Boating Adventures on Maine’s Kennebec River

Maine is known as “Vacationland” for a reason. For generations, Maine has been a tourist destination for visitors of all types. Maine’s varied coastline is one of the state’s biggest draws. With its classic rocky coast, crashing surf, beaches, open-water sailing, and deep-sea fishing, Maine is a hotspot for recreational and social activities on the water.

For residents and tourists in search of boating adventures, a plethora of destinations can be reached along the Kennebec River. In a boat as small as fifteen feet, boaters can visit six noteworthy spots by traveling the Kennebec River.

Merrymeeting Bay Waterfront Land, Bath, ME
Merrymeeting Bay photo by Steve Girard


By boat, Bath is a quick trip up the Kennebec River where residents and tourists alike can enjoy good food and great views. Along the journey, passersby see the Maine Maritime Museum where interesting boats are usually docked to showcase Maine’s maritime culture and heritage. Similarly, boaters pass Doubling Point Lighthouse, which is the most visited lighthouse on the Kennebec. Finally, spectators will also see Bath Iron Works, Maine’s major shipyard, which is an interesting sight of private, commercial, and military vessels.

Doubling Point Lighthouse with Bath Iron Works in background – photo by James L. Woodward

Once boaters reach Bath, there is a town dock for convenience. Visitors often tie up at the Kennebec Tavern, a delicious restaurant with plates like fried parsnips, locally sourced seafood, all natural beef burgers, and more. The Kennebec Tavern has an outdoor deck for seating and a private room, Seguin Hall, which is available for parties, meetings, and special events.

Adroscogin River photo by Mike Cline,
Drift boat fly fishing on the Adroscoggin River

Merrymeeting Bay

Visiting Merrymeeting Bay takes a little over half an hour by boat. Merrymeeting Bay is a special unspoiled environmental treasure. It is a place where five rivers come together, including the Androscoggin, which comes from upstate New Hampshire and runs through Brunswick. The bay covers 9,600 acres and is considered one of the largest and most significant freshwater tidal ecosystems in the country. Along the boat ride, visitors will see how the river narrows and changes on the way to Merrymeeting Bay and how the bay is home to many unique birds.

Deep water dock with eastern views across Kennebec River up to the Fischer eddy.


Popham is where the Kennebec River empties into the Gulf of Maine. The boat ride to Popham is full of picturesque sights, including eagles, seals, and more. Additionally, there are two noteworthy lighthouses along the ride, including Squirrel Point Light and Perkins Island Lighthouse.

Fort Popham and the Atkins Baycarm of the Kennebec River
The rear curtain wall and northern end of Fort Popham and the Atkins Bay arm of the Kennebec River in Maine.

Finally, during the trip to Popham, boaters will also see Fort Popham, which guards the mouth of the river. Fort Popham was built in the 19th century and remains one of Maine’s historic sites today.

Upon reaching Popham, there is a place to tie up boats near the fort. There are several places to dine at, including Spinney’s Restaurant in Phippsburg, which offers breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Spinney’s menu includes fresh seafood, live lobster and claims, deli goods, a full bar, and ice cream.

126 Cold Spring Farm Rd – 1163± of water frontage on the Kennebec River

Five Islands Lobster Co.

Getting to Five Islands Lobster Co., a destination restaurant perched on an active fishing wharf, takes just under an hour to get to by boat. During the boat ride, visitors pass through the Sasanoa River, where the current can get so backed up that it roars through the narrow channel. Boats can then go north to Wiscasset to tie up at the town dock or go south past Westport and the fishing village islands of Georgetown.

The southern route brings boaters through Knubble Bay and Robinhood Cove, before reaching the quaint harbor of the Five Islands. Here, there is a public dock at the wharf for boaters to tie up in the “prettiest harbor in Maine”. Five Islands Lobster Co. is a go-to spot to enjoy fried seafood baskets, corn-on-the-cob, coleslaw, lobsters, steamers, and more.

Boothbay Harbor in Summer

Boothbay Harbor

By boat, the trek to Boothbay Harbor takes over an hour. Boaters can travel across the Sheepscot River and slip into Boothbay Harbor without going into the Gulf of Maine. Boothbay Harbor has a town dock where most boaters can usually find a space to tie up.

Once in Boothbay Harbor, visitors have endless things to do, including visiting Burnt Island Light, the Maine State Aquarium, and more. Boothbay Harbor is also home to countless restaurants, with menus ranging from locally sourced seafood to Italian dishes inspired by the traditional cuisine of Italy.

Seguin Island

A final boating adventure tourists and residents of the Kennebec River can enjoy is Seguin Island, which is off the mouth of the Kennebec River. Seguin is home to the historic Seguin Island Light Station, a wonderful step back in time to show the life of a light keeper.

126 Cold Spring Farm Road, Phippsburg, ME

There are many residences along the Kennebec River that conveniently reach these six Maine destinations, and more. LandVest has exclusive listings at 126 Cold Spring Farm Road in Phippsburg and Merrymeeting Bay Waterfront Land in Bath that are currently available for interested buyers and conveniently located near Maine’s Kennebec.  To find out more, contact John Scribner or Betsey Ducas in our Portland office.