Northeast Whitewater Blog

Maine Moose Watching Statistics

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Bull Moose Maine PondOur daily Maine Moose watching tours run from May 1st until October 12th.  It’s our goal to provide accurate sighting reports to guests when asked, “are you seeing moose?”  “How many moose are you seeing per tour?”  “What other wildlife  might we see on the moose and wildlife safari?”  Here’s how we can honestly answer these questions and more.  Our guides provide a daily moose and wildlife report.  We compiled the information the guides reported in order to provide statistics on how many moose and what other wildlife we actually see when taking guests out for a Maine moose watching tour.  This is a peak at what we have discovered for wildlife both from morning and evening tours from the 1st of May to the 1st of September.  The data for September and October has yet to be calculated because we are still in the midst of moose tour season.

Our daily moose watching tours are in the mornings and evenings, centered around moose habitat.  From May to August 10, the evening tours are at 5PM; we then transition to a 4PM tour time until September 10; and have just in the last few days transitioned to our 3PM tour time for afternoon moose tours.  Morning tours are always at 6AM.  The tours are 3.5 to 4 hours, both by land or canoe.  Come enjoy a trip with us and look what awesome Maine wildlife you have the potential to see with us!

May June July Aug
# of Trips 17 35 44 49
Total Moose 35 150 200 88
Bulls 13 55 79 34
Cows 22 95 121 54
Avg Moose/Trip 2 4.3 4.5 1.8
Loons 8 51 91 79
Deer 15 45 75 33
Hare 19 35 22 15
Bears 0 6 2 1
Beavers 2 5 2 2
Eagles 1 4 1 4
Owls 0 0 1 0
River Otters 0 0 3 0
Minks 0 0 2 3
R-T Hawk 0 0 1 1
Merlins 0 0 2 3
Bitems 0 4 0 0
Turkeys 1 0 6 6
Fox 0 4 4 3
Ravens 0 0 2 0
Grouse 1 0 11 0
Newt 0 1 0 0
Osprey 0 1 0 0
Fisher Cats 0 1 0 0
Woodchuck 1 0 0 0
Blue Winged 0 0 0 1
Hawk 0 0 0 0
Blue Heron 0 0 0 11
Coyote 0 0 0 1

What is a Raft Guide?

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For a raft guide, every spring is filled with excitement.  Whether the raft guide spent the winter in college, working at a ski resort or held a “real” job, spring brings memories of past seasons, reunions with fellow rafting guides, spring runoff of high water excitement, and a renewed outlook for another season of guiding. New guides, on the other hand, or “trainees” as we call them, are filled with nervous anticipation of training and the excitement of starting a new road map on the rivers in Maine.

White water rafting companies are looking for guides that want to work hard, don’t complain about the small stuff, and take pride in river skills, and most importantly love the river.  Our small rafting company focuses on the quality of our river trips.  From our one location in Greenville, Maine we can raft our family friendly river trip, which is the Kennebec river and then step it up on the Penobscot river or Canada Falls for class V excitement.  From an economics standpoint, raft guiding is one of the few jobs out there where you can find work in any type of economy.

In addition to the favorable economics and rafting culture you join once you become a raft guide, the rafting job itself can be one of the most rewarding positions you’ll ever have.  Guiding rafts is both physically and mentally challenging. The change from going rafting as a guest and actually guiding a raft is a big difference.  Guests tend not to notice the amount of boat control a guide has, but when they do notice they tend to reward you well with guide gratuity. Mostly though, by having a great personality, showing the boat control and exuding the excitement that river rafting offers, gratuity is a common gesture.

There are endless opportunities for raft guide trainees to work on improving their raft guiding skills and beginning to flourish within their raft guide personality.  We encourage raft guides to get out on the river even when not scheduled to guide.  Enjoy a day of paddling with other raft guides and ride along on a commercial trip to see how other raft guides handle certain rapids and guest interaction.  Our raft guides can progress quickly from level I rafting guides, to level II raft guides in the first summer.  That doesn’t mean a first year guide is capable of guiding on class V rivers, but what it does mean is our guides get the opportunity to challenge themselves in the first year of learning to guide on all rivers in Maine.  This helps to build confidence and a strong river awareness to become the most proficient group of guides on the rivers.  Raft guiding can be a lifelong career, in which you guide rafts part time on weekends during the summer months, return year after year for the summer season to work full time in the rafting industry, or even dedicate your life to year round guiding, traveling the world to work on rivers and lead trips.  And for some, raft guiding is a summer fling that you look back on, smile about, and enjoy for fun with family in the future.

