The Water Trail
The Royal River Water Trail from Sabbathday Lake to Casco Bay provides a variety of paddling experiences and public water access points for paddling, swimming, birding, fishing, hunting, fiddlehead harvesting, picnicking, skating, and shoreline hiking, snowshoeing, skiing, and biking on conserved lands and parks. Click on the icons on the map below or on the pages to the right for information on each segment.
If you are looking for family friendly paddling, or some good paddling for beginners click here.
The Royal River
The Royal River flows 26 miles from its source at Sabbathday Lake to its mouth at Casco Bay and includes more than 100 miles of tributaries. The river flows generally southeast and falls approximately 300 feet from beginning to end. It encompasses about 141 square miles of mixed-use land and flows through Auburn, Gray, New Gloucester, North Yarmouth, and Yarmouth. Significant tributaries including the Chandler and the Cousins flow through Pownal, Durham, and Freeport. The Royal is a significant natural and cultural resource and has been central to the development of the economies along its banks. Its habitats, ranging from rich estuaries and salt marshes to freshwater perennial streams and vernal pools, support a variety of wildlife, including wading birds, waterfowl, fish, shellfish, and marine mammals. The Royal River has also been referred to as the Westcustogo River (meaning “muddy”), Royalls River, Royels River, Yarmouth River, and Pumgustuck River (meaning “falls at mouth of river”). The current name stems from the settlement of William Royall along the river in 1636.
Funding for the Royal River Water Trail comes from many sources including AVANGRID Foundation, Maine Outdoor Heritage Fund, L.L. Bean, Davis Conservation Foundation, Horizon Foundation, Elmina J. Sewall Foundation, and especially from individual and business donations to the Royal River Conservation Trust. A dozen land managers participate in the water trail including municipal boat ramps, municipal parks, Maine Coast Heritage Trust’s Lanes Island, and more. Thank you for your support.