Put-in/Take-out: Brown’s Beach, Bennoch Road, Orono
Distance: 15 miles
Paddling Time: 3-4 hours
Known Hazards: The Stillwater has many stone cribs filled with rocks, some clearly visible and others just below the water surface. The cribs were used during the logging era. They are generally about 20 ft. from both shores, with most in the area from Brown’s Beach to just upstream of the UMaine Steam Plant. The Penobscot is likewise an industrial river with many cribs held together with metal spikes.
Brown’s-to-Brown’s. In the 1990’s there was an organized race of this course.
Start at Brown’s Beach, paddling upstream to the Stillwater Dam portage.
Portage 1: Stillwater Dam. The official portage is well signed with a mucky bottom at the take-out, but a large, well cleared and easy to follow trail that crosses the hydro facility access road and continues along the river. Continue paddling upstream, passing under Stillwater Avenue, to the small island below Gilman falls; pass this on river left.
Portage 2: Gilman Falls. Passing under Rt. 43, and just past the cement supports for the bridge are some ledges, still on river left. This is a somewhat difficult take-out, but the portage trail is accessible here. Carry above the dam, through a small parking area, and continue paddling upstream, bearing right.
Portage 3: Old Town Dam
Portage 4: Shad Rips
Portage 5: Great Works Rapid
Portage 6: Orono Dam
Eric Gallandt, C-1 Marathon, 2016: 3:00:41
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