For those that want to try their hand at raft guiding in Maine, there are a few things that will help you succeed:

Be humble & confident.  Do not let your ego overpower the importance of confidence. You want to be humble enough to accept constructive criticism, in order to improve, but be confident enough to take control of your raft.

  • Take advantage of every opportunity to get better and get on the river. When you aren’t guiding, go on the river.  Practice reading the river, ask questions of your trainers, be engaged and involved mentally.
  • Prepare for whitewater guide training. Start working out.  Go swim.  Go run.  Go climb the longest set of stairs on campus or at work until you can’t feel your legs anymore.  Training is very physically demanding, enough said.
  • Be a team player. The most valuable employees are those that support the company and the rest of the guides without creating a lot of drama. Support your fellow guides by doing the little things that nobody notices.
  • Have fun. We all guide in part because it is fun to be on the river. Enjoy your time on the river, but always remember that your job is about creating a fun, safe and memorable experience for the people in your raft.
  • Be thankful for every day. Your time as a guide will go quickly.  Appreciate the awesomeness of each experience and make the most of every day.To start the process of becoming a raft guide in Maine with Northeast Whitewater, all you need to do is call us at 207-695-0151 or send an email our way expressing interest at info@northeastwhitewater.com.

    Your life will be forever changed.  We challenge you to take the leap, you’ll be forever grateful.

penobsot-rafting-maine

 

Whitewater Rafting Morning Raft Day Checklist

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Whether you have been whitewater rafting before or its your first time whitewater rafting in Maine, Northeast Whitewater answers all your questions about whitewater rafting in the morning raft day checklist speech.  It’s a fact, that all guests have the same questions!  It makes it very easy for us to answer each and every question posed by all of our guests the morning of the raft trip day, at our morning rafting speech.  Granted, we go over our raft day checklist information via phone when guests schedule with us, then again in our reservation confirmation, but to hear it first hand the morning of the trip goes like this.

“Welcome to Northeast Whitewater!  You are whitewater rafting today on the KENNEBEC river.  We need to go over the boring stuff before we can head out on the river and have some fun!

1) Liability Waiver
First, everyone in your party must complete a liability waiver.  In a nutshell, this waiver says there is inherent risk involved in the activity that you are signing on to participate in today; whether that is eating Rileigh’s lunch, riding on the bus or doing a day packed full of whitewater action.  A few things on the form that we need to go over.  What folks never seem to know when they are on vacation – the date!  Today’s date is (insert date of trip).  Program name is RAFT and the trip location is spelled on our Northeast Whitewater river map – KENNEBEC.  The rest of the form is your contact information.  If you have anyone in your party that is under the age of 18 a parent or guardian that is over the age of 18 is required to sign for that member of your party.  I will call your party name, you will come meet me at the Northeast Whitewater counter and I’ll give you your groups liability waivers and some pens.  Once your done filling out the liability waivers in their entirety, please return those to me and we will continue to talk about what to wear and what to expect for the day.  Sound good?!

…Smith Party of 8!!!

Thanks folks for turning in your liability waivers.  Now, let’s talk about what to expect for today!

Your guess is as good as mine as to what the weather is going to do today.   The weatherman is calling for temps in the 60’s and a chance of showers this afternoon.  No matter what the weather decides to do though, we dress for the WATER not the weather.  Why do we dress for the WATER, not the weather?  Because you are going to be WET all day!  We want you wet and warm, not wet and cold.

2) What to wear
Some options in regards to what to wear on today’s whitewater rafting trip.  No cotton on the river!  Once cotton is wet, it keeps you wet and cold and will suck the heat out of you.  So, you are welcome to wear your cotton t-shirt on the bus ride, but don’t wear it on the river.  We have a few options for you to keep you wet and warm – our Northeast Whitewater river shirts are one option.  We have both short and long sleeve options in a variety of colors and what is really super cool about our river shirts is that the river that you will be rafting on today is on the back of the shirt.  Just make sure if you are going to opt for that option, you are the guest that picks the seat in front of the guide, so the guide knows where to go on the river today!  Northeast Whitewater river shirts are multi-purpose because they not only can be worn on the river today, they are a great souvenir.

