Maine has been serving up a superlative banquet of outdoor things to do almost as long as America has been a nation. It has a long-established tradition of locals who lead the keen and adventurous into the rugged wild of the state’s coastline and interior forests. They take their outdoorsmanship so seriously that professional guides get state-certified so you know you are in capable hands at the Maine Professional Guides Association.
In summer, the rugged coastline becomes a feasible venue for sea kayaking, sailing, and fishing. The woodland trails are perfect for mountain biking or hiking, while Maine’s rivers and lakes seem to be everywhere, offering pristine environments for canoeing and fishing. In winter, it’s all about the snow. From skiing to snow shoeing and snowmobiling, there’s no reason to stay out of the woods. If you like your vacations heavily laced with remote natural beauty, then Maine won’t disappoint.
Maine’s coast is dramatic, rocky, and just perfect for exploring in a sea kayak. One of the most popular water sports during the tolerably warm summer months, thousands of uninhabited islands and no humans make for some reflective kayaking, especially in Stonington, which is regarded as the top spot. Maine Island Kayak Company is one of the best outfitters in the region.
If the sea isn’t your thing, perhaps thousands of lakes and miles of rivers in Maine can whet your appetite. Canoeing the North Woods is one of the state’s top excursions, with a genuinely endless list of routes for exploration. Hook up with a guide through North Woods Ways or Allagash Canoe Trips for a custom-tailored adventure.
Maine’s mountains are just mellow enough that mountain biking can be enjoyed by riders of every level and inclination. The single tracks challenge even the most skilled bikers, but just as rewarding are the carriage roads on Mount Desert Island in the stunning Acadia National Park. Miles of horse paths were developed decades ago for the wealthy and today can be enjoyed by anyone in search of a fun ride among some of America’s top scenery. Maine Coast Bicycle Tours can set you up with equipment and point you in the right direction.
With more than 5,500 miles of coastline, you can bet there are a few nice stretches of beach somewhere. The southern coast is the place to head in summer for surfing, swimming, and sunbathing at Ferry Beach State Park near Saco or Long Sand’s Beach at York.
The fishing in Maine is also incredible. From 6,000 lakes to the Atlantic Ocean, visitors can find any kind of angling excursion. This is wild brook trout country though the striped bass, bluefish, and shark are also prevalent. Outfitters are found in every water-based town, including Morning Flight Charters for sea fishing and Moose Mountain for river and lake trips.
There are 140 golf courses in the state, and 40 of them are fun, unique nine-holes. This makes for plenty of choice if you want to play a round during your visit. The oldest course in Maine dates back to 1891, and all are very pretty. The Maine Golf Trail can help you tailor a trip around a swing of the clubs.