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Shannon Bryan

Shannon Bryan has a fondness for Maine’s peculiar goings on. And helmet cams. There’s definitely a fondness for helmet cams.   Since she arrived in Maine 10 years ago, it’s been her mission to experience it all firsthand – from the cardboard boat races to the paddleboard jousting tournaments. With any luck, she’ll persuade you to try it, too.

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Posted: July 7, 2015

Kayak to your campsite during these 5 guided overnight camping trips

Written by: Shannon Bryan

Weekend getaways are all about getting away – at least as far as you can get and still be back to work on Monday. Those precious few days are a chance to relax and recharge. Add a kayak and a campsite into the mix and you’ve got yourself an adventure you’ll be talking about for years.

Whether you want to explore one of Maine’s inland rivers with the whole family or paddle across Casco Bay for some island camping with friends, there’s a memorable paddling weekend adventure for you.

The trips listed below are just a sampling of the guided weekend paddling trips available in Maine. Most include equipment – kayaks, canoes, PFDs and tents – as well as an experienced guide who’ll make sure you safely get where you need to go (of course you’ll want to double check the dates, prices and what you’ll need to bring with whichever outfitter you choose).

Then you and your crew can focus your energies on having one incredible paddling and camping weekend away.

Photo courtesy Maine Kayak, LLC

Explore Muscongus Bay all day and sleep in a tent near the water during an overnight paddling trip with Maine Kayak. Photo courtesy Maine Kayak, LLC

Island Camping along the Maine Island Trail in Muscongus Bay

Gourmet meals don’t usually accompany camping trips (hot dogs cooked on sticks are great, but hardly gourmet), but this overnight kayaking trip combines scenic paddling in Muscongus Bay with scrumptious meals served up with your coastal camping views (we’re talking Maine blueberry pancakes and a Maine lobster bake, among other meals). This trip is open to all skills levels, and you’ll learn paddling skills and safety before heading out into the bay. Paddlers must be at least 16 years old (or at least 10 years old with an accompanying adult). Camping equipment is included (bring your own sleeping bag and pillow).
Outfitter: Maine Kayak, New Harbor
Trip length: One night, two days
Price: $290 to $300 per person
Dates: Any day of the week from May to October
More info and other guided trips: www.mainekayak.com

Photo courtesy Emmie Theberge, Portland Paddle

Photo courtesy Emmie Theberge, Portland Paddle

Jewell Island Two-Day Expedition

Jewell Island in Casco Bay is a part of Portland most folks never get to see. There’s ferry service to its neighbor, Cliff Island, but if you want to get to Jewell, best buddy up to someone with a boat or – even better – paddle there yourself during this weekend trip with Portland Paddle. The island boasts a stunning coastline, trails and camp sites, as well as WWII towers with lookouts. And it feels wonderfully remote, while still being close enough for an overnight excursion. Bring your own camping gear and lunches for this trip, and Portland Paddle will supply the kayak/paddle/PFD if you don’t have your own. They’ll also take care of breakfast and dinner on the island.
Outfitter: Portland Paddle, Portland
Trip length: One night, two days
Price: $188 per person or $138 if you use your own sea kayak (bring your own camping gear and lunches)
Dates: July 14 to 15, August 23 to 24 or by request. To reserve: 207-370-9730 or portlandpaddle@gmail.com
More info and other guided trips: portlandpaddle.net

Island Camping in the Stonington Archipelago

This trip includes plenty of island exploration in the islands around Stonington, camping and a well-deserved swimming stop. No paddling experience needed for this excursion and everything is provided for you – from paddling gear to tents and sleeping bags. Guides will even prepare your meals, which means you’re resonsible for bringing your own toothbrush and having a grand time. Oh, and relaxing.
Outfitter: Old Quarry Ocean Adventures, Stonington
Trip length: One night, two days
Price: $297.25 per person for a one night/two day trip (longer trips available). Additional cost for meals.
Dates: Contact Old Quarry to plan your trip: 207-367-8977 or info@oldquarry.com
More info and other guided trips: www.oldquarry.com

Penobscot River Canoe Trip

Bring the whole family for a canoe trip on the Penobscot River. This adventure starts at Roll Dam and heads downstream and includes plenty of paddling, hiking, fishing, camping and exploring. All ages are welcome and trips can range from two to seven days, depending on how much time you’d like to spend out there in the wild. All the paddling and camping equipment is included, as are the meals.
Outfitter: Northwoods Outfitter, Greenville
Trip length: One night, two days (longer trips available)
Price: Starting at $300 for two people, which includes shuttle and canoe rentals. Additional fees apply. Trips tailored into individual groups.
Dates: Contact Northwoods Outfitter to plan your trip from May to October: 207-695-3288 or info@maineoutfitter.com
More info and other guided trips: www.maineoutfitter.com

Moosehead Lake Canoe Trip

Relaxing sounds good, doesn’t it? This family-friendly canoe trip on Moosehead Lake includes an afternoon of fishing, swimming and lake exploration – or just enjoy a chill afternoon on the water. At the island campsite, your guide will do all the cooking. One day two, paddle over to Mount Kineo and hike up to the fire tower.
Outfitter: Bullfrog Adventures, Caratunk
Trip length: One night, two days (three-day trips available, too)
Price: $250 per person
Dates: Contact Bullfrog Adventures to plan your trip: 207-672-9298 or info@bullfrogadventures.com
More info and other guided trips: bullfrogadventures.com

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