DISCLAIMER- These put-ins were legal to use (as and when specified) when the descriptions were written. However, due to the vagaries of federal law, local ordinances, erosion, wind/wave conditions and other factors, we cannot ensure that you will not encounter legal issues when using these locations or that they will be safe for you, your vehicle or for launching and landing at all times. It is your responsibility to determine the legality, suitability and safety of these sites for yourself.
At all these launch sites, please be respectful of the locals and leave your vehicle as far from the launch as possible. Please spend the minimum amount of time on the ramp. Unless otherwise specified, there is no cost to launch/park. Most Maine municipalities are receptive to allowing overnight parking at launch sites. Contact local PD or Harbormaster for permission and protocols.
Names of put-ins link to maps.
Essex town boat ramp is the standard put-in for the Essex Bay. Parking at the boat ramp is for residents only, parking is behind the fire station (going north, just up the road take the left fork, and the fire station is a couple hundred feet on the left). There is no parking for non-residents at the boat ramp EVEN IN WINTER. On Route 133 in the center of Essex.
Corliss Landing Access to the Annisquam River. Take Route 128 N to Route 127 North, in about 0.25 mile, take a slight left onto Wheeler Street and then a left onto Apple Street.
Gloucester High School (Dunfudgin Landing) Access to the Annisquam River, just north of the Blynman Canal (aka “the cut”). Take Route 127 over the Blynman Canal Bridge. Turn left at light to Centennial Avenue. Go past the entrance for Gloucester High School and turn left on Emerson Ave. This is a busy powerboat launch; don’t obstruct.
Pavilion Beach (Gloucester) (aka the Greasy Pole) Take Route 127 over the Blynman Canal and drive 0.4 mile to the public landing on right. Small parking lot at the landing and street parking along the beach. Parking, if available, is free. Porta-potties at lot.
Lanes Cove on Cape Ann is on the northwest side of the Cape, providing a starting point for exploring the Annisquam or rounding Halibut Point to get to Rockport and the Dry Salvages. It’s on Duley Street, 0ff 127. Launch from the head of the cove and then park either in the main lot or back up on the main road – walking distance varies with the tide. You can also drive all the way back to the boat ramp against the seawall, and it’s a better low-tide launch. Free parking; no facilities.
Long Wharf Town Landing Access to quiet water off the Annisquam River. Off Atlantic Street (signed for Wingaersheek Beach). Free parking.
Pavilion Beach (Ipswich) is located where Plum Island Sound opens into Ipswich Bay. From here you can explore Plum Island, several tidal rivers, Crane Beach on Castle Neck, or perhaps paddle as far as Cape Ann. The beach is open to the sea, and you can get dumping surf. The currents are strong but manageable. From Ipswich, take Jeffreys Neck Road to Little Neck Road to Pavilion Beach. The strip of land between Great Neck and Little Neck is Pavilion Beach. Launching is permitted at the beach’s north end. Free parking; no facilities. As of 2021, parking is for Ipswich residents only on weekends; open on weekdays.
DO NOT LAND at the Parker River National Wildlife Refuge:
Launching or landing a boat on the Refuge is a violation of Federal regulations. All nautical charts make note that it is a violation to land on the Refuge beach, but also marsh areas are protected as well. This includes Grape Island, Middle Ground, Nelson Island, or any other marsh areas within the Refuge boundary. The Refuge is a place to protect wildlife and its habitat, and marsh areas provide critical feeding and nesting sites. Avoid disturbing the refuge and the possibility of receiving a fine; the rangers take their job seriously. Landing is permitted on Sawyer’s Island on Mud Creek, an Essex County Greenbelt property.
Riverhead Beach/ Devereux Beach On Ocean Ave, at the beginning of the causeway from Marblehead to Marblehead neck. Devereux Beach is on the right and Riverhead is on the left (very small driveway).
Riverhead gives direct access to the harbor and Salem Sound, although at low tide you’ll have to carry for a hundred yards or so of gravel, shells and sand – it is drivable. The paddle through the harbor is busy on summer weekends; watch out for the motor launches.
Devereux will give you access to the open ocean, the Swampscott coast, and Nahant Bay beyond. You will have no sheltered waters to hide in if the weather goes bad. Parking is $20 in the summer and there is a public restroom and snack bar accessible from both areas. Off season only as lifeguards don’t allow launching.
