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Maine is well known for our outdoor adventure resorts – full-service accommodations that specialize in arranging fun outdoor activities – and it’s clear to see why. We have a long history of sporting camps and adventure resorts in Maine, which are another way for visitors to enjoy outdoor recreation with guides and other professionals handling the details to make your adventure fun, safe and easy to plan.
The adventures you choose can range from easy-going family friendly trips with no experience necessary to challenging activities for those who seek a new thrill.
Some outdoor adventure resorts are open seasonally with sports such as white-water rafting and hiking. Others are open all year with expanded offerings including snowmobiling, snowshoeing, Alpine and Nordic skiing and ice fishing. Check a resort’s website for seasons and programs.
If your goal is to spend your time playing outside and trying new things, adventure resorts in Maine might be the perfect solution.
Many of Maine’s outdoor adventure resorts grew from the white-water rafting industry. Companies that started by offering rafting trips added accommodations and more year-round adventures.
Outdoor Adventure Resorts in Maine
Northern Outdoors: A founder of Maine’s river-guiding community – it was established in 1976 – Northern Outdoors has grown into an expansive resort featuring rafting on the Kennebec, fishing, ATVing and hunting in the spring, summer and fall and lot of snowmobiling in the winter. There’s a broad number of room options and even an on-site brewery!
Magic Falls Rafting Company: Magic Falls organizes rafting trips down the Dead and Kennebec rivers and has lodges and a campground.
New England Outdoor Center: Based in Millinocket, New England Outdoor Center grew from its whitewater roots into a major resort. In warmer months, it offers rafting on the Penobscot River, guided wildlife watching, fishing and hunting. Come winter, there’s snowmobiling, Nordic skiing and ice fishing. NEOC offers a variety of lodging and the River Drivers restaurant.
North Country Rivers: Started in 1983 and based in Bingham, the company offers rafting trips on Maine’s big three rivers – the Dead, the Kennebec and the Penobscot – as well as inflatable-kayaking trips, ATV and wildlife tours and, in winter, snowmobiling. Accommodations include cabins, camping and a restaurant and pub.
Northeast Whitewater: Based near Moosehead Lake, this company provides rafting adventures on the Dead, Kennebec and Penobscot rivers and inflatable-kayak trips. It’s also known for its extensive wildlife-watching tours, including moose tours and birdwatching. Accommodations include its campground and, for something different, its rental yurts.
More outdoor adventure resort options are found at Maine’s largest ski areas, which are expanding into more and more year-round activities.
At Sunday River, you can ski and snowboard across eight, interconnected peaks spanning three miles. Come summer, take on the 18-hole Sunday River Country Club, designed by Robert Trent Jones Jr., or try 18 ‘holes’ of disc golf on the lift-serviced course. L.L.Bean’s Outdoor Discovery School has courses in SUP, kayaking and archery at the resort. Other summer activities include scenic Chondola rides, dual ziplines and mountain biking. The mountain has its own lodging and there’s plenty nearby activities in neighboring Bethel.
Sugarloaf, the state’s second-highest peak, draws a dedicated crowd of skiers and snowboarders with challenging, inbound steeps and side-country terrain. In the warmer months, Sugarloaf’s golf course – also designed by Robert Trent Jones Jr. – is as challenging as the skiing. Carrabassett Valley, Sugarloaf’s home, is known for mountain biking. You can access miles of trails from the Sugarloaf Outdoor Center. They also offer Segway tours, disc golf and more. Sugarloaf has lots of accommodations, as do the surrounding communities.