Paddling at Maine Huts & Trails

Maine Huts & Trails is the perfect summer destination for paddlers, with easy access to scenic Flagstaff Lake. You can bring your own non-motorized boat, or use ours; Maine Huts members get free access to canoes, kayaks, and stand-up paddleboards at Flagstaff Hut.

Where to Paddle

Flagstaff Hut is situated on the sandy shores of Flagstaff Lake, and it's the perfect place to spend a sunny summer day. The lake is large but relatively shallow, and is bordered by the soaring peaks of the Bigelow Preserve. This unique landscape can cause unexpected strong winds across the water, so paddling beyond our protected cove is only recommended for strong, experienced paddlers. For a more relaxing experience, consider taking a stand-up paddleboard, canoe, or kayak to explore the shoreline where you'll be safe from high winds. 

Dam Releases

If you're planning a paddle trip on the Dead River, be sure to check the dam release schedule first.
For an updated whitewater release schedule, see Trail Conditions  
For current conditions check: USGS Website or the Waterline Website

Unguided Paddle Trips

Two-Day Flagstaff Paddle: Put in at Eustis/Stratton, spend the night at Round Barn Campsite (at the base of the Safford Brook Trail near the Bigelows), and paddle in to Flagstaff Hut the next day.
Northern Forest Canoe Trail: For more mileage and adventure, follow the famed Northern Forest Canoe Trail. This is a rigorous pursuit, so be prepared for high winds and rough water.

Learn more here >>

Warning iconWind Warning
Please remember that Flagstaff Lake is very large and often windy. A fun afternoon paddle could quickly turn into a dangerous evening, so please honestly consider your own abilities (and those of your weakest paddlers) before planning any lake crossing.

Guided Paddle Trips

From island camping in the middle of Flagstaff Lake, to a group trip down the Dead River, it’s always more fun to travel with the confidence of a registered Maine guide. Without worrying about your gear or directions, you’ll be free to fully enjoy an escape into the wild, learning more about the history of the area, and the plants and animals native to the western Maine mountain region. 

Guided Paddle Trips >>

Using Boats and Paddleboards

Canoes, kayaks and paddleboards at Flagstaff Hut are free for members to use. Non-members can purchase an individual membership at the hut for $50, giving access to 1 boat, or a $100 family membership, giving access to 2 boats. Use of boats is on a first-come, first-served basis and cannot be reserved in advance.
For information on membership perks and to become a member, click here:

Warning icon
Individuals paddling to Grand Falls Hut via the Long Falls Dam portage must return the boats to Flagstaff Hut; no boats may be left at Grand Falls Hut, the same rates/policies apply. All boats must be checked out by hut staff and liability forms must be filled out. A credit card will be required with any boat use. Any damage or loss to boats will be billed to the user.