Nahant Beach is a favorite of surfers for its clean breakers. Nahant Causeway to boat launch and Long Beach at Nahant Beach Reservation, or Lynn Shore Drive to Red Rock Park and King’s Beach at Lynn Shore Reservation. For 2021, entry is $10 for MA residents, $40 for non-residents.
Front Beach is a good off-season put-in right in Rockport. Expect parking tickets in the summer. It’s on Beach Street, just west of Bearskin Neck.
Granite Pier is north of Rockport harbor. $10 parking.
Pebble Beach provides easy access to Milk Island and Thacher Island, and surfing opportunities. It’s a cobble beach; the “pebbles” are about 4 inches. On Penzance Road, off South Street off 127A. Pull all the way to the east end of the beach.
Penzance road has been subject to severe erosion in the past few years and has frequently been impassable or closed. When it’s open, there are also issues with parking in-season.
Winter Island is operated by the City of Salem from May 1-Oct. 31, parking is $5.00. There are camping, restroom and shower facilities here. This is a good location if you’re a solo or beginning paddler, providing shoreline viewing of Beverly and Marblehead depending on your direction. Boat ramp is at the south end of park. Alternatively you can launch from the beach near Fort Pickering light.
Dover Point/Hilton Park The boat ramp at the tip of Dover Point (Hilton Park) provides easy access to Little Bay, the upper Piscataqua River, and the Salmon Falls River. From Rt. 95 heading north, take exit 4 on to the Spaulding Turnpike (Hwy 16). After you cross the bridge, take the first exit to the boat ramp.
Portsmouth Harbor Peirce Island in Portsmouth is a popular public boat ramp. Get off Rt. 95 at exit 7 and follow the signs to Strawbery Banke. The turn for Peirce Island is just past the gardens on the left side of Marcy St. Open May-October. There may be a $10 fee for non-residents.
Rye Harbor This is the usual put-in when paddling to the Isle of Shoals. It is a State Boat Ramp with a parking and launching fee. On Rt 1A north of Rye Beach. Flush toilets. Lobster rolls, hot dogs, and the like in season; a good lunch stop.
Seabrook/Hampton Harbor There are several places in Hampton Harbor to put in, but only one that has free parking. It is about 20 yards from parking lot to water. This gives access to a large marsh area, Hampton/Seabrook Harbor and Hampton/Seabrook Beaches. At high tide it is a large lake while at low tide there are many channels to follow. Going under the bridge to the ocean can be a little rough depending upon the tide and winds. On the west side of Rt 1A, just south of the bridge from Seabrook to Hampton Beach. The parking lot faces Seabrook Harbor and there is easy access to a small beach.
Seavey Creek/Odiorne A popular put-in in the Portsmouth area (Rye, NH) is Seavey Creek, at the north/east end of Odiorne State Park on Rt 1A. Access to protected paddling in Little Harbor, currents around the bridges, or open water to Gerrish Island or Rye Harbor. There is free, sometimes congested parking on the north side of the Creek, and the launch is muddy. A $5 fee may be charged at the lot on the south side of the Creek, but there is a gradual cement launching surface. As of 2020, advance prepaid reservations may be required. Difficult at lower tides.
Maine (south to north)
Southern Region-Kittery to Freeport
Traip Academy (43.0858, -70.7394) Paved, all-tides ramp. Fee, when school not in session.
Pepperell Cove (43.0825, -70.7033) Crowded all-tides access. Unload boats/gear, then drive 0.35 mi. to primary school to park (43.0848, -70.7000) when not in session. If so inclined, heads-up courtesy call to local PD (207.439.1638).
Strawberry Island Launch (43.1337, -70.6477) Hand-carry beach launch, with limited daytime roadside parking. After unloading boat/gear, drive back to Rte 103 (Lilac Lane), turn left, and parallel park along eastern shoulder.
Footbridge Boat Ramp (43.2631, -70.5913) Fee; paved ramp, ample parking.
Wells Harbor (43.3203, -70.5643) Paved, all-tides launch with daytime parking.
Colony Beach/Breakwater (43.3472, -70.4743) Limited parking at beach for day use only.
Pier Road Launch (43.3677, -70.4497): Part–tide, gravel, hand-carry boat launch, with limited daytime parking for two vehicles on the upland shoulder at the head of the launch.
Vines landing (43.4471, -70.3552) All-tides launch with limited daytime parking.
Saco River/Front Street Boat Launch (43.4948, -70.4429) Paved, all-tides launch with ample parking.
