Maine Outdoor Recreational Activities

Mt. Katahdin by Moonlight

Moon over Mt. Katahdin. Photo courtesy of Paul Cyr.

Maine encourages all who visit to take some time and explore her vast expanses of land and sea. Outdoor recreation in this most northern of Eastern states can be as messy as an ATV ride through a muddy stream or as elegant as sailing on an elegant, age old windjammer. Take to Maine’s many trails on a mountain bike or venture out on your own two feet. Savor air kissed by the salty tang of the sea or infused with the scent of pine. Go out, discover and enjoy the experience.

ATV Touring

Riding an ATV is your ticket to getting down and dirty in Maine’s back-country. Take these sturdy all terrain vehicles on looped trails, around boulders, through muddy puddles and across shallow streams. Bring your own or hire a rental. If you’ve never indulged in the sport before, join a guided tour and learn just how much fun you can have, and how dirty you can get, in just an afternoon. Read More >

Swimming Beaches – Coast & Lakes

Finding the perfect bit of wave-kissed sand is easy along Maine’s undulating 3,000 mile long coast. Bring a chair and settle down with a cool drink and a good book, or walk along the shore and do a bit of beachcombing. The interior part of the state is just as blessed, with some 6,000 lakes and ponds sporting their own beaches, rocky or otherwise. Either way, you are in for a delightful day in the sun, followed by an eye popping sunset. Read More >

Bicycling Trips & Trails

Taking to Maine’s varied roadways by bike lets you slow down and enjoy the scenery. Mountain bikers make use of ski trails and abandoned railway beds during the warmer seasons. The various state parks, as well as Maine’s iconic Acadia National Park offers wilderness trails with eye-popping views of sea and shore. On-road bikers have their choice of bike-friendly roadways such as the Northern Tier Route and the Down East Sunrise Trail. Bring your own wheels or rent one from a number of bike-friendly shops. Read More >

Canoeing & Kayaking Trips

Your paddle dips into the water of a backwater lake, propelling your colorful kayak gently on its way. Or choose a canoe for two, equally silent in its passage. If your vacation takes you to Maine’s rugged coast, kayaks are available for rent, able to carry you to a number of deserted offshore islands. Commune with nature in these boldly beautiful, personal watercraft. Read More >

Extreme Sports

If you are looking for something beyond the ordinary for your next Maine vacation, why not consider one of the state’s more extreme sports? Join a climbing expedition and scale the sea cliffs of Acadia National Park. Put on a wetsuit and plunge your surfboard into the challenging, if somewhat chilly, waves of the Atlantic. Or head to the interior to challenge white water rapids on the Lower Penobscot River. Bring your camera so you can show your friends how the other half lives. Read More >

Fishing Trips

Whether you prefer to drop your fishing line in the deep blue sea or skim it across a half-hidden pond, Maine has the perfect fishing adventure waiting for you. Join a fishing charter and go in search of saltwater fish such as the bluefin tuna or striped bass. Freshwater fishing is a bit more low-keyed, but no less exciting. Imagine hooking your first freshwater salmon or a speckled brook trout from a canoe or standing on a tree lined bank. This is a true fisherman’s paradise. Read More >


Geocaching is a sport that uses both your physical and intellectual talents. Thousands of caches, or hidden treasures, are scattered across the state of Maine. This global sport uses GPS technology to help you find these treasures, thanks to coordinates provided by the Geocaching website. Grab your GPS device, pack a snack or two and head off to see what’s buried under a forest tree, under a bit of driftwood on a sandy beach or in a park in downtown Portland. Read More >

Golf Courses

Those 18-holes of manicured greens and mind-boggling sand-traps are even better when overlooking the Atlantic Ocean or tucked amidst a forest awash in fall colors. Golfing in Maine is challenging, not only because of the level of play, but because the scenery tends to divert your attention. It is one of the few places in the world where a golf hazard can mean a living, breathing moose taking a shortcut from one grove of trees to the next. Read More >

Gold Panning & Rock Hunting

Amateur rock hunters, grab your picks and shovels. Maine’s varied topography gives you plenty of fossil rich sandstone to dig. Perhaps you’ll find a leafy tree impression from a plant that lived before the age of dinosaurs, or a shell from a sea creature that washed ashore millions of years ago. Semi-precious gems found in the state include purple amethyst and a variety of agates. Gold seekers might test their luck on a quiet streambed, using nothing more than a portable gold pan. You never know what you might uncover. Read More >

Hiking & Walking Trails

Discover Maine the way our ancestors did, on your own two feet. Choose an easy day hike at Ferry Beach State Park and munch a few blueberries along the way. Go for a longer stroll in Wolfe’s Neck State Park and look for ospreys, also known as sea eagles. Enjoy forest and ocean views from the gentle trails within Acadia National Park. If you prefer to be more off the beaten path, head for the interior to explore trails in Baxter State Park, the lightly populated Aroostook Region and the Appalachian Trail. Read More >

Hunting Trips

Wildlife rich Maine is prime hunting territory. Moose, deer and some species of birds all have their designated seasons. While hunting outfitters are found throughout the state, the majority are in the north; where hunting and trapping has been a way of life for centuries. Licenses, tags and seasonal information are available from Maine’s Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife. Read More >

Rock Climbing Trips

Visit Maine and go climb a rock, literally. Choose an eye-popping yet challenging climb on the cliffs of Acadia National Park. Once at the top enjoy the panoramic view of the Atlantic Ocean. Challenge Mt Katahdin in Baxter State Park, or the more novice-friendly cliff at Camden Hills State Park. Outfitters offer gear and instruction. Rain or shine, do some indoor climbing at Maine Rock Gym or at the University of Maine. Read More >

Sailing & Boating

If you stay landlocked on your Maine vacation, you’ll be missing half the fun. Take to the water in a sleek sailboat, pushed along by the power of the wind. Or, motor along the coast or on an inland lake in a broader-beamed craft, perhaps stopping for a bit of fishing along the way. Bring your own craft or hire a rental at any of the state’s boat outfitters. If you need a lesson or two, sailing schools will soon have you hoisting sails with the best of them. Read More >

Whitewater Rafting

Not all of Maine’s rivers are meek and mild. Some offer the ride of a lifetime, plunging through fast moving rapids squeezed between two rocky, forested shorelines. This is the only state in all of New England where you will find challenging Class III to V rapids. Even if you are an experienced paddler, the best way to tackle these beauties is on a guided tour. The locals know the best places to get, and out of, Maine’s challenging whitewater locations. Read More >

Wilderness Camping

There is camping, and then there’s wilderness camping. To truly appreciate the wildness of Maine’s backcountry, strapping on a backpack with your own tent and all your supplies is the way to go. Many state parks, including Rangeley Lake, Mt. Blue and Lily Bay all offer wilderness campsites that may require a bit of a hike. One wilderness campsite, Warren Island State Park, is on its own island. Paddle your canoe or kayak three miles offshore and spend the night counting the stars. Read More >

Windjammer Cruises

Sail back in time when you climb aboard one of Maine’s vintage windjammer cruises. Enjoy the thrill of skimming over the waves, harnessing the power of the wind in yards of creamy white. Help crew the ship, hoisting sails and adjusting her trim. As you pass one of the long-standing lighthouses, enjoy the wave of nostalgia that inevitably passes over you. Chances are that sentinel on the shore and the ship you sail upon have met countless times before. Read More >

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