The one-mile segment of the Royal River through downtown Yarmouth, from Royal River Park at East Elm Street to the beginning of the tidal estuary at Yarmouth Town Landing, provides a rich variety of river experience that is highly varied dependent upon water levels. Either end of downtown has accessible boat launches for trips upstream or downstream toward Casco Bay. A remarkable network of shoreline trails and parks along the river provide for a wide range of recreation for all ages. Well-stocked fisheries attract anglers and kids year-round.
Between the launches at East Elm Street and Yarmouth Town Landing the dams and waterfalls along this segment create significant portages or expert whitewater opportunities. The whitewater in this stretch should only be paddled with extensive scoping before any trip. This section contains mandatory portages and very dangerous waterfalls, with highly varied conditions depending upon recent rain. Whitewater conditions vary significantly depending on recent rain amounts. Yarmouth schools and others use the lowest section of whitewater for instructional classes.
This stretch of river provides ample access for great bank fishing, especially between Sparhawk Mill and hte bay. Stocked for brown trout along with natural sea run fisheries, the ledges and rapids provide experiences for kids and adults.
Maps and Guides
- Royal River Water Trail: Royal River Park to Yarmouth Town Landing – Downloadable PDF
- Royal River Water Trail: Royal River Park to Yarmouth Town Landing – Brochure
- Royal River Water Trail at Maine Trail Finder
- Paddlers Guide – A five page written guide detailing the whitewater and portages of this segment
Boat Access Points and Destinations
- Yarmouth History Center at Royal River Park, East Elm Street, Yarmouth. Approaching here from upriver, paddlers pass beneath a train trestle. A short distance downstream of the trestle on river right is a boat launch and parking lot at the Yarmouth Historical Society. Paddlers should park on the opposite side of East Elm Street at Royal River Park, but may load and unload boats and gear at the launch.
- Yarmouth Town Landing provides water access and parking for a fee, rest rooms, and a boat launch for continuing down the estuary toward Casco Bay.
- Gooch Island is accessible at safe water levels. It can be legally accessed from Park Street to the northeast by wading.
Connecting Trails and 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.
- Royal River Park
- Grist Mill Field and Grist Mill Park
- Yarmouth Town Landing
- The Yarmouth History Center at East Elm Street has permanent history exhibits and displays for young people and adults.
Swimming from railroad bridges and travel along any rail line is illegal and deadly. The dam at East Elm Street is a mandatory Portage. It is the beginning of a stretch of river with extraordinary waterfalls and other risks.