Camp Ellis Launch (43.4627, -70.3818) Paved, all-tides launch ramp with ample daytime parking, restrooms. Fees to launch and park.
Pine Point Launch (43.5445, -70.3334) Paved all-tides fee launch ramp with ample daytime parking.
Ferry Beach (43.5430, -70.3227) Paved half-tide ramp. Fee for launch and daytime park.
East End Beach (43.6699, -70.2414) Unload at the seaside lot and carry the boats to the 1-sandy beach or 2-non-commercial, southern-most paved all-tides ramp, then park your car in the upper lot, OR off-street, opposite Eastern Prom Drive, where allowed, for overnight. Bathrooms are available. Kayaks cannot be launched from the middle commercial ramp.
Town Landing (43.7325, -70.2047) Avoid after Memorial Day/before Labor Day. Six spots for non-resident daytime and overnight parking (opposite Town Landing Market), after unloading gear at the beach launch, down a steep hill from parking lot.
Sandy Point Beach, Cousins Island (43.7733, -70.1452) Hand-carry to sandy beach. Heads up courtesy call to local PD for overnight parking (207.846.3333).
Winslow Park and Campground (43.8013, -70.1181) Paved half-tide launch ramp. Fees during open season.
Midcoast Region-Brunswick to Stockton Springs
Mere Point (43.8281, -70.0170) Paved all-tides launch ramp with ample daytime parking. Overnight parking with prior permission (207.721.4312)
Sawyer Park (43.9072, -69.8720) Paved all-tides launch ramp with ample daytime parking. Call local PD for overnight parking (207.725.5521).
Wharton Point Landing (43.8677, -69.9932) Gravel half-tide launch ramp with limited daytime parking.
Dolphin Marina (43.7395, -70.0408) Hand-carry to gravel/seaweed beach. Call to inquire about daytime and overnight parking fees (207.833.6000).
Garrison Cove Town Landing (43.7506, -69.9873) All-tides beach launch. Fee for parking at nearby cafe.
Holbrook St. Landing (Sebascodegan) (43.7991, -69.8884) Paved all-tides launch ramp with parking for 3 vehicles.
Lookout Point Town Landing (43.8083, -69.9934) Half-tide paved boat launch with limited daytime parking; call 207.833.6620.
Bailey Island-Land’s End (43.7179, -70.0023) Beach launch; daytime parking in gravel lot, uphill left.
Bethel Point Town Landing (43.7910, -69.9118) Paved all-tides launch ramp; parking for daytime or overnight at nearby boat yard (fee).
Bull Rock Road Landing (43.9061, -69.8703) Half-tide paved boat launch with daytime parking in off-streeet lot.
South End Boat Launch (43.8891, -69.8155) Paved all-tides launch ramp with ample daytime parking.
Morse Cove Public Launch (43.8725, -69.8007) Paved all-tides launch ramp with daytime and overnight parking (207.443.3114)
Head Beach (43.7194, -69.8499) Beach daytime parking; fee at gatehouse to private road.
Fort Popham (43.7546, -69.7840) Limited daytime parking; hand-carry to beach launch.
Robinhood Marine (43.8535, -69.7337) Paved all-tides fee launch ramp with daytime and overnight parking (207.371.2525).
Wiscasset Town Landing (43.9994, -69.6654) Paved all-tides launch ramps with limited daytime parking; restrooms.
Ferry Road Landing (43.9584, -69.6867) Paved all-tides free launch ramps with roadside parking; restrooms.
Knickerkane (43.8799, -69.6644) Paved all-tides free launch ramp, south side, with daytime parking.
Ocean Point (Grimes Cove) (43.8156, -69.5953) Half-tide concrete ramp with limited roadside parking.
Murray Hill Public Boat Launch (43.8622, -69.5907) Half-tide paved boat launch with daytime parking.
Newagen Town Landing (43.7866, -69.6549) Launch from a floating dock. Limited paved parking for 6 vehicles.
Town Boat Landing (44.0325, -69.5330) Paved all-tides launch ramp with daytime and overnight parking (207.563.5168).
Colonial Pemaquid State Historic Site (43.8797, -69.5204) All-tides beach launch with ample parking.
Round Pond Town Landing (43.9457, -69.4587) Paved launch ramp, fee (honor box), and limited parking.
Bremen Town Landing (43.9978, -69.4017) Shore or dock launch, ample parking.
