ENJOY THE THRILLS IN THE
"OUTDOOR ADVENTURE CAPITAL OF THE EAST"
Reprinted courtesy of Maine Office
MAINE - Vacationers know that Maine offers an opportunity
to get away from it all while serving up a healthy dose of adventure.
Here in the "Outdoor Adventure Capital of the East,"
outdoor fun comes in all forms and can be as easy or as challenging
as you like.
While some outdoor adventures can be considered rough and tumble,
many are termed "soft adventures." These generally
appeal to those who want to have fun outside at their own pace.
Of course, any Maine adventure can be as "soft" or
as "hard" as you want to make it.
Downhill Skiing and Snowboarding
For many, winter in Maine means schussing down beautifully groomed
or powdery slopes while looking out over picturesque, snow-capped
mountain ranges. With gradual trails for beginners, some of the
steepest terrain in New England for experts, world-class super-pipes,
exciting terrain parks, and state-of-the-art grooming and snowmaking,
Maine's mountains have something for everyone.
- Maine offers downhill enthusiasts a total of 18 ski areas,
a wide variety of on-mountain lodging, and endless off-mountain
- Skiers and riders at Sugarloaf/USA, Maine's second highest
peak, can enjoy the only lift-served above tree line skiing
in the East.
- Sunday River offers skiers and riders eight different peaks
and a wide variety of terrain.
- At Camden Snowbowl skiers and riders have the unique opportunity
to look out over the Atlantic Ocean as they cruise down the
Maine has over 600 kilometers of cross-country skiing at dozens
of Nordic ski centers. These centers provide safe, well-maintained
and groomed trails. Many also offer snowshoeing and ice skating,
and most offer equipment rentals and instruction. Some ski centers
even have dog-friendly sections of their trail systems.
- The terrain and quality of natural snow in northern Maine
is ideal for Nordic skiing and the town of Fort Kent in Aroostook
County is home to the Maine Winter Sports Center (MWSC). The
MWSC, with 37 km of cross country trails, will host the International
Biathlon Union's 2004 Biathlon World Cup, March 3-6, 2004.
- Another way to enjoy cross-country skiing in Maine is with
the assistance of a Registered Maine Guide. A Maine Guide who
specializes in Nordic skiing can lead you on a unique ski-touring
adventure into Maine's remote inland wilderness or along Maine's
- The adventurous may want to try skijoring. In skijoring,
a skier is attached by a harness and shock-corded line system
to one or two dogs, and is towed along, much like water skiing.
Maine has over 10,000 miles of groomed snowmobile trails, many
of which feature trailside lodging. Over a dozen businesses offer
sled and gear rentals throughout the state.
Whether heading out for the day or a week or more, Maine's expansive
trail systems offers something for everyone.
- Snowmobile gatherings and events highlight Maine's winter
calendar including the Rangeley Snodeo and Presque Isle's New
England Ice Drags in January; the Saint John Valley's International
Snowmobilers' Festival and Fort Kent's Annual Mardi Gras in
February; and poker runs, ice drags, hill climbs, and radar
runs held throughout the state all winter long.
Hiking has always been a popular reason for visiting Maine.
There are numerous trails of varying difficulty, but the payoff
is spectacular scenery, a wonderful sense of adventure and the
thrill of discovery.
- The Maine Bureau of Parks and Lands, (207) 287-3821 or www.maine.gov/doc/parks/
, can provide hiking maps for state parks.
Biking is another good example of "soft" and "hard"
adventure. A leisurely trip of discovery along Maine's quiet
back roads is quite different from the challenge of mountain
biking at Sugarloaf/USA or the Sunday River ski area where snake-like
trails seem to go straight up to the sky and coming down is a
- For more information, visit Office of Passenger Transportation,
Bike and Pedestrian Section, Bike Tours in Maine at www.exploremaine.org/bike.
Canoes are ideal for exploring Maine's clear, clean waters.
Forests, mountains, and lowlands are criss-crossed with a vast
network of watersheds and offer paddlers a wide range of choices,
from gentle current to raging whitewater. Whatever your interest
or ability, you will find a place to paddle in Maine.
Whitewater enthusiasts will find a host of swift rivers and
streams to play on, ranging from easy ripples to some of the
most challenging rapids in the East. Many rivers are dam-controlled
and provide good paddling throughout the summer, while others
rely on rainfall and snowmelt and can only be run in spring or
after a wet spell.
- Canoe outfitting, rentals, shuttle services, instruction,
and guided trips are available throughout the state. Guide
services offer trips ranging from a few hours to many days,
and usually include outfitting, meals, instruction, and transportation.
Sea kayaking is fast becoming a popular sport along the coast
of Maine. It's the perfect way to explore some of Maine's 3,000
- Many outfitters offer guided half-day and full-day trips.
Most offer clinics that will help prepare you for an exciting
Sailors have enjoyed Maine's 5,500 miles of seacoast for hundreds
of years. Several coastal communities offer dock space and restaurants
that cater to visitors arriving in sailboats.
- For those who want the adventure without buying the boat,
there are a number of sailing charters available that include
instruction in how to sail, as well as several that just put
you on board and head right out.
- For those who want the ultimate in a Maine sailing adventure,
consider a cruise on a windjammer schooner, hearty survivors
of Maine's maritime heritage. Choose from hour-long cruises
to multi-day getaways. On every cruise lighthouses, seabirds,
seals and porpoises abound, with ever-changing scenery around
every rocky bend. These high sea adventures are popular, so
book well in advance.
If pampered water sports are not your thing, consider a whitewater
rafting trip on any of three Maine rivers renowned for their
breath-taking whitewater and scenery.
- Two of the rivers - the Kennebec and the Dead - converge
at The Forks, which serves as headquarters for most of Maine's
- The Penobscot, the largest of the three rivers, flows almost
in the shadow of Katahdin, the state's highest mountain.
- Unlike most other eastern rivers whose water volume reaches
high levels only during the spring run-off, the Penobscot,
the Kennebec and the Dead are dam-controlled and provide high-water
rafting from late April through mid-October.
For more information on outdoor adventure opportunities in Maine,
visit the Maine Office of Tourism's Web site at www.visitmaine.com
or call 888-95-MAINE.