5 Overnight Paddling Adventures in Maine For the Whole Family

Weekend getaways may not seem like much –many more would say they prefer a week-long holiday somewhere exotic at the very least — but the fact remains that they are the best way to recharge your much-used batteries. And while lazing on an armchair in front of the TV may be relaxing, something more outdoorsy is better both for the body and the mind.

So how do the words ‘kayak’ and ‘campsite’ go together? Apparently better than you would imagine.

Below is a list of several weekend-long paddling adventures in Maine. Most of these include both equipment –including canoes, kayaks, tents and PFDs — and experienced guides so you’re relaxing getaway doesn’t turn into an unexpected nightmare. This way, you and your friends or family can focus solely on having an absolutely incredible time.

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1. Jewell Island Two-Day Expedition

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People may know Portland, Maine pretty well, but Jewell Island in Casco Bay isn’t a place you’d normally visit. The ferry runs to the closest land, Cliff Island, but for Jewell, you need to get yourself a boat, or better yet, paddle there the next available weekend with Portland Paddle.

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You can explore the trails, enjoy the camp sites, and gaze at the stunning coastline. All in all an amazing getaway, and you even have WWII towers with lookouts added to the mix, making you really relax in the remoteness.

Portland Paddle will supply the equipment if you don’t have it, and take care of breakfast and dinner, but you will need to bring the camping gear and a packed lunch. The price is $188 per person, or $138 if you bring your own equipment.

The trip is available only one weekend every summer month so make sure to reserve it in advance. And while you’re at it, you can check other amazing guided trips at portlandpaddle.net.

2. Island Camping Along The Maine Island Trail in Muscongus Bay

Not only do you get breathtaking views of Muscongus Bay on this one night, two day trip, but you can enjoy it with gourmet meals to go. And I’m not talking about fancy hotdogs. How does a Maine lobster bake and fresh blueberry pancakes sound?

Even if you don’t have any paddling skills you can enjoy the trip, as it starts with training and safety instructions before heading out. The only requirement is that all participants are above 16 years old, or 10 if accompanied by an adult. You only have to bring the sleeping bag and pillow. The fee is $300 fee per person.

Simply pick a date, any weekday from May to October, and visit mainekayak.com to book your dream trip.

3. Island Camping in the Stonington Archipelago

Instead of making the old boring museum tour, how about you visit the islands around Stonington on your next trip? It might not be the Caribbean, but you also get a swimming stop included.

You don’t need any kind of experience for the trip, or any additional luggage, as Old Quarry Ocean Adventures provides everything for you, including tents, sleeping bags and paddling gear. And although the meals cost extra — in addition to the $297 per person fee for the two-day trip — the guides can cook for you, so all you’re responsible for is having a good time.

For a staggering number of fun outings in the same vein, have a look on oldquarry.com.

4. Moosehead Lake Canoe Trip

Canoing or kayaking might sound like hard work, but this trip is out there to prove you wrong. This family-friendly trip on Moosehead Lake has only light swimming, lake exploration and an afternoon-long fishing session on the schedule. Alternately, if even that is too exhausting, you can lay back and perhaps take a nap while listening to the lull of waves before you go to the campsite and have the guide prepare your meal. On the other hand, if you want to get some action in for the $250 per person fee, paddle to Mount Kineo and take a hike up to the fire tower.

If this sounds good (and I know it does), rush to bullfrogadventures.com for more info and make a reservation.

5. Penobscot River Canoe Trip

Starting at Roll Dam and going downstream, here is a canoe trip for the whole family with lots of activities to keep everyone content, like paddling (obviously), fishing, hiking, exploring and camping. Paddling and camping equipment is provided, as well as the meals, so all you have to do is decide how long you want the fun to last, from two to seven days.

The prices start at $300 for two people, including shuttle and canoe rentals, and all additional costs apply. For more details (or other trips), visit maineoutfitter.com.

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