Town Landing (44.0932, -69.3781) Paved all-tides launch ramp with ample parking.
Dutch Neck Public Landing (44.0398, -69.3707) Paved all-tides launch ramp with limited parking.
Bradford Point Landing (43.9707, -69.3277) Half-tide paved boat launch with limited roadside parking.
Wadsworth Point Landing (43.9930, -69.3025) Half-tide concrete ramp with limited daytime parking.
Hatchet Cove Landing (43.9829, -69.3468) Half-tide gravel ramp with limited daytime parking.
Town Landing (44.0722, -69.1826) Paved all-tides launch ramp with daytime and limited overnight parking.
Keag River Launch (44.0517, -69.1252) Half-tide paved launch ramp with daytime and limited overnight parking (with permission).
Port Clyde Public Landing (43.9265, -69.2595) Beach/mud hand-carry launch. Fee parking @ remote lot.
Tenants Harbor Public Landing (43.9653, -69.2089) Paved all-tides launch ramp with daytime and limited overnight parking (207.372.8217).
Birch Point Beach State Park (44.0390, -69.0973) Entrance fee. Hand-carry boats to beach launch.
Owls Head Harbor (44.0843, -69.0537) Unload boats/gear at the fine gravel shoreside beach at the bend in the road. Walk to northern end of the main lot, then glance westerly along a path to visualize the satellite parking lot, reachable off Lighthouse Road. Overnight parking permits available from Town Clerk’s Office (207.594.7434).
Snow Marine Park (44.0930, -69.1049) Paved all-tides fee launch ramp with daytime and overnight parking (207.594.0312).
Steamboat Landing (44.2092, -69.0586) Paved all-tides launch ramp with limited parking.
Town Ramp (44.2804, -69.0074) Paved all-tides fee launch ramp with limited daytime and overnight parking (207.763.3555).
Ruggles Park (44.3809, -68.9675) Hand-carry boats to all-tides beach launch.
Town Landing (44.4290, -69.0041) Paved all-tides fee launch ramp with daytime and overnight parking (207.338.1142).
Public Ramp/Hamilton Wharf (44.4533, -68.9255) Paved all-tides launch ramp with ample parking.
Cape Docks (44.4687, -68.8558) Wide all-tides launch ramp with ample parking.
Sandy Point Beach (44.5066, -68.8075) Hand-carry boats from ample lot to all-tides beach launch.
Downeast region-Verona to Eastport
Verona Island Park (44.5698, -68.7913) Paved all-tides launch ramp with ample parking.
Back Shore Beach/Wadsworth Cove (44.3966, -68.8116) Hand-carry beach launch, with limited daytime roadside parking.
Holbrook Island Sanctuary State Park (44.3696, -68.7857) Hand-carry beach/mud launch, with limited parking.
Dodge’s Point Town Landing (44.3729, -68.7598) Hand-carry launch ramp with daytime parking for ~10 vehicles.
Town Landing (44.3979, -68.7055) Paved all-tides launch ramp with limited parking west of bridge.
Town landing (44.2958, -68.6299) Paved all-tides launch ramp with limited parking.
Route 15 Bridge (44.2901, -68.6914) At the southern end of bridge to mainland, hand-carry beach launch, with limited daytime roadside parking.
Old ferry Landing (44.2792, -68.6711) Hand-carry beach launch, with limited daytime roadside parking.
Eggemoggin Road (44.3074, -68.7379) Hand-carry beach launch, with limited daytime roadside parking.
Southwest Harbor Road (44.2060, -68.7106) Hand-carry beach launch, with limited daytime roadside parking.
Sand Beach (44.1545, -68.6900) Hand-carry beach launch, with limited daytime roadside parking.
Colwell Ramp (44.1545, -68.6601) Arrange off-site parking before attempting to launch from this busy all tides ramp in downtown Stonington. Suggest call to Harbormaster or PD for up-to-date options.
Wooden Boat School (44.2467, -68.5551) Hand-carry launch to rocky beach. Call ahead for policies/protocol (207.359.4651).
Naskeag Point (44.2293, -68.5346) Hand-carry beach launch, with ample daytime roadside parking.
South Blue Hill Wharf (44.3539, -68.5476) Hand-carry beach or ramp launch, with ample daytime parking.
Town Wharf (44.4124, -68.5860) Paved all-tides launch ramp with ample parking.
Carrying Place Beach (44.4421, -68.4699) Hand-carry beach launch, with limited daytime roadside parking.
