Casco Bay Portland Harbor around Orrs Island to Strawberry Creek

Portland, Maine

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1 Review
4 out of 5
This is a leisurely four-day trip starting in busy Portland Harbor and traveling up to quiet Harpswell Sound and back, stopping on state islands. Overnight trips in the Casco Bay area cannot be treated as casually as they once were because the residents have become far stricter about nonresident parking, especially overnight. Because Portland is one of the busiest shipping ports in New England, however, be prepared to give wide berth to intimidating, five-story oil tankers delivering most of the state’s oil, fishing vessels, and barges. Also add ferry boats, tour boats, and fleets of racing yachts to the list of craft to reckon with. Some sea kayakers consider such dodging a challenge. Others might want to opt for a launch farther north in the bay such as at Falmouth Foreside, Cousins Island, or Yarmouth out of shipping channels. Once out of Portland Harbor, you will be rewarded. Just a few miles out are deserted gems such as state-owned Crow, Jewell, and Little Chebeague, where you can camp, hike, swim, and explore in pristine privacy.
Sea Kayaking Along the New England Coast

DESCRIPTION FROM:

Sea Kayaking Along the New England Coast

by Tamsin Venn (Appalachian Mountain Club Books)

This is a leisurely four-day trip starting in busy Portland Harbor and traveling up to quiet Harpswell Sound and back, stopping on state islands. Overnight trips in the Casco Bay area cannot be treated as casually as they once were because the residents have become far stricter about nonresident parking, especially overnight. Because Portland is one of the busiest shipping ports in New England, however, be prepared to give wide berth to intimidating, five-story oil tankers delivering most of the state’s oil, fishing vessels, and barges. Also add ferry boats, tour boats, and fleets of racing yachts to the list of craft to reckon with.

Some sea kayakers consider such dodging a challenge. Others might want to opt for a launch farther north in the bay such as at Falmouth Foreside, Cousins Island, or Yarmouth out of shipping channels. Once out of Portland Harbor, you will be rewarded. Just a few miles out are deserted gems such as state-owned Crow, Jewell, and Little Chebeague, where you can camp, hike, swim, and explore in pristine privacy.

©  Tamsin Venn/Appalachian Mountain Club Books. All Rights Reserved.

Activity Type: Sea Kayaking
Nearby City: Portland
Distance: 35
Duration: 4 days
Season: Best spring through fall
Local Maps: NOAA #13290 at 1:44,400
Driving Directions: Directions to Casco Bay: Portland Harbor around Orrs Island to Strawberry Creek

Recent Trail Reviews

6/25/2006
0

We did not do this whole trip. Instead, we camped at the Orrs Island Campground, which was lovely (tenting sites have lovely views of Reeds Cove on Harpswell Sound). We launched right from the campground and headed up the Sound as the tide was coming in. We passed through the Narrows at the bridge connecting Orrs and Sebascodegan Islands and kayaked down Gun Point Cove to Ram Island and Pond Island. While paddling, we saw a couple of seals, many water fowl and some gull chicks. We crossed back to Bailey Island and landed on a beach to have lunch. Back in our boats, we kayaked down to the end of Bailey, traveling through Jaquish Gut and then back up the western shores of Bailey and Orrs Islands to return to our campsite. The views were lovely in spite of the low cloud cover that threatened rain through the whole trip. Much of the paddle was on very calm water in Harpswell Sound and Gun Point Cove. The journey on the eastern side and around the end of Bailey Island was challenging, with some chop and swells. Our GPS recorded the trip as nearly 16 miles and took us between 5 and 6 hours, not including our stop for lunch.



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