The Penobscot River is a rich ecological and recreational resource bordered by working forests, farms, and private lands. The campsites established along the Penobscot River are made possible through the generosity of private landowners, who may withdraw the privilege at any time. The long-term success of this unique partnership depends on the responsible participation of all trail users. Please follow these guidelines:


  • Please note that all islands in the Penobscot belong to the Penobscot Nation. Unauthorized access is illegal. Permission is required to land.
  • Anglers: Maine fishing laws are subject to change year by year. A valid license and updated knowledge of laws are necessary. You are responsible for following all angling rules and regulations.  

On The Water

  • Share the river. Give anglers a wide birth, and be efficient while loading and unloading boats at busy access points.
  • Respect wildlife. Observe wildlife from a distance, and do not disturb nesting birds or basking turtles.
  • Prevent the spread of invasive exotic species. Clean and dry your boats and gear thoroughly between each trip.

At the Campsites

  • Respect private property: Use designated sites. All campsites have been provided through generosity of private landowners. Access is a privilege, not a right.
  • Access campsites from the river only. Land based access is prohibited unless indicated otherwise.
  • Limit your stay to no more than two nights per site. Campsites are designed for downriver trips, and this helps ensure there will be room for everyone. 
  • Respect the landowner’s property and crops by staying within the designated campsite areas.
  • Note the campsite’s capacity. Generally, the maximum group size at river campsites is ten campers. However, many campsites are only suited for smaller groups.
  • Be mindful of campsite closures. Most campsites are only open from mid May to mid October. Others may be closed due to maintenance, by the wish of landowners, or due to abuse from users. Check the website for updates.

Leave No Trace

  • Leave each campsite in better shape than you found it. Carry out all trash you find at the site, including food waste, to keep the campsite clean and to avoid temptations for local wildlife.
  • Stay within the designated campsite area. Respect the landowner’s property and crops.
  • Be careful where you walk. Protect the shore vegetation and the fragile soil it depends on by traveling on existing paths and hard surfaces. The roots of shore vegetation bind soil together and prevent erosion. Do not bushwhack through dense vegetation – and beware of poison ivy.
  • Use a portable stove for cooking. Fires are forbidden at most sites. 
  • Dispose of human waste properly. When available, use the privies provided (bring your own toilet paper). If no privy is available, bury human waste in a 6-8 inch cathole at least 200 feet away from the water.
  • Wash away from the river. All washing should be done at least 75 feet from the river.
  • Support Trail Development and Stewardship
  • Consider making a donation. Campsites require annual maintenance to keep them safe for paddlers and to prevent damage to the environment. Make a donation online today.
  • Volunteer. We need help maintaining campsites and access points. 

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