About Us

Hello, My name is Brad Jordan and I am the Owner-Operator of Maine State Sea Kayak! This is my life’s dream, and I welcome you to the Quiet side of Acadia.

Since 2000, Maine State Sea Kayak has been delighting adventurers with wildlife tours on the remote western side of Acadia. We primarily utilize Tandem Sea Kayaks made here in Maine- This allows us an opportunity to cover larger distances in a safe and comfortable manner. We choose not to paddle in the more crowded Bar Harbor/Frenchman’s bay region, instead we opt for the “Quiet-side” of Acadia. Our more remote routes allow us to respectfully paddle through wildlife habitat, to feel alone on our excursions, and to focus on providing more Nature-Based paddling opportunities! We are so confident in the routes we paddle that we now offer a Wildlife Guarantee!

How do our guest’s describe us?

“From the moment I arrived at Maine State Sea Kayak in Southwest Harbor, I felt welcomed and special. I had the morning tour with Registered Maine Sea Kayak guide, Corky Potter. He personally welcomed me, Joel at the desk welcomed me, and so did Brad. The office was clean, neat, and had bio’s of the guides on the wall, clean bathroom, and my gear was issued to me. When I watched my 11 other participants arrive, they were given the same personal service. If someone need a dry bag for clothing or snacks, they were given one. If they needed a change of footwear, it was there. All the gear was clean.

At the appointed time we met with our guide Corky for an introduction of the tour, his expectations of us, our expectations of him, a visual tour of the birds and wildlife we could encounter, a short paddle lesson where we could focus on his words and demonstrations on how to get into the sea kayaks, how to get out, how to work as a tandem pair, how to use our paddles, and so much more. Then off with our gear into the 15 passenger van for our trip to the water.

I’ve paddled all over Maine. I found the Clarks Cove launch to be small and unique. I’m glad that we went over what we did before our arrival. We had newbie’s to the sport and I think that they got to process what was said without the complications of getting right on the water. Once on the water we were immediately blessed with a sighting of a mature bald eagle fishing and then flying up and sitting on the top of a spruce tree.

Our paddle went fast enough for everyone but slow enough that we could take short rafting breaks to watch the wildlife. We were treated to being surrounded by a curious group of harbor seals, seeing double crested cormorants, herring gulls, many belted kingfishers, two osprey, a turkey vulture, a sandpiper, chickadees, american crows, possibly a ringbilled gull, common loons including one singing to us and blissfully calm water. The sun came out and warmed us up.

Guide Corky shared all kinds of information about the land and islands we saw and passed, the geology of the region, wildlife tidbits about the different birds, and how to pee using LNT principals. The 6.3 mile paddle was over faster than we realized.

Would I do it again? OH yes. In fact, I would do some quiet side hiking in the morning and then take an afternoon or sunset paddle to top off an incredible day! Go to the quiet side of the island and take in nature at its best.”


Why choose us?

“Closest to NATURE”

And we are Acadia’s HIGHEST RATED Sea Kayak outfitter!

Per-TripAdvisor, Yelp, Facebook, and Google reviews!

TOP RATED on TripAdvisor and Yelp!

Wildlife Galore!

“We went out on the 4pm-8pm, 6.5- mile tour with a group of 11 people, launching near Bartlett Island and ending at Clark Cove. Our guide, Brad, was fantastic. He has an uncanny and super human ability to spot wildlife from a quarter mile away. We saw harbor seals, 5 bald eagles (including a fledgling!), porpoises, osprey, crabs, sea stars, and more. The equipment was good and the tour very safe. It was a one-way trip, where they drove us to the start and back from finish. They strategically planned the paddling direction to have the current and breeze at our backs, making for a really pleasant ride.”

Fabulous Experience!

“Great Trip to get out in Nature & see Wildlife”

We took a 2PM to 6PM trip for our family of 4 in 2 tandem kayaks. We had been kayaking once before in sit on top kayaks so we had no experience with these tandem sit in Sea Kayaks. The kayaks were very stable & easy to paddle during our trip & our guide was great & very helpful throughout the trip. Kayak trip was on the west side of MDI in very quiet area – very little boat traffic. We saw a bald eagle & the guide collected starfish to show us. We were hoping to maybe see a seal or two but then about halfway through our trip we came up on a colony of at least 50-75 seals on rock. Our guide safely got us near them without disturbing them or getting too close. We bundled our kayaks together in a raft formation & quietly drifted by them. The seals were amazing to observe & hear as there were growling, barking, jumping water , etc. This was highlight of our trip to Acadia.

Get away from the crowds, see the quiet side of Mt. Desert Island by sea kayak!

“Family Sea Kayaking With 6- and 10-year-olds”

We went on a morning sea kayaking adventure with three families, Brad (our guide), and Jake (another Maine State Sea Kayak employee). We had a great time. A few points are worth noting: (1) The trip we took was specifically designed for families. I didn’t realize until this trip that the idea of taking a 6-year-old in a tandem sea kayak is a non-starter for most companies. In retrospect, it makes sense — even though my youngest is comfortable in boats, I wouldn’t feel great about having to worry about him if the weather suddenly changed in less protected waters. Maine State Sea Kayaks provide a sea kayaking trip that stays close to shore on the backside of MDI. (2) We saw lots of wildlife being closer to shore, which all of the kids on our tour loved. They got to handle moon jellyfish (nonvenomous) and learned how to steer clear of the stinging ones. We saw a bald eagle and loon. Seals and porpoises apparently also sometimes show up (though we didn’t see any on our tour). (3) Brad, our guide, was extremely professional and knowledgable about the flora and fauna we saw. He hit a nice tone with both kids and adults. (4) Everything was ready to go when we arrived. The equipment and safety instructions were clear and concise.

I highly recommend sea kayaking trips with this company if you have a family with younger children (and probably if you have teen and adults, too, we just haven’t experienced that yet).