For hundreds of years, one of the greatest resources that Central Maine has is the mighty Kennebec River.  It has provided fish for the area's residents, provided ice (prior to the invention of modern refrigeration), provided power for the mills on of the 19th and 20th centuries, and was the main means of transport for many generations.

These days, it provides thousands of locals and visitors with recreational opportunities.  Boating, kayaking, Sturgeon watching...  But, can you swim in it?

The answer?  Yes and no.

It all depends on where you want to swim in the Kennebec River.

According to a recent article in the KJ, since 1986, it has been illegal to swim in the Kennebec River on, or adjacent to, city property.  This effectively bans swimming in the Kennebec River within city limits.  In theory, you would still be able to swim in the river adjacent to private property.  However, according to the article, almost all of the riverbank is city property.

The reason for this was the tremendous amount of pollution that existed in the river at that time.

These days, the river is much cleaner than it was back then.  However, critics of allowing swimming in the river say that it should still be banned because there are concerns about safety.  The strong currents and the potential for debris in the river, for example.  Another concern is that, in the City of Augusta, the river is also designated for use as a "runway" for sea planes.

Recently, a change was made to the nearly four decade old law.  Now, because of the upcoming Ironman competition, which will feature at 1.2 mile swim in the Kennebec River, you can now swim in the river.  All you have to have is written permission from the Harbor Master first.

When it comes to swimming on the river in other municipalities, you would need to check with their individual town / city offices.

If you were caught swimming in the river, you could get a fine of up to $100.

Private Maine Island Rental

The private island is located off the coast of Stonington / Deer Isle. It can be rented for about $1,000 per night from VRBO.

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