With an experienced guide at the helm, eager explorers pile into Maine Rafting Expedition?s brightly colored rafts, ready to crash over rumbling rapids throughout Maine?s rivers. Their excursions suit adventurers of all abilities, from more relaxed family- and kid-friendly jaunts through the Penobscot River?s Class III and IV rapids to white-knuckle-inducing trips through Canada Falls? Class-V rapids and a 20-foot waterfall. The most popular trip runs down 16 miles of the Penobscot River, whose Class IV and V rapids offer a heart-pumping ride for paddlers and wild moose aged 14 and up. The seasoned guides also lead overnight expeditions, which break for slumber at fully equipped campsites along the river. On every trip, rafters can fuel up with the included riverside barbecues and commemorate their journeys with photos and videos available for purchase.
Chris Strout picked up his first paddle as a teenager, beginning an ongoing exploration of the Mount Desert Island area’s diverse waterways. Now, as a master guide and certified as a Level II standup paddleboard instructor by the American Canoe Association, Chris shares his passion for Maine’s dramatic terrain through SUP rentals, as well as lessons, tours, and morning SUP yoga. Within Alpenglow Adventure Sports, Chris supplies clients with high-quality gear from brands such as BIC Sport SUP and Hyperflex Wetsuits. He also recommends what to bring, and posts an FAQ page to answer questions such as, “Is the board better in water or deep fried?”
From a distance, Xtreme Adventures might look like a giant playground. But that's not all it is. Its aerial adventure course also serves as a fast-track education in teamwork for its visitors, who include families, groups of friends or coworkers, and dysfunctional ant colonies. Safety-minded staff instruct guests ages 4 and older in the basics of the ropes course, but after that it's up to each climber to rely on a buddy to scramble across tightropes, cargo nets, and hanging vines, all suspended up to 35 feet off the ground to ensure safety from wandering giraffes.
The giant swing and eight ziplines?some of them six stories high?offer a different kind of rush. The swing sets hearts pumping with a 35-foot drop, and the ziplines send guests soaring through the treetops on guided flights up to 600 feet long.
Fairways cleaved between dense forest groves demand precision and strategic course management. That’s exactly the way Donald Ross wanted it. The nine-hole course at Lucerne Golf Club bears the inimitable stamp of the legendary course architect, designer of the famed Pinehurst No. 2. In 1926. Ross built the course on the eastern shore of Phillips Lake, giving players pause as they drink in the dramatic vistas and mystical lake water, which has been known to turn golf carts into submarines. Trees are omnipresent throughout the 3,270-yard course, looming treacherously over shots as players attempt to solve the par 36 puzzle.
Since 1968, lovers of dance as young as 2 have twirled and sashayed their way through classes at Morita's School of Dance. Instructors teach tap, ballet, jazz, musical theater, ballroom, swing, hip-hop, and contemporary moves in a group setting, and offer private lessons for those who want one-on-one attention. Other athletic-geared classes include TRX, tumbling, yoga, and Zumba. The instructors can also devise customized choreography for a couple’s wedding reception or a kid’s first Communion.
Whale watching was a relatively new concept when John Fish's grandfather started giving tours. "We kind of originated it," Mr. Fish says. "Thirty years ago we were the only ones doing whale watching." As the company became more successful over the years, additional captains were brought on to cover the demand. Today, these crews continue to ferry groups into the habitats of several whale species, including humpback whales and sperm whales. Though the whales seen along Cap'n Fish's Whale Watch's journeys still breach and refuse to sign autographs, other things have changed over the years. Below deck, the current fleet's engines work to reduce emissions and provide a fume-free experience. Above deck, 360-degree viewing decks and modern technology help bring whales into sight. Onboard computers display large maps of where the aquatic mammals are known to swim, and GPS systems reroute boats around mermen constructing new reefs. In addition to illuminating the behavior of whales for passengers, the crew's wildlife experts point passengers toward other animals they spot along the way, such as white-sided dolphins and harbor seals. Though some variables are beyond their control, the crew members almost always spot whales and boasted a 98% success rate in 2009.