Maine Outdoor Adventures
In recent years Maine has marketed itself as the Outdoor Adventure Capital of the East. It’s a bold claim, but one that is easily justified. After all, Maine stretches from the mountains to the sea and offers everything from mountain climbing to sea kayaking, from whitewater rafting to wilderness canoeing adventures. And anything and everything in between.
The truth is everything about Maine invites participation in the great outdoors. There are more than 5,000 miles of coastline to explore, Acadia National Park has a mountain to climb that is higher than any point on the east coast north of Rio de Janeiro, and Baxter State Park offers more than 204,000 acres and is brimming over with a 5,267-foot-high mountain just waiting to challenge hikers.
But that’s merely the beginning. Simply put, for anyone looking for an outdoor adventure, Maine has it all.
Where do you want to start? Maine has more than 6,000 lakes and ponds just waiting for you to drop a line, and knowledgeable guides ready to show you the best spots for perch, salmon, lake trout, pickerel, largemouth bass and brook trout. Licenses are available at most town offices and sporting camps.
Opportunities abound. Jig for mackerel close to shore or troll and cast for stripped bass, bluefish or bluefin tuna on a charter boat off shore. No license is even required.
Want to try your hand at fly-fishing
No problem. Maine has hundreds, maybe thousands of spots in which you can try your luck. Truth to tell, sporting camps and fly-fishing camps have been around Maine since the Civil War and fly-fishermen and women come from all over the world to cast their lines in Maine’s waters.
Easy. Maine has 130 courses that will test the mettle of any golfer while offering varied terrains, well-maintained fairways and greens and, best of all, shorter waits for tee times. Add plenty of natural beauty and wildlife and you’ll be anxious to tell your friends back home all about your golf experience in Maine.
Pick a spot – any spot. There are literally thousands of quiet mountain or island trails that offer solitude and a wilderness experience that will get you away from the crowds and give you a chance to think and reflect what’s really important in life.
Where would you like to start? Whale watching, puffin watching and bird watching are at all time highs in popularity and Maine offers everything from wildlife parks to aquariums, from inland wetlands to forests teeming with moose, bear and whitetailed deer. Naturally, these are all wild animals and care must always be exercised when approaching, filming or watching these wonders of nature.
Road and Mountain Biking
From the western mountains and the rolling hills of north and central Maine to the coastal plains and sandy beaches of the south and Down East, Maine has all types of terrain suited for biking. Experienced Maine cyclists have even identified 21 scenic bike tours designed for bikers of all levels. The tours range from 20 miles to just over 100 miles and all begin and end at the same location. What more could you ask?
Maine has 15 outfitters waiting to get you out on the Penobscot, Kennebec and Dead Rivers for the time of your life. Regular dam releases ensure enough water to challenge even the hardiest and most experienced of rafters. Of course, it’s not all deep drops and rushing water – there are plenty of less challenging opportunities for first-timers and children to enjoy this popular Maine sport.
Canoeing and Kayaking
Certainly. Excursions for both can be arranged through outfitters or guides and there are spectacular canoe trips available through Maine’s great North Woods on the St. John, St. Croix or Machias Rivers. The Saco River in Southern Maine offers its own brand of canoe trips as it wends its way through marshland, inlets and through areas motorists never get to see. Of course, that’s just one possibility. Maine is criss-crossed with streams, rivers and waterways that allow for canoe trips of any length through all kinds of wilderness. Kayaking offers the same stunning opportunity for adventure and sea kayaking is becoming popular in bays and harbors up and down the Maine Coast.
Naturally there are many other outdoor activities available in Maine, including parasailing, llama trekking, gold panning, mountain climbing and mountain biking For those looking for something a bit less strenuous, activities abound. Consider exploring Maine’s Art Museum Trail, the Maine Maritime Heritage Trail, the Maine Garden and Landscape Trail and the Kennebec-Chaudiere International Heritage Trail that brings history alive from the Province of Quebec south through Augusta to the coast of Maine.
For motorists looking for a bit of a scenic adventure, Maine is distinguished by having four nationally designated Scenic Byways. One, the Acadia Byway through Acadia National Park is also one of only 15 All-American Roads found in the United States. The other federally designated roadways include The Old Canada Road Scenic Byway, The Rangeley Lakes Scenic Byway and the Schoodic Scenic Byway. All have spectacular views, are of historic significance and offer dramatic natural beauty. Sound inviting? You bet. If you’re looking for soft-adventure, for hard-adventure or for an outdoor experience second to none, think Maine. No, don’t just think Maine – visit Maine. It’s one of America’s great places.
MECOA: Maine Campground Owners Association
MECOA is the premier resource for supporting campground owners and promoting camping in Maine.
The Maine Camping Guide website and printed version of the Maine Camping Guide are products of the Maine Campground Owners Association (MECOA). MECOA represents over 200 of Maine's licensed campgrounds. The offices of MECOA are in Lewiston Maine and you may contact us here.
MECOA accomplishes their mission by providing marketing, advocacy and educational tools to its members. MECOA has built this website for the convenience of the camping public and all of our members are represented here on this site as well as in the printed version of the guide which is available here in a digital format. MECOA marketing program for members is extensive.