Topic: Maine

Maine Best Adventures 2011

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Gulf Hagas,
Bowdoin College Grant East Township
When a raging river drops precipitously through narrow canyon walls, the result is a series of frothy waterfalls and swimming holes so frigid–or refreshing–that only a native Mainer could dip his or her head. Smack-dab in the Hundred-Mile Wilderness region, the eight-mile Gulf Hagas hike is a remote wilderness gem. Located about 15 miles northwest of Brownsville Junction, the nearest town. Off Katahdin Iron Works Road

Penobscot River,
The Forks
Moments after boarding your raft and going over your first major rapid, dubbed “Exterminator,” you immediately realize that this 14-mile stretch of the Penobscot is a serious joyride that will have you shrieking with abandonment. Go with a reputable outfitter such as Northern Outdoors, which ran its first trip down the Penobscot in 1976. 1771 U.S. Route 201. 800-765-7238, 207-663-4466; northernoutdoors.com

Allagash Wilderness Waterway,
Registered Maine Guides Polly Mahoney and Kevin Slater, owners of Mahoosuc Guide Service, will take you down the 92-mile Allagash from spring through fall, but they highly recommend their “Before the Bugs” trip, May 24-29 this year, or the “Fall Foliage” paddle, September 27 to October 2 this year, when the insects and the majority of humans are gone–replaced by moose as talkative as Bullwinkle (they’re in heat)–and Mother Nature is putting on her most colorful dress. 1513 Bear River Road. 207-824-2073; mahoosuc.com

Maine Huts & Trails,
Franklin & Somserset Counties
Spend the day hiking in a vast tract of Maine wilderness, where mountains, large lakes, serpentine rivers, and tumultuous falls all vie for your attention. Then grab a hot shower, a hearty dinner, and a comfy bed in one of the three huts created by Maine Huts & Trails, or spend a couple of nights and do all three. Start at Poplar Stream Falls Hut and then hike 11 miles north to Flagstaff Lake; from there hike another 12 miles to the newest lodging, Grand Falls Hut, on the north bank of the Dead River. Visit the Web site for rates. 877-634-8824; mainehuts.org

Maine Windjammer,
Camden, Rockland, Rockport
If you want to taste the salt of the sea but prefer to have someone else take the wheel, climb aboard one of the Maine Windjammer Association’s 13 historic or contemporary schooners and sail the island-salted waters off the Midcoast. Enjoy lobster dinners under the stars and anchorages that rock you to sleep. Visit the Web site to contact individual captains for details on cruise lengths (weekend to eight days), accommodations, rates, and home ports. 800-807-9463; sailmainecoast.com


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