Umbagog is a unique trip for aspiring paddlers to learn whitewater kayaking and outdoor skills in one of Maine’s most scenic regions. We stay at a base camp in Sunday Cove on Lake Umbagog and travel a short distance to the Rapid River each day for whitewater paddling. Lake Umbagog and the Rapid River are in western Maine, on the New Hampshire border, and are surrounded by a vast area of scenic wild lands. Here participants learn much about the natural world around them, commonly sharing their outdoor space with loon, bald eagle, osprey, and moose. Note to participants: We’ve designed Umbagog Whitewater Kayak to be the perfect preparation for the Northeast Rivers trip.


Paddling & Wilderness Skills in a Beautiful Setting

Umbagog is well suited to trippers with little or no previous experience in wilderness living and whitewater kayaking but a strong desire to learn whitewater kayaking techniques. Throughout the three weeks, there is a progression of instruction, beginning with skills learned in flat water on the lake and eventually moving up to paddling the Rapid River’s challenging whitewater. The Rapid is also home to Smooth Ledge, one of New England’s best kayak surfing spots. We spend plenty of time here, as participants acquire the skills of surfing and practice freestyle play boating.

Each evening we return to the Sunday Cove base camp. Participants learn and practice outdoor skills such as cooking, woodcutting, fire building, and wilderness ethics. Those with little or no wilderness experience gain the knowledge that is important to living responsibly and comfortably in nature. There is time for reading, writing, swimming, and relaxing in this beautiful setting.

Although the trip is centered on kayaking, the essence of Umbagog lies in the experience of living simply and embracing new challenges, allowing for self-discovery and personal growth. This is an amazing opportunity for participants to live in a remote natural area, feel a part of it, and grow within it. As with all Chewonki trips, “Leave No Trace” ethics underlie our approach to the places we visit. As a result, participants learn to live and travel responsibly in the outdoors.

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