On the Water

Saving summer with the paddle

Fri, 07/19/2013 - 8:00am

Congratulations, you made it to vacation.

But your hotel doesn't have Wi-Fi, the pool is closed and the kids won't stop complaining that they're bored.

Summer doesn't have to be this miserable. Instead of withering away in the heat, go explore the friendly waters of the Boothbay region.

Kayaking is the best way to stay cool while taking your family on an outdoor adventure. It's fun, healthy and relatively inexpensive.

A good starting point is Knickercane Island. Nestled between the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens and Hodgdon Island is this peaceful passage.  

Just park the car at the public landing, break out the kayaks and life jackets and leisurely drift away the afternoon on the Back River, where the water stays warm and the going is easy.     

If you've got time to spare, paddling south is a nice option. Keep the mainland on our left and head down the passage next to the botanical gardens. If the tide is relatively low, you can shoot through the giant culvert that empties into the Sheepscot River.

You'll pop out next to Indiantown Island, a pristine preserve partially owned by the Boothbay Region Land Trust. With public docking and hiking trails covering half the island, this might the place to park for an afternoon picnic on the rocks.  

From Indiantown you're now at the gates of the Sheepscot River, and there are plenty of things to do. Hike Ram Island's forest glades, straddle the isthmus of Spectacle Islands or lie on the picturesque sandy beaches of Powderhorn; the options are endless.

But if the sun is getting low, your internal gas tank is probably running close to empty. Better head home in time to get the lobsters steaming before dinner.  

Simply paddle through the waterway that splits the southern tip of Barters Island with Sawyers Island. This route will loop you under the Barter's Island swing before switching back around to the Knickercane boat launch.

You've made it!

Not only did you conquer Maine in your Crocs and kayak, you've heroically saved your summer vacation. Time for a margarita.


  • Always allow more time than you think the trip will take.
  • Always bring plenty of fresh drinking water. You're not a camel.
  • Always check the tide chart on www.boothbayregister.com, so as not to end up the creek without water.