Moose was eager to take a relaxing water trip, focused more on sunshine and kicking up our feet, rather than fighting 5 ft. waves in the ocean. She did some research and chose the Saco River as the weekend's destination. Draining from the White Mountains in New Hampshire, the river flows 134 miles before it empties into the Atlantic via Saco Bay just south of Portland.
Moose decided the starting point would be at Swan's Falls in Fryberg, Maine where we stayed at a lovely forested campground aside the river. A beautifully warm, clear and moonlit night allowed us to set up our tent in our coined "half moon" set-up to sleep under the stars.
After morning coffee and bagels, we headed over to the river to unload our kayaks and camping gear for the night. Then Moose waited with the gear while Teton drove over to Saco River Canoe and Kayak to meet up with a shuttle that would lead him to a riverside parking lot in East Brownfield where we would leave our vehicle to retrieve the next day. The shuttle driver brought him back to Swans Falls and we were ready to go!
The Saco River is a popular destination where most people come to leisurely float down the river all day, usually shuttled by a campground shuttle service. This time of year was not best for those in hopes of lounging. Low waters made for hardly any current, and floaters were left to either walk or paddle themselves through the waters. We expected to paddle, so this was no problem for us, but there were times when the water level was so low, we were forced to drag our boats across the sandy beaches.
The greenery and scenery were plentiful and the water was warm. We spent a great day, first getting ahead of the crowds, then slowly making our way down the river, stopping to cool off with riverside rope swings and to cool off with sips of beer. The many sandy beaches all along the river were great places to stop for snacks and to explore the woods.
14 miles later, we agreed to stop to set up camp for the night at an empty beach along the river. Teton unloaded the firewood and started a fire (we obtained a fire permit from the campsite office) while Moose gathered kindling and set up the tent. Another moon bright cozy night in our sleeping bags.
With only 6 miles to our car, we found more places to play on swings as we made our way down to the Brownfield Bridge totaling a 20.17 mile trip. The hour drive back to Portland lead us to Po' Boys and Pickles, one of our favorite spots to eat in Portland. A relaxing getaway to add on the list of summer adventures...