If you would like to rent wetsuits today, we can offer you a half wetsuit or a full wetsuit.  We have farmer john’s for you fellas and farmer jane’s for us ladies.  They are very fashionable!  What happens is the water between your skin and the neoprene warms, which helps to keep you warm.  If you would prefer to wear our wetsuit top instead, that is available as well.  The wetsuit top is more of an insurance policy that you have an extra layer for the rafting trip, but if you decide that you are too warm, you can take it off and tie the wetsuit top right into the raft.  If your prone to getting cold we recommend a full wetsuit, which is both the top and the farmer john.  Wetsuits are available for rent when we are through with our morning raft day checklist.

3) River shoes
Next, you must where shoes on your feet – no flip flops, no crocs – something that is securely fastened to your feet.  If not, the river will take your shoes away and you won’t be happy at the end of the day without your shoes.  Sandals with a back strap, old tennis sneakers or your own water shoes work great.  We also have river shoes that are for sale in the shop, or river booties available for rental.

4) Holding your sunglasses on your face
You are welcome to wear glasses or sunglasses on the river, but you must get some restraining straps called CHUMS to hold your glasses on your face or the river will … woosh … take your glasses away and you won’t have your glasses at the end of the day and that will make you sad.  So, either get some CHUMS here in the shop or don’t wear your glasses.

5) What to take with you (or not to take with you)?
You are welcome to take a bag on the bus.  What my bag would have in it is some sunscreen, my water bottle, a dry cotton t-shirt for the end of the day, a towel and maybe a little snack for the end of the day.  Do not take anything of value with you on today’s river trip.  Gary is our bus driver today and he’s not responsible for your personal items.  You don’t need your wallets, phones or valuables out on the river.  Lock up your valuables in your car and we have a key box here at the desk, in which we will make sure that your car is safe in our parking lot today.  Just make sure any of those fancy cars out there are fueled up, so Jess can go get some lunch.  (chuckle, chuckle).

6) Cameras
You are welcome to bring a waterproof camera along.  If you don’t have your own waterproof camera, we have some disposable cameras here for sale that take great candids of your river experience.  We will be showing pictures at the end of today’s whitewater rafting trip on our big screen TV’s.  You will get to see all of your big whitewater rafting hits today and we’ll also get to see if there were any lily dippers on your raft (learning how to paddle comes later in the guides morning safety speech).  The pictures are available for purchase when you return from today’s rafting trip.

7) Food
Is anyone in this group a vegetarian?  We won’t make fun of you, I promise.  We serve our famous grilled riverside BBQ today half way through the trip, which includes steak, chicken, a vegetarian option for any vegetarians, river rice, pasta salad, bread and brownies – a nice big feast half way through your day.  If anyone has any food allergies, please be sure to come see us at the counter, so we can accommodate you.

8) Get your gear
If you all have signed your life away and we’ve answered all of your questions, in regards to today’s whitewater rafting trip and you don’t need anything in the shop or wetsuit rentals; you are going to turn around, go outside and there are some knuckle heads outside that we call raft guides, that are going to give you three required pieces of equipment today – a lifejacket, helmet and a paddle.  There are changing rooms outside, so go get geared up for the river day and then we’ll meet back at the picnic tables for the morning group photo, where you’ll meet your guide and then load up on the bus and head to the river.”

White water rafting in Maine is not only a fun, exhilarating adventure for most age groups, but also a great way to disconnect from our hectic lifestyles, enjoy family and friends time (and an excessive amount of water).  Our #1 family activity at Moosehead Lake Maine is our Kennebec river whitewater rafting trip.  Northeast Whitewater’s Kennebec river trip is great for kids as young as 8 and as old as you can be!  Check out Northeast Whitewater Rafting Trips and our guided overnight rafting trips. And remember, it’s okay to be a little nervous, but our experienced Registered Maine Guides are not only exceptional at providing an amazing river experience, they are fun to spend the day with.  Visit Northeast Whitewater this summer to check out our trips first hand!

