Motors Allowed?
Easy / Class A
1.60 mi (2.57 km)
Please respect the outdoors by practicing Leave No Trace. Learn more about how to apply the principles of Leave No Trace on your next outdoor adventure here.

In the mid-coast region of Maine, adventurers will find the idyllic seaside town of Camden. The town’s slogan, “Where the Mountains Meet the Sea,” describes Camden’s picturesque location between the Penobscot Bay and the Camden Hills. With abundant natural scenic beauty and an accessible harbor, Camden is a perfect place to launch a scenic Maine kayaking adventure.

Even though kayaking in the harbor is typically an easy adventure, paddlers must understand local conditions for their own safety, particularly paying attention to other boating activities, changing weather and tides. Kayakers should consider going on a guided tour with a local outfitter. The outfitter will provide the proper equipment necessary, in addition to knowing the safety issues. Another advantage to having a local guide is the opportunity to learn interesting history about the area and identifying native wildlife.

Departing from a stony beach launch site in Camden, adventurers will paddle through the active harbor. Kayakers maneuver around moored boats and get close-up views of boats sailing from the harbor to the sea. Paddlers taking the kayaking adventure during Camden’s annual Windjammer Festival, held in early September, will have a fabulous opportunity to see a variety of magnificent windjammers and historic schooners sailing in and out of the harbor.

At the entrance to the harbor is Curtis Island. This adventure includes paddling from Camden, across the harbor and around the island with its picturesque lighthouse. The exact distance depends upon navigating through the harbor and how close kayakers paddle around the island. Even when the ocean is calm, the water on the harbor side of the island is noticeably calmer than on the ocean side of the island where paddlers need to be aware of some protruding rocks.

Curtis Island is a public park, and kayakers may land on a rocky beach, secure the kayaks and explore the island. The view of Camden is particularly beautiful looking across the boat-filled harbor to the town and the hills beyond.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)




Parking Pass


Open Year-round


Open from

June 12 to September 20


Ocean kayaking primarily in harbor. Lovely scenery. Permitted to land on island.


Must be aware of tides. Rocks near the island.

Pets allowed

Not Allowed

Put-in location (lat, long coordinates)

44.208430, -69.060003

Take-out location (lat, long coordinates)

44.208430, -69.060003

Water Temperature

61.00 °F (16.11 °C)


Family friendly
Big vistas

Trail type




Typically multi-day


Shuttle required


Site characteristics: Water


Portage required



Nearby Lodging + Camping


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