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Eco-Friendly Adventures in Maine

Maine’s mountains welcome visitors who tread lightly on eco-tourism adventures


Images of Maine’s magnificent outdoor places – from rugged mountains to rocky coasts – are familiar to people across the continent. Many of the images -- of hikers trudging across an autumn hillside or canoes moving among rocky islands -- are steeped in a feeling of peaceful quiet. Exploring Maine’s glorious outdoors can involve powerful machines, but many people choose eco-tourism outings. That is, simply, moving through nature simply and lightly, without help from motors or engines. Eco-tourism takes all kinds of forms in Maine. Tougher ones could be ice climbing, with only the crunch of ice picks to pierce the stillness. Most of us gravitate more toward forest or mountain walks, snowshoeing or cross-country skiing. In summer, the Atlantic coast and many mountain lakes offer chances for swimming, fishing, beach combing, paddling, and wildlife watching. A vacation that respects and embraces nature is healthful for everyone involved, and it can be a joy for families, especially if it becomes a tradition. Children learn by doing, so one way to encourage respect for nature in budding environmentalists is to get kids outdoors to run, climb, and enjoy.

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Schooner American Eagle - Maine Windjammers - Camden ME
Maine Windjammer Association

Sailing from Ports in Rockland and Camden, ME, 04843 Phone: Toll-Free: 800-807-9463

Windjammers offer lucky vacationers an experience they’ll remember for a lifetime

Windjammer cruising is like nothing else on Earth, and it starts with the magnificent tall ships themselves. The nine vessels of the Maine Windjammer Association, some of them National Historic Landmarks, have been meticulously cared for, offering guests comfortable accommodations, amazing meals prepared by professional cooks and rich experiences from trying your hand at raising the sails to stopping off at quiet fishing villages. There’s also just relaxing on deck as your windjammer weaves in and out among green-forested islands, stopping once on every cruise for a traditional lobster bake. Wildlife sightings include bald eagles, porpoises, seals and the occasional puffin or minke whale. Steady breezes and calm bays make this an ideal cruising ground for schooners, an intrinsic part of the picturesque Maine coast for centuries.
Cross Country Skiing - New England Outdoor Center - Millinocket, ME
New England Outdoor Center

30 Twin Pines Road Millinocket, ME, 04462 Phone: 207-723-5438 Toll-Free: 800-766-7238

Sustainability is critical in all the adventures offered by this Maine outdoor center

At the New England Outdoor Center, their mission is to foster respect for the responsible shared use of the Maine woodlands they call home. So when you set out on one of the center’s fishing trips, snowmobile or wildlife tours, hit the bike or cross-country ski trails, you know it’s a sustainable adventure. The center manages its 1,400 acres in accordance with the American Forest Foundation’s standards of sustainability. At its Millinocket Lake location, it reduces waste, recycles and offers lodging options that are eco-friendly. New mountain-biking trails are being built in a sustainable manner, and that principle also applies to the use of waterways for fishing, rafting, paddle boarding and kayaking. Check the website for tips on how you can help with this effort.