Umbagog Whitewater Kayaking Trip

Whitewater Thrills in Wild Lands

Umbagog is a unique trip for aspiring paddlers to learn whitewater kayaking and outdoor skills in some of Maine’s most scenic regions. For the majority of the trip, 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 located in western Maine, on the New Hampshire border, and are surrounded by a vast area of scenic, wild, lands. Depending on water levels, our groups may paddle on the West Branch of the Penobscot River for parts of the trip, home to some impressive rapids, based out of our Big Eddy Campground. Between Sunday Cove and Big Eddy, participants will learn much about the natural world around them, sharing their common outdoor space with loons, bald eagles, ospreys, and moose.


Umbagog Whitewater Kayaking Trip

Ages: 14, 15, 16
Program Type: Kayaking
Grades: 9-11
Length: 3 Weeks
Tuition: $6,000


Session 1: June 25 – July 17
Session 2: July 21 – August 12

Waves & Water for Every Skill Level

Umbagog is well suited to campers with little or no previous experience in backcountry living and whitewater kayaking but have a strong desire to learn the basics of paddling, rapid scouting,  and river running. 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 Class III whitewater of the Rapid River and the West Branch. The Rapid River 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 freestyle playboating.

Relax into the North Woods Lifestyle

This base-camping model sets Umbagog Whitewater apart from Chewonki’s other Leadership Expeditions一instead of packing up camp each day the group will settle in and set up a more established camp at Sunday Cove on Lake Umbagog and at Big Eddy on the West Branch of the Penobscot. Each evening we return to base camp where participants learn and practice outdoor living skills such as cooking, woodcutting, fire building, and Leave No Trace ethics. Everyone will 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.

The essence of whitewater kayaking 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.


Meet the Director

Jen Adams

Director of Outdoor Programs
1 (207) 656-5836

Deposit Information:

A fully completed registration form, director approval, and a deposit is required to hold a program space. Deposits are non-refundable.

  • $950 per child – Full Session and Leadership Expeditions 
  • $600 per child – Puffin Program 
  • $100 per child for families applying for financial aid 


We reserve the right to cancel, delay, substitute, or revise any program itinerary due to the COVID-19 pandemic. If we are forced to cancel camp programming due to COVID-19, families will be given a full refund, including their deposit.

Ready, Set, Summer!