Oh The Dead River!

The Dead River is an amazing natural resource has Maine’s most continuous stretch of whitewater. It also has some of the state’s most difficult rapids, but the river gets its name for a very different reason.  Here are three old stories about how the Dead River got its name. All ridiculous of course accept the real one.

Story #1

In the early days that this area was first settled, there was a great flood. The water was higher than any of the settlers had ever seen, and it washed out a riverside cemetery. As a result, the caskets were all floating downstream. The river had no name at the time, so hence they called it the Dead River. Not True

Story #2

Benedict Arnold left Boston with his troops to attack Quebec City. They came up the Kennebec from the Atlantic and up the Dead. They dragged their boats upstream through fall and into winter. Two thirds of his men died of starvation, and froze to death on the expedition. Many which perished on river north of The Forks. Ever since this tragedy the body of water has been named the Dead River! Not True.

Story #3

The Dead River starts from its head waters by the Canadian border north above Eustis, Maine. For a long stretch from by Rangeley, Maine it flows calm and smooth. This leads the river into what has been dammed up to create Flagstaff Lake. The shallow swampy stretch of river also flows slowly. The Native American’s had a term that meant, “flat, near motionless river”, and was translated into English as the DEAD RIVER! So how about that… The real reason she is called the Dead River.

Last Blast 2017

The big release that we call Last Blast of 6,000+ cubic feet per second (cfs) was created, because the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission License (FERCL) governs the operation of Long Falls Dam. FERCL has to maintain the pond to near a full until after October 1st. After this date they can begin to draw the lake down to its’ maximum draw down of 19ft for winter snow, ice and flood management in the watershed.  As a result, on the first Saturday in October each year we get this massive release of water. Over the years the event has been named LAST BLAST, and normally marks the end of the rafting season in The Forks.  Come on up and join in all the fun…

Last Blast October 7th, 2017  Dead River Release 6000+cfs, Pig roast, Giant Bonfire and JC and The Pickups Live.

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