Sunrise Canoe and Kayak

River guides since 1996.

Go canoeing or kayaking in Maine, it's good for the soul!

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St. John River, Northern Maine

**Guided Canoe Trip Info**

The grand river of the North Maine Woods flows north amidst 3.5 million acres of forest lands. Remote, wild and full of history, the Woolastook (as the natives named it meaning "goodly river") rises from a modest river to grand proportions in a matter of days as tributaries of similar size successively add to the rivers flow.

Trip Overview

Dates:7 days, May-early June
Cost:$1580/person (includes NMW fees)
30% non-refundable deposit to confirm dates
Balance due 2 weeks prior to trip
Where:Trip meets in Bangor, Maine
Included:canoeing and camping gear, all meals on river, transportation arrangements to and from the river from Bangor, North Maine Woods and river fees, guide services.
Not included: sleeping bags, personal items/clothing (a packing list will be provided), personal beverages, guides gratuities, fishing licenses, accommodations in Bangor.
Reservations:Sunrise Canoe and Kayak

Our Guided Trips

Our canoe trips are led by Master Maine Guides who have worked as professional river guides for over 20 years. Of all the rivers our guides have worked the St. John holds a special place in their hearts. Our tradition of running the St. John goes back a generation and our guides history of both working trips and as volunteers maintaining campsites for North Maine Woods predates the existence of Sunrise. The St. John is the longest trip we regularly run often leading two trips a season with three not unheard of and rarely missing a year so it comes as no surprise that our guides have spent close to a year of their lives poling, paddling, exploring, and sharing this magnificent river.

Before Your Trip

Our goal is to meet if not exceed your expectations while providing a river trip you will not soon forget. Your trip forms are very helpful to us in striving to meet this goal. Each individual should fill out and return a completed trip form to us at their earliest convenience.

Your guide will be in contact with you prior to your trip to answer any questions you might have concerning the trip or preparing for it. Your guide will also want your input in preparing the menu for the trip and may have specific questions for you after receiving your trip forms.


First Day Of Your Trip

Travel to the river via one of the North Maine Woods checkpoints where our party will register to use the river. Much of the travel will be over gravel roads. At the river, your guides will conduct a safety briefing and brief canoe orientation before heading down river including tips on packing your gear and group gear in your canoe and basic canoeing techniques. Usually we have lunch during the orientation/packing session, though sometimes we are able to head down river a ways before stopping for lunch.


Camping is at designated, spacious, beautiful, primitive sites along the river. These sites will have a picnic table, established fire ring, privy, and some may have picnic shelters. As a rule, most of the sites on the St. John were old farms, homesteads, or logging depots at one time and it takes a few minutes to explore the possibilities before deciding on the best tent site for your evening space. Other than these few simple improvements there are no other services available along the river.

At your first camp, your guide(s) will assist you in setting up your tenting area for the first time including instruction on pitching your tent if you are using an unfamiliar model. After that there is time for swimming, fishing, exploring or just relaxing while dinner is being prepared by your guide(s) over an open fire.


Morning and evening meals are prepared by your guide over an open fire. The entrees change each day. Typical morning meals include ham and eggs, french toast and bacon, and pancakes with sausage accompanied with fresh fruit, cereal, juice, coffee, and tea. Evening meals include chicken stir fry, breaded pork chops with green beans, marinated steak with rice, or pasta dishes with a hearty red or white sauce accompanied by appetizer, wine, and dessert. Lunches are buffet style with deli meats and cheeses, bread or wraps, fresh fruits and vegetables, pickles, chips, and cookies.

Your guide will go over the planned menu with you before your trip and welcome any input regarding personal preference or dietary requirements you may have.


Fishing is primarily for Brook trout or Muskie (Muskelunge) and it is not uncommon for anglers to bring two completely different sets of rigging in order to chase both species. If fishing is a priority for you or your party an 8-day itinerary is recommended especially if you are going during the second half of the season.

If you plan to fish, a Maine fishing license is required. 7-day and seasonal licenses can be obtained online through the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife website ( or at most fishing supply retailers.

Day 2-3

The river grows noticeably as the waters of the Southwest and Northwest branches are added to the flow.

Day 4

At Seven islands the river braids around the numerous alluvial islands which give this beautiful valley it's name. 8-day itineraries will enjoy a short canoeing day somewhere along this stretch of the river.

Day 5-6

The confluence of the Big Black river just below the rapids magnifies the river to grand proportions for the final stage of the trip.

Last Day Of Your Trip

After covering the last few miles of the trip, we will negotiate Big rapids just before taking out and beginning our ride back to Bangor.

On this last day, we plan to arrive at the take out by noon or shortly after. After packing up and having lunch we will begin our ride back to Bangor. If you are flying out of Bangor the next day be sure to have made accommodations in Bangor for this night.


A minimum of 4 participants is required to run the trip. A 30% non-refundable deposit is required to confirm your dates.

Included in the price: services of registered Maine Master Guide(s), transportation to and from the river, all meals on-river which is typically lunch the first day through lunch the last day, and all canoeing/camping/packing gear.

Not included in the price: sleeping bags, personal items and clothing (a personal packing list will be provided to you), personal beverages, transportation round trip from Bangor, and fishing licenses.


Contact Sunrise Canoe and Kayak, Rob Scribner

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