Seaplane and Boat Ramp (44.4426, -68.3580) Paved all-tides launch ramp with ample daytime and overnight (207.667.7329) parking.
Mount Desert Island
Hadley Point Beach (44.4439, -68.3190) Hand-carry beach launch, with ample daytime parking.
Bar island Access (44.3920, -68.2100) Hand-carry beach launch, with remote, metered parking.
Bartlett Narrows Boat Launch (44.3433, -68.4170) Paved all-tides ramp with very limited daytime parking.
Northeast Harbor Marina (44.2946, -68.2842) Paved all-tides ramp with very limited daytime parking (fee).
Seal Harbor Beach (44.2964, -68.2408) Hand-carry beach launch, with limited daytime parking.
Otter Creek Landing (44.3214, -68.2030) Hand-carry beach/mud launch, with limited daytime parking along Grover Ave.
Suminsby Park (44.3362, -68.3040) Hand-carry beach launch, with limited daytime parking.
Manset Town Landing (44.2693, -68.3112) Hand-carry beach launch, with limited daytime parking (fee).
Seal Cove (44.2829, -68.4085) Hand-carry beach launch, with limited daytime parking.
Gouldsborough Point Boat Launch (44.4737, -67.9853) Hand-carry beach launch, with limited daytime parking.
Rogers Point Beach (44.4737, -67.9771) Hand-carry beach launch, with limited daytime parking.
Pinkham Bay Bridge Landing (44.4916, -67.9116) Hand-carry beach launch, with limited daytime parking E of bridge.
Joy Bay Boat Launch (44.5042, -67.9701) Hand-carry beach launch, with limited daytime parking.
Pigeon Hill Bay Boat Launch (44.4519, -67.8838) Unload gear for hand-carry beach launch, then drive 0.2mi. N on road to park left @ Pigeon Hill Preserve.
Stover Cove (44.4929, -67.8556) Half-tide, hand-carry launch, with limited daytime parking (207.546.2422).
Town Landing (44.5440, -67.8777) Paved half-tide launch ramp with ample daytime and overnight (207.546.7251) parking.
Mill Creek Access (44.5887, -67.7830) Hand-carry beach launch, with limited daytime parking N of causeway.
Town Landing (44.5445, -67.8039): Concrete all-tides ramp and floats with ample daytime parking.
Addison Point Landing (44.6175, -67.7455) Paved all-tides launch ramp with ample daytime parking.
Tibbetts Inner Narrows Landing (44.4979, -67.7121) Hand-carry beach launch, with limited daytime parking.
South Addison Town Launch (44.5017, -67.7250): Concrete all-tides ramp and floats with ample day parking
Public Ramp /Marina (44.5320, -67.5958) Paved all-tides launch ramp with limited daytime and overnight (207.497.5931) parking.
Jonesport shipyard (44.5345, -67.5915): Hand-carry to seaweed/rocky launch with daytime and overnight parking (fee). Call ahead for policies/protocol (207.497.2701).
Public Launch (44.6152, -67.4962) Paved all-tides launch ramp with limited daytime parking.
Machias River Boat Launch (44.7195, -67.4503) Paved all-tides launch ramp with limited daytime and overnight (207.255.8683) parking.
Town Landing (44.7159, -67.4041) Half-tide, hand-carry launch, with limited daytime parking.
Town Landing (44.6969, -67.3934) Hand-carry launch, with limited daytime parking.
Pettegrow Beach (44.6354, -67.3717) Hand-carry launch, with limited daytime parking.
Finn Beach (44.6393, -67.3774) Hand-carry launch, with limited daytime parking.
Cutler Boat Ramp (44.6574, -67.2074) Concrete all-tides launch ramp with limited daytime parking at the ramp. Overnight parking 1500’ E of ramp, courtesy Cates Wharf.
Carrying Pace Cove/Jones Beach (44.8126, -66.9758) From this roadside location, hand-carry or dolly your vessel ~1000’ to the beach launch.
Town Landing (44.8622, -66.9840) Concrete all-tides ramp and floats with ample parking. Beware of potentially strong currents.
Bailey’s Mistake (44.7741, -67.0573): All-tides concrete ramp with ample daytime parking
Public Launch (44.8575, -67.1482) Paved all-tides launch ramp with limited daytime parking.
Breakwater (44.9066, -66.9845) Paved all-tides launch ramp and floats with limited daytime parking.