From Grand Lake Matagamon, the East Branch of the Penobscot steadily tumbles downstream and is dotted with numerous Class I-II whitewater. However, there are many areas of slackwater, allowing ample time for fishing, swimming, and floating along in the canoe with the current. Rapids are encountered each day on this trip, beginning with the impressive, photo-worthy, and aptly named Stair Falls and culminating with Grindstone Falls, the largest rapid on the river that is nearly 2-miles in distance, from start to finish. In between these rapids, there are many other rapids, Class I-II that will excite even the veteran paddler and require maneuvering and knowledge of canoeing.
The scenic vistas on the East Branch of the Penobscot are some of the most impressive on any canoe trip available in the State of Maine. Soon after its outlet from Grand Lake Matagamon, paddlers are welcomed by sweeping, beautiful vistas of the Traveler Mountain range to the right. The stunning mountains appear to rise just off of the river, straight up, and are often cloaked in clouds and mist, lending itself to amazing photographs and beautiful scenery. Located in the heart of the famous Baxter State Park, the range features North and South Traveler, as well as Traveler Mountain (3,540’). Interestingly, the name of the Traveler Range was derived by log drivers on the East Branch of the Penobscot; the Traveler Mountains appeared to move downstream with the lumberjacks, a phenomenon that will be experienced by paddlers on the river.