Intervale Road to Penney Road

thumbnail of RRWT_IntervaleRd_PenneyRd_smallThis four mile segment of the Royal River Water Trail features New Gloucester’s Intervale Preserve.  The Intervale provides some of our watershed’s most valuable habitat for migratory birds, waterfowl, and game birds. This section of the water trail begins at the boat launch at the RRCT Intervale Preserve at Intervale Road (Route 231) and ends at the boat launch at RRCT’s Intervale Preserve at Penney Road. Both preserves have good parking, though hand-carry boat access at both ends involves steep muddy banks. This is a good segment for fishing, hunting, and birding in addition to paddling.

At higher water levels this segment still enjoys slow currents, so paddlers may be able to venture upstream from the Intervale Road boat launch until hitting impassable beaver dams.

Headed downstream from Intervale Road, the four mile stretch to Penney Road is narrow and winding, and can be challenging. 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.  This stretch of river is a 20- to 50-ft wide canyon with steep muddy banks. It runs between fields and woodland, but minutes after launching from Intervale Road, all signs of civilization are gone. The river has a firm, sandy bottom with splashable shallows as well as deep pools. Large hardwood trees overhang the stream and create a shady tunnel. Roughly one mile of the shoreline on this trip is conserved by the Royal River Conservation Trust, with open public access from the shoreline. Transmission lines and the sound of fast-moving water signal your arrival at Penney Road. Immediately downstream of the takeout at Penney Road there is a steep 30 foot rapid ending in a pool.

More Information


Boat Access Points & Destinations

The Intervale Preserve at Intervale Road
Boat access with good parking is available at RRCT’s Intervale Preserve on Intervale Road (Route 231) in New Gloucester. Steep muddy banks and a narrow river with obstacles make this access suitable only for some paddlers. Information on trails, parking, directions, and more for this parcel is HERE.

The Intervale Preserve at Penney Road
There is public boat access at this Parcel 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.  Information on trails, parking, directions, and more for this parcel is HERE.

Connecting Trails & Preserves

Looking for an adventure out of the boat? Here is more information on the land preserves & trails you can explore on foot along this segment.

  • Intervale Preserve – There are three segmented, discontinous parcels that make up the Intervale Preserve and this segment of the Royal River allows access to all three.
  • Pisgah Hill Preserve – Just a short drive from the Intervale Preserve at Penney Road, Pisgah Hill Preserve visitors can enjoy a one mile loop trail with scenic views from the Pisgah Hill summit and ridgeline, small old quarries, mixed forests, and beautiful ground cover of lichen and mosses.


New Gloucester Fairgrounds to Intervale Road ← Previous Segment
Next Segment → Penney Road to Wescustogo Park