Seboeis River 13 Mile Trip


You'll see some of the wildest and most interesting scenery in the state on this river and from the lofty mountains nearby. The 13 miles from the Seboeis River Campground to the takeout point promise paddlers of varying skills, including novices, a rewarding river experience.

Beautiful scenery, a short portage, wildlife, and regional history all contribute to making this a fine trip. While the Seboeis passes through the region near the Each Branch of the Penobscot it does not subject you to the arduous portaging of the East Branch. The uniform gradient of the Seboeis makes it, in some ways, a more sensible river to paddle.

Several lakes upstream of the put-in help maintain modest water levels, so you can usually paddle the river in June or later if the area has had rain. The tranquil surroundings make camping along the river particularly pleasant.

Put in at the campsite next to the Grand Lake Road Bridge. Sawtelle Brook joins the Seboeis here. Head downstream through Class I and II rapids for 1 1/4 miles. You'll see brief views of Sugarloaf Mountain to the east. Near the end of the rips pass over a Class II+ ledge drop and then make a beeline for the left east bank where the landing for the portage trail around Grand Pitch is easy to see. Notice the ledges and evergreens just downstream. They are almost always signs of lively water.

The portage around Grand Pitch is mercifully brief. It takes you just below the falls where the bedrock here is rough and sharp. It looks as if it may have been blasted with dynamite by loggers to make it easier to drive logs down the river. Geologists call this an important Cambrian trace fossil locality.

Below Grand Pitch paddle through a few Class 11 rapids which soon taper off to Class 1. The river winds through moose country, past several islands which cause it to meander through many channels. It passes numerous nubbly mountains and high ridges on which both evergreens and hardwoods grow thick. The gradient remains quite steady to a logging bridge.

The takeout point is on the left just below the bridge. The drive back to Bowlin is along a logging road that will be rough, but you may see wildlife including, moose, grouse, or even a Lynx. There are also excellent views Of Mount Katahdin.

Maine, the way life ought to be...