A sunset canoe tour of Scarborough Marsh

Canoes on Scarborough Marsh

Source: Ariana van den Akker/Maine Audubon

My husband and I enjoyed a romantic sunset canoe ride on the Scarborough Marsh (in Scarborough, Maine) the other night — along with about a dozen other people. The Audubon Society leads guided tours throughout the summer. You can also do self-guided kayak and canoe tours.

Scarborough Marsh

One of the things I discovered on our tour is that Scarborough Marsh is the largest salt marsh in the state of Maine. A 3,100-acre estuary fed by four rivers — Libby, Nonesuch, Dunstan, and Scarbrough — and several creeks.

Scarborough Marsh

Our guide Linda Woodard (in the green life jacket) led the way and made sure we didn’t miss a thing — from plant life to wild life. Linda is the Scarborough Marsh Director.

Bird in Scarborough Marsh

Source: Ariana van den Akker/Maine Audubon

Here’s one of the many birds that make their home in the marsh. Can you identify what kind of bird it is?

Scarborough Marsh

At the time we paddled through, the sun was setting and the tide was going out. The waters flow into Saco Bay and eventually, the Gulf of Maine.

Scarborough Marsh
And … down goes the sun. If you’re thinking you’d like to meander through the marsh, too, but you’ve never even stepped foot in a canoe before, don’t worry. The guides go over the basics before they push you off (gently) and it’s a slow, leisurely paddle.

Scarborough Marsh

The person in the back (stern) does the steering and the one in front (bow) helps keep the canoe moving (or slowing down or turning.) I let my husband do the steering and also give me instructions (I indulged him). He picked up the slack when I stopped paddling to take pictures. Like this goofy one. We were a good team.

Scarborough Marsh
The sun went down without much fan fare, but after, as we quietly paddled our canoes back to the Scarborough Marsh Center, the sky was an incredible shade of blue that was reflected off the water.

Although to me, it seems as if summer just started, the season is nearing its end. Which means the Scarborough Center will be closing soon. You’ve got all this week to paddle, and there’s an extravaganza planned for Labor Day weekend. The center will be open the following two weekends, but then it will be time to hunker down. Check out the schedule on the Maine Audubon website.

If you go, have a wonderful time. Take pictures and share one on the Catching Health Facebook page.

Diane Atwood

About Diane Atwood

For more than 20 years, Diane was the health reporter on WCSH 6. Before that, a radiation therapist at Maine Medical Center and after, Manager of Marketing/PR at Mercy Hospital. Now she writes the award-winning blog Catching Health with Diane Atwood.