above-average snowfall in the region this winter will translate into higher-than-average volumes of whitewater come spring thaw. This is only enhanced by May and June dam releases, where the fast current results in a rip-roaring, adrenalin-pumping ride. Look no farther than Maine’s Dead River. It’s a long drive on logging roads to reach the Spencer Rips put-in near The Forks, but once there, be prepared for a glorious run on the longest stretch of continuous whitewater in New England.
The Dead churns along 16 miles of almost nonstop Class III and IV rapids. There are no bridges, roads, or other signs of civilization until the end, just an exhilarating romp through big water on rapids with names like Minefield, Humpty Dumpty, and Big Poplar Falls.
Go with a reputable outfitter such as Northern Outdoors, which has been introducing clientele to Maine whitewater since 1976. Scheduled dam releases are May 4, 11, and 26, June 1 and 8. Cost for the full-day adventure ranges from $84-$109 per person, including lunch and a guide, with a minimum age requirement of 15. www.northernoutdoors.com/site/rafting/dead-river-rafting.html