Photo: Portaging past Northern Maine’s Abandoned Locomotives on the Allagash Wilderness Waterway.
It’s called The Great Outdoors
Because most people love it! Do you have a die-hard outdoor enthusiast on your holiday list? Or maybe kids who are on their electronics more than you’d like, sometimes so much that you get their names confused because you don’t see them unless it’s dinner time?
Here is the perfect solution: Give them the gift of the Maine outdoors! This is the perfect gift for anyone on your holiday list, including Aunt Marsha who’s hard to shop for or Dad who already has everything.
Make Memories that will Last a Lifetime
Outdoor activities are best when experienced with someone else, so make sure you plan to go along for the adventure, too! This may be the only gift you can buy for yourself during the holiday season that you won’t feel guilty about. Group adventures are great for families who have busy schedules and don’t get to spend a lot of time together. Most of these ideas can be booked well in advance so no one will be able to give you the excuse that it was short notice!
Last Minute Shopper? No Problem!
The best part about giving outdoor adventure gifts? You can usually buy them online, and they’re sure to be in stock! This is great for you last minute shoppers like myself. After booking a reservation just give the recipient a card outlining the brilliant adventure you have planned.
If you aren’t convinced yet that the Maine outdoors is the perfect gift for almost anyone, check out this list!
This is a great gift for the person who loves to ski or snowboard. Most mountains offer several different types of season passes at various prices, and discounts for students. Here is a list of Maine’s 19 ski areas.
The lifetime license is the perfect gift for anyone ages 15 and under or 65 and older. Maine Inland Fisheries and Wildlife offers lifetime licenses for fishing, hunting, archery, trapping, a combination of any two, or combo of any three. Unfortunately, those of us 16-64 years old will have to wait to get a lifetime license! In the meantime, you can renew someone’s current license. Click here for license rates and more information or click here to purchase your license now online through Maine’s MOSES online license website.
This is a great deal for school-aged kids (and a super stocking-stuffer!). For just $20 Maine kids in 5th, 6th or 7th grade can go downhill and cross-country skiing, ice skating and snow tubing at one of over 50 areas in Maine! The program offers discounted tickets, lessons and rentals. Kids in pre-school through 4th grade can get a free WinterKids Funpass which allows three free visits to each of 21 different locations. Visit https://www.winterkids.org/ to order your passes!
Ever wanted to try something new? How about whitewater paddling, dogsledding, fishing, hiking, snowshoeing, or going on an overnight canoe trip? Some of the best folks I’ve ever met are Registered Maine Guides. They are knowledgeable and ready to teach you about the outdoors. Hiring a Registered Maine Guide is also a great way to get the most out of your outdoor adventure. They know the best places to go and are fantastic campfire cooks! Visit The Maine Professional Guides Association for more information and a list of Registered Maine Guides.
Whitewater rafting is action-packed fun for those who love adrenaline! Maine has three whitewater rivers to choose from: the Kennebec River, Dead River, and Penobscot River. Each river offers something different with various classes of whitewater and levels of action. Water levels vary throughout the season based on weather conditions and planned high-water releases. Special days are designated each year for the Kennebec high-water dam release which you can see here. The Dead River can only be paddled during high water releases, and there are 11 dates to choose from in 2018 which you can see here.
Here is a list of 16 different whitewater rafting outfitters in Maine.
I’ve heard all kinds of great stories from folks who have stayed in remote Maine sporting camps and cabins. Many are primitive with gas lamps and outhouses. You probably won’t get cell phone reception or WiFi while you’re there, either, and it’s completely worth it! With nature as your only distraction, no crowds, and incredible scenic wilderness, it’s the perfect adventure getaway. You’ll enjoy endless outdoor opportunities at your doorstep including paddling, hiking, swimming, biking, hunting, and fishing to name a few! Click here to see a list of Maine Sporting Camps and Cabins.
Maine Huts & Trails is a fantastic nonprofit organization that offers year-round outdoor recreation opportunities in the Western Lakes & Mountains region of Maine. You can stay in a hut for one night or plan a hut-to-hut adventure, traveling by foot, ski, snowshoe, or bike between the huts. You could also purchase Maine Huts & Trails membership for someone on your list and plan an adventure at another time. More information is available on their website here.
Another great way to see Maine’s incredible wilderness is on an ATV or snowmobile. Don’t have one? No problem! There are many outfitters and shops that rent them across the state. Maine has an incredible network of trails maintained by local snowmobile and ATV clubs. Plan a single-day trip or multi-day adventure on the trails where you’ll find trailside lodging and restaurants in many towns. Find out where you can rent snowmobiles in Maine here. Here is a list of places to rent ATVs in Maine.
This is another great way to spend time with those you love and make some fantastic memories. Book an oceanside campsite where you can fall asleep to the sound of waves and wake up to the smell of fresh ocean air. Spend time walking along the shore, go for a swim, or rent some kayaks to add to the adventure! Check out this list of campgrounds in Maine and look for the listings that have “ocean” next to them!
For those who aren’t afraid of heights! Here you have several options: scenic flights, hot air balloon rides, and skydiving. Maine offers them all. Scenic flights are great anytime of year but book early for the fall foliage flights. Hot air balloons are another great way to view Maine’s incredible wild beauty from the skies, and don’t forget about the hot air balloon festivals that take place in the summer! For those who enjoy a real adrenaline rush, get them a reservation to go skydiving- it’s the ultimate thrill for those who love high-adventure! There is also a jump and raft option for double the thrills!
There you have it, the holiday gift guide for outdoor enthusiasts who love Maine! You can use this list year-round when trying to find the perfect birthday gift for your favorite outdoor adventurer, too!