Events downtown

Aug 07

Casco Bay Traverse
Location: 1 Cutter Street, Portland, Maine 04103, US
8:30 am - 3:00 pm
Event website

A Three-Day, Island-Hopping Journey Across Casco Bay!
There are more than 300 islands in Casco Bay, creating endless possibilities for exploration by sea kayak. This three-day trip crosses the breadth of the bay, visiting dozens of islands along the way. Nestled within these islands are some of our favorite campsites on the Maine Island Trail. Every trip is different, with a route tailored to fit the conditions and the group, but it’s common to visit Jewell Island, with miles of trails and wild beaches, or Whaleboat Island, a rarely-visited, forested preserve beside the open ocean.

Where You’ll Paddle
You’ll start out kayaking along the working waterfront of Portland harbor, past the scenic hamlets of the inner islands and past the exposed shorelines of the bay’s wildest islands. Along the way, you’ll pass hidden beaches and rugged, rocky headlands. It’s likely you’ll spend your first night on Jewell Island, a large, forested island with stunning cliffs and gorgeous trails to explore. Or you may head to Bangs Island, a less visited gem with panoramic views of the bay. From there you’ll island-hop towards Harpswell, either returning to Jewell or Bangs for a second night or camping on Whaleboat Island, Rasperry Island, Little Chebeague Island or another nearby site on the Maine Island Trail.

As you paddle across the bay you’ll encounter abundant wildlife like seals and seabirds, and you’ll experience a diverse range of marine environments, from exposed ocean shorelines to the calm waters of coastal estuaries. You’ll also witness fascinating remnants of the past, like abandoned forts and centuries-old lighthouses, and glimpses of the working waterfront that is the heart of Maine’s island communities.

The itinerary will depend on the conditions and the group. You can expect to paddle for several hours each day, with many breaks along the way. There will also be plenty of time for exploring and relaxing on the islands. Your guide will choose a route that takes maximum advantage of the wind direction and tidal currents, while ensuring that the group moves at a pace that is comfortable for all participants.