an ideal spot to practice rolling and a popular fishing destination. Water flows out of the lake via Mill Brook, home to the largest fish migration out of Casco Bay. Alewives, a type of herring, make the trip to and from Casco Bay each year to reach their spawning grounds in Highland. Eventually, Mill Brook joins the Presumpscot River, where it then flows to the sea. While you’re in the area, check our the beautiful forest trails of the Presumpscot Regional Land Trust’s Mill Brook and Mill Brook South Preserves.


4. Scarborough Marsh, Scarborough – the largest salt marsh in the state with a multitude of different put in options and channels to explore, rich in human history, and birding and fishing opportunities. Paddle all the way down to the mouth to check out the sandy beaches of Ferry and Pine Point, the working harbor, and impressive rock jetty.

a person standing on a paddleboard in a grassy waterway

The Spurwink River in Scarborough (he’s wearing an inlatable PFD belt)

5. Spurwink River Marsh, Scarborough and Cape Elizabeth – a popular spot for birders and fishers. One popular trip involves timing your adventure with the tides. Ride the gentle outgoing tidal current downstream, finish up watching the surfers at Higgin’s Beach, then ride the return tide back to your put in. 


6. Saco River – Stretching from the White Mountains of New Hampshire to Saco Bay on Maine’s southern coast, this river offers a diverse range of experiences over its nearly 150 miles.  Enjoy canoeing and camping in the upper section through a sandy river with pine filled banks. Many visitors begin their journey to this section at Swan’s Falls just outside of Fryeburg on the Maine-New Hampshire border, or by taking a hike at one of the preserves of the Upper Saco Valley Land Trust

Near the mouth of the river experience tidal estuary paddling close to the vacation destinations of Old Orchard Beach, Ocean Park, Camp Ellis, and Biddeford Pool, by using the Marblehead or Vines Landing boat launches. Or enjoy the scenic, downtown riverwalk of the hip, former industrial cities of Biddeford-Saco, as the Saco river tumbles through rapids and millworks, grab a bite or a drink at one of the many restaurants and cafes, then paddle the calm stretch of river above downtown from either Diamond Park or Rotary Park!

A person paddling a kayak on a calm river

The Presumpscot River

7. Presumpscot River – Many options to choose from, such as going with a guide to the Mallison Falls to Sacarrapa Falls Section, paddle on your own in the still, turtle filled waters of the Dundee Dam to Gambo Dam Stretch of the Presumpscot Water Trail, or put in at Walton Park in Falmouth to taste the tidal estuary and view the majestic Presumpscot Falls!

Across the State

8. Your family’s vacation house! – whether on a lake, river, pond, or ocean cove, nothing adds joy to a vacation like boats and boards! And with rentals from Portland Paddle we take care of all the maintenance and storage, so all you have to worry about is the fun!

A sit on top kayak floating in a lake

9. A remote coastal island? – Do you have all the camping experience and gear you need to run your own camping trip, but aren’t so sure about the paddling components, or safety on the ocean? Or maybe you have lots of sea kayaking experience but aren’t familiar with the area and have a few pieces of gear you would prefer to rent? Our guided rentals and trip planning services  are meant to bridge exactly these gaps between an independent trip and a fully outfitted adventure! With a guided rental one of our expert guides navigates your group safely to the perfect island camping experience, then gives you the space to relax and take care of yourselves for the evening. With our trip planning services we can do all the pre-trip work for you, leaving your group free to enjoy the experience out on the water on their own.

A large group renting paddleboards and sit on top kayaks

Sit on tops and paddleboards are available at both East End Beach and Crescent Beach

10. Anywhere, all summer long! – Did you know we also now offer Rental Memberships? These packages allow you to rent for up to two hours as often as you like throughout the season, and come with discounts on classes, long term rentals, and other benefits. Visit our memberships page for full details and to sign up!

Did any of these beautiful destinations catch your interest? Want to rent a boat or board right now? Head over to our rentals page now to book!