Intervale Road to Penney Road

Intervale Road (Route 231), downstream to Penney Road.

RRCT’s Intervale Preserve provides good parking and safe access at two different road crossings, down steep muddy banks for fishing, hunting, birding, and paddling. The narrow winding river can be challenging in this section.

Easily printed 8.5 x 11 PDF

Paddling Guide

ACCESS POINT: RRCT’s Intervale Preserve, Rte 231 (GPS 642 Intervale Road): Boat access with good parking is available at the Intervale Road parcel of RRCT’s Intervale Preserve on Route 231 in New Gloucester. Steep muddy banks and a narrow river with obstacles make this access point suitable for informed adventurers, bird hunters, and others.  Due to slow currents, depending on water levels, paddlers can go upriver from some distance until hitting beaver dams, or downriver four miles to Penney Road.

The trip from Intervale Road to Penney Road:  The four mile stretch from these two RRCT boat access points deserves a sense of adventure. There are many obstacles in the first few miles including shallow logs that can be floated over in all but the lowest water, and piles of jackstraw that require more careful navigation.  Immediately after the takeout at the Penney Road bridge, there is a steep 30′ rapid ending in a pool. Access at both ends involves steep banks. Roughly one mile of the shoreline on this trip is conserved by the Royal River Conservation Trust, with open public access from the shoreline.

This stretch of river is a 20- to 50-ft wide canyon with 4- to 8-ft banks running between fields and woodland, but 15 minutes after you launch, all signs of civilization are gone. No traffic noise, no houses; only you and nature. The river has a firm, sandy bottom where you can splash through the shallows, and deep pools as well. Huge hardwoods overhang the stream and create a shady tunnel. Transmission lines and the sound of fast-moving water signal your arrival at Penney Rd.

ACCESS POINT:  Penney Road (RRCT’s Intervale Preserve, non-contiguous parcel).  In late 2017, RRCT secured public access on the upriver easterly corner of the Penney Road bridge. Parking is available on the road shoulder, or with clearance on the unimproved gravel road. This access point will be disrupted in 2019 due to CMP powerline improvements, and will be upgraded following that work.  Due to slow currents, paddling is available either upriver or downriver.


  • It is never safe nor legal to travel along railroad tracks.
  • Please always respect private landowners, especially respecting “posted” signs.  Please respect fire department and water district “no  parking” or “access by permission signs.”
  • All rivers require attention to safety.  Paddling conditions vary according to weather and season, so always exercise caution and always wear a life jacket. With good judgment and proper equipment, risks can be reduced. Paddlers should seek to avoid causing erosion, trampling vegetation, disturbing wildlife, and harming water quality.

Carry In/Carry Out (Leave no trace!)
Please plan to remove trash left by others, to improve the experience for everyone.