Playspot: USA, Maine, Wiscasset area, Sheepscot River, Sheepscot Falls
What's it like
Reversing falls on the Sheepscot River. The waves and holes are formed by the outgoing tide dropping over a ledge. The flow begins 2 1/2 - 3 hours after high tide in Portland. (Tide charts are available at LL Bean, the Internet or in the local newspapers.) The greater the difference in high and low tide heights, the better the wave.
Typically boaters squirt the eddie line while waiting for the wave to form. As the flow changes the wave gets steeper and more hole-like. There is a second wave/hole behind the first one and several other spots along the ledge to play in. There is plenty of room for novices to play while the wave is busy and also lots of room for swimming and multiple roll attempts/practice.
Try sunrise surfing here. Absolutely beautiful. Just you and the sea birds in a postcard setting.
How to get there
Take Rt. 1 to Wiscasset. Head north out of town on Rt. 218. Turn right on Sheepscot Cross Rd. (street sign is on the left). You will cross the river and can see if the falls have 'reversed' by looking right. Take the next right. You will pass a church and some houses. Turn down the next right (unpaved) road 0.5 miles and take the next right down a smaller dirt road. Parking is limited. This looks like you are entering private property and you are! Follow the footpath on the right of the parking area down to the put in on the upstream side of the falls and float around the point. Take out is on the downstream side of the peninsula.
Wiscasset has good food. Try Sarah’s (by the bridge) for gourmet pizza and micro-brews. The Maine coast is very crowded on summer weekends. Don’t miss the tide stuck in traffic on Rt 1. If you really move and have enough daylight, you can catch Blue Hill and Sheepscot in one day.
Good spot for spectators.
It is amazing that the people who live on this point are willing to share it with boaters and fishermen (especially the parking). Please keep this in mind when visiting Sheepscot and leave only footprints. The local paddlers are very friendly. Don’t screw up their play spot. If you're on the Maine coast, strap on the boat, it’s worth the trip!
Maine AMC Guide
DeLorme Maine Atlas and Gazatteer
Nearest weather station (°F):