Kennebec River

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United States
Migration Rivers and Lakes
Kennebec River


Kennebec River
The Kennebec River is a 170-mile-long river that is entirely within the U.S. state of Maine. Begins at Moosehead Lake and empties into the Atlantic Ocean at Merrymeeting Bay.


The Kennebec River was an early trade corridor to interior Maine from the Atlantic coast. It was the route followed by 1,110 American Revolutionary War soldiers during Benedict Arnold's expedition to Quebec in 1775. Ocean ships could navigate upstream to Augusta. The cities of Bath, Gardiner, Hallowell and Augusta, and the towns of Woolwich, Richmond and Randolph developed adjacent to that transportation corridor. The river upstream of Augusta became an important transportation corridor for log driving to bring wooden logs and pulpwood from interior forests to sawmills and paper mills built to use water power where the city of Waterville and the towns of Winslow, Skowhegan, Norridgewock, Madison, Ansonia, and Bingham developed. The Maine Central Railroad and U.S. Route 201 were later constructed following the river through these towns and cities.