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Sunset and full moon canoe tours on the Scarborough Marsh with Maine Audubon

Sunset and full moon canoe tours on the Scarborough Marsh with Maine Audubon

If my Facebook feed is any indication, we sure do love a good sunset around here. And we get a lot of good ones in Maine (I love when it looks like a box of orange, yellow, and pink highlighters has exploded all over the sky. The “cotton candy” look is also excellent, with its pinks, blues and purples.)

And when that sunset is seen from the water, the colors multiplied by the water’s reflection, well that’s the kind of sight that can take your breath away. Or at least make you bust out your cellphone to take a few photos (you know, to remember it by).

During a sunset or full moon canoe tour on the Scarborough Marsh, you’ll get a sunset (and maybe a moon rise) on the water, in a canoe, at a place that’s supremely scenic and filled with all sorts of marsh wildlife, with a knowledgeable guide who can name all the birds and the fish and even point out some planets in the night sky.

Sarah steers the kayak on the Scarborough Marsh with one stunning sunset behind her! Shannon Bryan photo
Sarah steers the kayak on the Scarborough Marsh with one stunning sunset behind her! Shannon Bryan photo

The Maine Audubon location at the Scarborough Marsh hosts regular sunset and full moon paddles. The cost is only $14 for sunset tours and $16 for full moon tours (discounts for Maine Audubon members), which includes all the paddling essentials (kayak for 2-4 people, PFDs, paddles, and guidance). I checked it out a couples of years ago and wow – we were treated to a stunning moon rise and sunset AT THE SAME TIME. Whichever direction you looked, there was something beautiful to see.

The Maine Audubon Nature Center at the Scarborough Marsh on Pine Point Road in Scarborough. Shannon Bryan photo
The Maine Audubon Nature Center at the Scarborough Marsh on Pine Point Road in Scarborough. Shannon Bryan photo
The group gathers for our guided tour of the marsh. Shannon Bryan photo
The group gathers for our guided tour of the marsh. Shannon Bryan photo
Staff and volunteers bring the canoes to the water and help everyone get in. Shannon Bryan photo
Staff and volunteers bring the canoes to the water and help everyone get in. Shannon Bryan photo

The group met at the Scarborough Marsh Nature Center on Pine Point Road a half-hour before our departure time to sign waivers, pay up, get PFDs, and hear a safety talk from one of the Maine Audubon staff.

Then it was into the boats! (Stronger paddler sits in back and does all the steering.)

The first duo is in the water! Shannon Bryan photo
The first duo is in the water! Shannon Bryan photo
The tour makes its way through the marsh at a leisurely pace. Shannon Bryan photo
The tour makes its way through the marsh at a leisurely pace. Shannon Bryan photo
That's me, having a grand time. (You can't see my face, but I am grinning big). Sarah Breul photo
That’s me, having a grand time. (You can’t see my face, but I am grinning big). Sarah Breul photo
The sun bids its farewell! Shannon Bryan photo
The sun bids its farewell! Shannon Bryan photo

We made our leisurely way down the marsh, with black ducks quacking their hello and sandpipers bouncing along the muddy edge of the marsh, as the moon rose up in the sky and the sun dipped below the horizon, leaving layers of pink and orange and blue in its wake.

Shannon Bryan photo
Shannon Bryan photo

The water was so still and the moon was so ridiculously bright. And once the sky went black, a volunteer pointed out the planets Venus, Mars, and Saturn. I saw one of the dippers, too, but I can’t ever remember which dipper is which.

That moon! Shannon Bryan photo
That moon! Shannon Bryan photo

We paddled for 40 minutes or so before turning around and heading back to the Nature Center, the ridiculously bright moon lighting the way.

Shannon Bryan photo
Shannon Bryan photo

These tours are open to paddlers of all levels (they’ll give pointers on proper paddling and will help out on the water, too, if needed). Kids are welcome to come, too, and there are boats suitable for groups of 2, 3 or 4 people. Pre-registration is required (I actually got on a waitlist first, because the tour was full, so do call ahead if you’d like to check out a tour!) Call 207-883-5100 for more information or to reserve your spot.

Upcoming canoe tours at the Scarborough Marsh in 2018

Full Moon Canoe Tours
May 28 & 29, 7:30-9 p.m.
June 28, 29 & 30, 8-9:30 p.m.
July 27, 28 & 29, 7:30-9 p.m.
August 24, 25 & 26, 7-8:30 p.m.
More  info: maineaudubon.coursestorm.com

Sunset Canoe Tours

July 12, 7-8:30 p.m.
August 7, 7-8:30 p.m.
August 17, 6:30-8 p.m.
More info: maineaudubon.coursestorm.com

Scarborough Marsh, Maine Audubon Nature Center
92 Pine Point Road, Scarborough
Call 207-883-5100 May-September to reserve
$14 for sunset tours, $16 for full moon tours

See all the events happening at the Scarborough Marsh
maineaudubon.org

*This post was originally published August 18, 2016*

Shannon Bryan

Shannon Bryan

I don't like "exercise" any more than you do. But you know what I do like? Paddleboarding with a friend all afternoon (and then sitting in the grass to drink chardonnay). Bike rides and nachos, hikes, yoga classes held in breweries, group paddles to Fort Gorges, you get the idea. Because Maine is my gym.