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 easygoing 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 whitewater 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. And for those who like to hit the links, Maine golf resorts offer a range of options for 18- or 9-hole adventures.
Resorts Near Ski Hills
Great outdoor adventure accommodations, including Maine luxury resorts, are found in the state’s largest ski areas as they expand 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 are plenty of 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.
Resorts Near Water
Many of Maine’s outdoor adventure resorts grew from the whitewater rafting industry. Companies that started out offering rafting trips added accommodations for rafting trips and additional, year-round adventures. Other types of resorts near water include Maine beach resorts and Maine coastal resorts. Whether you desire something right near the sand or a bit more inland, you’ll find the place that’s just right for you.
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 lots 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.
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 bird watching. Accommodations include its campground and, for something different, its rental yurts.
Many resorts in Maine offer a selection of lodging, like Linekin Bay Resort, with the choice of water views or wooded cabins or the main lodge. The resort is the only all-inclusive sailing resort in New England. Sailing instructions are available to all interested guests.