Chosen By: C
Location: Matagamon to Medway, Penobscot County
Description: In this stretch, the Penobscot descends through gorgeous, unspoiled scenery in a remote region east of Baxter State Park and features waterfalls and demanding rapids. It also includes flat waters that provide prime habitat for wildlife. Much of the property here is owned by Elliotsville Plantation, Inc., a Maine-based foundation that is proposing to donate the land (and a $40 million endowment) for a national park and national recreation area.
Activities: Paddling (quiet stretches and whitewater), wildlife watching, scenery viewing
Favorite Season(s) to visit: Summer
Why It’s Special: Great wildlife sightings, superlative whitewater, impressive waterfalls, and gorgeous scenery—what more could you ask for?
Tips: Inquire at Matagamon Wilderness Campground and Store to make sure water levels are high enough for paddling.
More Info and Directions: Excellent map (Thoreau-Wabanaki Trail, East Branch of the Penobscot River) available from University of Maine Press, 126A College Ave., Orono Maine, 04473; Matagamon Wilderness Campground and Store at put-in, just downstream from the dam that creates Grand Lake Matagamon. http://www.matagamon.com/