This is the Spring to Raft the Penobscot River in Maine

The whole eastern half of the US is getting walloped this winter with snow. Come spring, the melt-off will produce some of the best whitewater we’ve had in years. This week, I’m going to delve into my 5 favorite whitewater rafting locales in the East. You’d be wise to book one of these trips in May and June, when water levels will be highest, making these rivers especially fast. First up is the Penobscot River in Maine. The 14-mile stretch of the West Branch of the Penobscot River from Ripogenus Gorge to Baxter State Park is a turbulent waterway that drops over 70 feet per mile through a narrow, granite-walled canyon. Within moments of leaving the put-in, you’ll cruise over your first set of rapids, the Exterminator, with Baxter Mountain looming in the background. Next up is Troublemaker and then Cribworks, the most ferocious rapid of them all. Your day will swiftly become an exhilarating blur of running over these steep falls, screaming with your friends and family, as the raft bends, twists, and turns backwards with every succeeding drop. Go with a reputable outfitter like Northern Outdoors, who have been cruising down the Maine rivers since 1976.