NWR 8-26-15 K005

Northeast Whitewater Rafting – Kennebec River

This is Jessica’s morning raft day checklist speech.  All Northeast whitewater raft guides have their own twist and variation to make it a fun, yet informative raft day informational session for our guests.

 

Family Friendly White Water Rafting in Maine

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Looking for a family friendly Maine vacation, look no further than White Water Rafting in Maine with Northeast Whitewater.  When planning a Maine vacation, it’s important to take into consideration where your spending your time, with whom you are spending your time, and how you want to enjoy the time off you have looked forward to all year.  Family vacations are a memorable time in our lives, so picking the best vacation for your family is important, so that the time spent together is priceless.

Some hurdles that parents face with their kids, while on vacation is getting their kids to get outside and enjoy Mother Nature.  We hear constantly from parents how difficult it is to get their kids to disconnect from their cell phones, computers, text messages and social media sites.  Our response remains the same; sign up for a family friendly white water rafting trip or any outdoor adventure with us and your kids will love it.  Parents can be skeptical at times; is the day going to be too long for their kids to be unplugged from their gadgets?!  Okay parents, time to take the lead here, you’re the boss and you need to get your kids outside, active and enjoying time spent with you!  The parent/child relationship should be more important than the relationship kids have with their phones and constant computerized stimulation. This is where we come in.

Family fun on the Kennebec river

Family fun on the Kennebec river

Our Maine white water rafting trips are centered around you and your family, with rapids for all abilities and comfort levels.  Our Kennebec river rafting trip is the best family friendly whitewater trip.  Your kids will learn immediately about the importance of paying attention to their guide, working together as a team, which allows them to be the engine for the raft to ride up and over the big waves.  This is the moment in the trip, where parents are thrilled because the laughter and excitement coming from their kids is all that needs to be heard to prove that they made the right decision by pulling their kids away from the gadgets and getting them outside for a family fun outdoor adventure.

Okay, allowing your kids to share pictures on Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest at the end of their day of rafting excitement is all well and good, but for the time spent out on Maine’s rivers, enjoying the rush of whitewater and fresh Maine air there’s no other stimulation required. Now, that you are ready to start planning your family friendly white water rafting trip with us, take into consideration the following important vacation planning tips:

Set gadget boundaries – On your next family friendly vacation, truly plan to have family time, and less gadget time.  Get your kids outside to enjoy Maine’s rivers, Moosehead Lake, a day of hiking to see waterfalls and of course a fun-filled family day of whitewater rafting with Northeast Whitewater.

Plan ahead – I get it, we all want sunny days on the rivers, but because our trips are small and personalized, we only have a limited number of spots available per day.  And, who really cares about the rain, anyway when you are rafting in rapids that are guaranteed to keep you soaked all day.

Now is your time to seek out the best family friendly white water rafting trip for you and your family.  Choose Maine.  Our state has everything to offer families and folks looking for a vacation to enjoy the great outdoors – woods, rivers, the ocean, lobster, lighthouses and of course our Maine Moose!  This is your chance to schedule a trip with a company that cares about you, your experience and your families fun…now get started and unplug when you get here.

Call Northeast Whitewater 207-695-0151.

 

I Moose be Dreamin’

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Bull Cow Moose MaineWhether we humans like to admit it or not, here in the Moosehead Lake Region, moose pretty much rule the roost. Outnumbering us 3 to 1, any local you speak to should have a pocket full of moose stories. If not, they so obviously haven’t embraced the outdoor culture embraced by most locals in the region. If you’ve never been in the presence of one of these majestic creatures, you are missing out. It truly is a humbling experience. They are so massive, yet pensive, in a sense.

