The Dead River offers the longest stretch of contiguous whitewater in the New England area. This is a very special rafting opportunity with limited releases each season. Check our pricing and schedule sheet for more information on the Dead River launch dates.
About the Dead River
The Dead River is one of Maine’s best kept secrets. It’s a dam controlled river with semi-regular releases throughout the spring, summer and fall. The releases vary in volume creating a unique rafting experience everytime you raft the Dead River.
Depending on the release level, we offer various trips and options. With the high water releases, we take our larger rafts to tackle the river’s rapids. With the medium releases, we’ll take our smaller rafts. For the recreational levels, we break out our inflatable kayaks to enjoy the Dead River.
The Dead River boasts the largest stretch of whitewater in the New England area. People come from hundreds of miles around to get the chance to enjoy the Dead River.
Most large river releases occur in the earlier part of the season (May & June) with a couple of large releases at the end of the season (Sept. & Oct.). Please check our rafting schedule for more information on the Dead River release dates.
Dead River Quick Facts
Scheduled Release Dates (check schedule)
May – early October
14+ miles of nearly continuous whitewater
Class III – V
Riverside Lunch & Bonfire
Unparallel wilderness beauty
High water in Spring & Fall
Warm medium releases during summer
What to Expect
We start our Dead River trips at our rafting base at 8:00am. After check-in, orientation, equipment distribution and a safety lecture, we board our shuttle bus with destination to the river. The Dead River contains several dozen rapids, so be prepared for a workout. Lunch is served at our riverside lunch site.
After floating down the Dead River, we take out in the town of The Forks (named for the confluence of the Kennebec and Dead rivers) and travel back to our rafting base in Jackman for a slide show of the day’s journey.
There are three primary water flow levels which are released on the Dead River. The Dead River managers make determinations ahead of the season as to what size release to make and they publish a schedule that we base our launches on.
For the largest release dates, we bring our fullsize rafts. For the moderate releases, we take our smaller rafts which allow more manuverability and bigger splash. For the recreational releases, we take our personal inflatable kayaks which allows single person operation.
Our Trips on the Dead River
High Water Releases
Big Water Splash of the Dead RiverRafting the Dead is a unique privilege thanks to scheduled dam releases. This exhilarting class III-V run is just plain fun with 14 miles of almost non-stop action including memorable rapids like “Hayden’s Landing,” and “Poplar Falls.” We feed you a hearty riverside lunch. These popular big water dates fill up fast so don’t be left high and dry.
The high water releases are typical only in the spring and fall. We can usually expect at least 4-5 high water releases before the middle of June and at least 2-3 at the end of the season in September and October.
Because of the high demand and limited availability for the high water Dead River trips, please be sure to book your trip as early as possible. Whitewater enthusiasts from all over book these trips up early.
Please check our pricing and schedule page for more information on the Dead River high water release dates. Minimum age is 14 yrs.
10 big spring and fall release dates
Huge waves with almost non-stop class III to V whitewater
Great riverside lunch and bonfire
Perfect for those seeking an extra challenge
Minimum age, 14 yrs
Small Raft Medium Water Releases
Raft the Dead from a new perspective in a 6 person “wet ride” raft which allows for more agility and bigger splash. As you manuever the boulders and drop down the chutes, you will experience the river in a whole new way. Check out this trip! It is a very unique and exhilierating experience.
Please check our schedule and pricing page for more information on the Small Boat Dead River release dates. Minimum age is 10 yrs.
Four summer release dates
Warm water rafting
Class III whitewater
“Surfing” in our 4-6 person small rafts
Relaxing riverside lunch
Minimum age, 10 yrs.
Inflatable Kayaking Recreational Releases
Relatively Calm Spot on the Dead RiverExperience the Dead at a “recreation” level as you pilot your own craft through channels and chutes buried by the bigger Dead River releases. Have a hearty lunch on the river and enjoy the unspoiled scenary as our guides point out the way. Combine this trip with a big water release for an amazing experinece.
Please check the schedule and pricing page for more information on the recreational level Dead River release dates.