Capt. Ed Rice has been boating on the rivers of Midcoast Maine since he was a kid, so I couldn’t have found a more qualified guide to show me around the Kennebec River. Rice’s company, River Run Tours, is based in downtown Bath, a somewhat overlooked Maine city with a long and fascinating seafaring past. Today it’s where you’ll find the Maine Maritime Museum and the Bath Iron Works, plus a host of restaurants and shops. The city also welcomes transient boaters with a free public dock, 2 excellent launch ramps and a marina with slips and moorings.
While most of Rice’s customers want to see lighthouses, lobster boats and other iconic coastal Maine sights, a different but no less interesting world awaits upriver. I got a taste of it last August, when Rice took me in his roomy, stable 25’ pontoon boat from Bath’s Kennebec Marina to Merrymeeting Bay.
Along the way he pointed out the remains of long-gone shipyards, ferry landings, a boy’s camp, a tidal-powered mill, and a herring cannery. We also saw osprey, bald eagles and seals. As for Merrymeeting Bay, it’s a magical place fed by no less than 6 rivers and home to all sorts of wildlife. Boaters and kayakers can explore the shallow bay and picnic on its islands and shores. There’s even a sandy bar that appears on the lower stages of the tide where kids can romp in the warm shallows.
For more information on boating in Bath, Maine, check out our Boater’s Guide article on the city by CLICKING HERE.
For information on River Run Tours, contact Capt. Ed Rice at (207-504-BOAT) or visit the website by CLICKING HERE.
- Rice runs hourly, half-day, full-day, evening and custom tours of the Kennebec and Sheepscot Rivers, including coastal locations, in his safe, seaworthy 25’ pontoon boat. He can also arrange picnic lunches and can take you to and from waterside restaurants by boat.
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