I went rafting on the Penobscot River with family and friends. This was my 3rd rafting trip, but my first time on the Penobscot. Maureen, the owner, was EXTREMELY accommodating and helpful. This company has excellent customer service and is a great choice for those who are coordinating a group because Maureen allows each group member to book and pay for his or her reservation directly instead of having the group coordinator make the reservation and payment for the entire party. This saved me a lot of headaches! She is also available by phone and email for hours beyond "regular" business hours.
The rafting experience itself was good. The Penobscot river is BEAUTIFUL and has great whitewater. The trip literally takes all day. We met at 7:30 to get prepped for the trip, and did not return until late afternoon. My only complaints are related to the itinerary: There is a pretty long and bumpy drive to the river, which the guides unsuccessfully try their hardest to make pleasant. You raft the lower river first, which only has 2 or 3 major whitewater segments (beginning with a 12 ft. waterfall--several people fell out their rafts at this point), but there is definitely a lot of rowing to do. You break for bathrooms and lunch. WARNING: The outhouses are DISGUSTING, and there is no where to wash your hands before you eat. By this time, you are tired. After lunch, before you have time to digest your food thoroughly, you get back on the bumpy bus and try to hold your food down and stay awake while you ride to the put in for the more intense part of the river. I must say--there are some awesome rapids in the second half!!! However some are pretty technical and require precision and are not for the faint of heart. There is also a lot of time between rapids in this half of the trip. I think it would be better to raft the upper half and then the lower half instead of the other way around, to end the trip on a relaxing note (since you're already tired by the afternoon). I think that many of the other companies do it in that order for a reason. Just a suggestion.
I've had better experiences rafting the Kennebec River with the U.S. Rafting company in The Forks, but Penobscot Adventures is pretty good, too. And the views from the Penobscot are unbeatable. My 10 year-old rafted the lower river only and asked to do it again the next day. A friend of mine, who was a first time rafter, also had a blast!!!
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