Many people will venture out on their own moose hunt, so to speak, wandering around the area aimlessly in hopes to see one of these beautiful beings. As a local, this makes a whole lot of sense for me, not so much for our visitor’s for a number of reasons. First of all, as a visitor, you don’t know the area very well. Traveling down unmarked dirt roads can certainly put you in a pickle in the North Maine Woods. It doesn’t take long to get turned around, and lose your way. A lot of these roads offer spotty cell phone reception, at best, so getting lost while traveling down these back roads could turn into a long trek which could quickly make you feel like Dorthy, lost in the land of Oz. Another reason is that a lot of visitors don’t understand that, though moose seem fairly docile, they are wild animals, and should be treated as such. Something as simple as a fly could spook them enough to send them charging. Averaging around 7 feet tall, and around 1000 pounds, this is not an animal you would stand a chance with if you were to get trampled. I remember seeing a picture of a woman kissing a moose not long ago. Though this woman lived to tell the tale, you would have a better chance seeing me kiss my own rear end, than kissing a moose. That could have very quickly turned into a tragic situation, as opposed to a cute picture. Another reason is just simply that our local guides know the local moose hangouts, and the best times to see a moose, our visitors don’t!

Maine MooseMoose facts? To us locals, this may seem like redundancy, but ask us about some facts on the polar bear, and I bet the people of Alaska could tell us a thing or two that would blow our minds, so don’t worry about the locals giving you a hard time about asking “silly” moose questions. Afterall, I was always taught that there are no stupid questions, only stupid answers. So, to ward off some of these locals heckling you, here are a few facts about these gentle giants.

  • The Moose is the official Maine state animal
  • A male moose is called a Bull, a female moose is called a cow, and a baby moose is called a   calf.
  • Bull moose antlers can be up to 6 feet wide, and weigh up to 90 pounds.
  • Bull moose shed their antlers every winter, and grow a new set back in the spring.
  • Moose have the highest rate of bone formation growth, growing up to an inch per day!
  • The average life expectancy of a moose is 25 years
  • Moose can weigh up to 1500 pounds!
  • The average moose stands 7 feet tall, and 8.5 feet in length
  • Moose can swim as fast as 6 miles per hour
  • Moose can run up to 35 miles per hour
  • Moose have no upper teeth
  • Moose have very poor eyesight
  • The Maine moose population hovers right around 30,000

Please, however, don’t ask us when the white tail deer turn into moose, then you’re just asking us to direct you up the golden road, when you ask us where the best restaurant in town is.

Maine MooseAs you can tell, moose are fairly impressive creatures. Most people don’t realize just how fast these guys can run, which is why you end up seeing people kissing moose and thinking it isn’t dangerous. Your best bet is to have someone who knows a bit about these animals take you out to see them, for safety sake, but also to increase your chances of seeing a moose!

Our guides head out at 6am, and 5pm everyday, with a group of people, wide eyed, anxious to catch a picture of one of these amazing creatures. The great thing is that they almost always see at least one, usually many more. With local commentary from our guides, usually involving stories from past moose tours, our visitor’s not only enjoy the scenery, but also the company.

Last Monday and Tuesday evenings were particularly successful tours, as our guide came back with news that they saw 18 moose on Monday, and15 moose on their adventure Tuesday! On top of dodging moose left and right, there were deer, hare, loons, osprey, eagles, and so much more to be seen! There aren’t many sounds that are as soothing to me as a loon call, so this was a real treat for our visitors. Though you are on a moose tour, here in the north Maine woods, it’s hard to venture out without coming across at least a few other critters.

I hope I helped clear up some questions about our favorite animal up here in northern Maine, and I hope I’ve enticed you to venture out with one of our guides to check out the wildlife.

Fall Foliage Moose Watching Tours

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Maine Fall Foliage Moose WatchingA highlight for guests visiting Maine during fall foliage season is our moose watching tours.  The next 3 weeks tend to be the most exciting for us guides, too!  We have been waiting all season long to see the behemoth bull moose emerge from the forest showcasing his antlers and bull stature.  Needless to say, the fall colors in Maine are always a treat and as the backdrop for photographers in search of moose, it couldn’t be more exciting!

Guests flock to the Moosehead Lake area each fall.  A typical getaway for many fall foliage enthusiasts is a tour to Maine’s rocky coast to trek along the carriage roads of Acadia National Park.  Most will then journey inland to Maine’s largest lake and that’s where you will find us, the closest moose watching tour company to the Bar Harbor and Acadia region, here at Northeast Whitewater. T ravelers enjoy the rugged, woodsy view decorated in oranges, reds, yellows with evergreens pickling the landscape.  Once inland, joining our moose tours is an obvious choice to grasp the enormity of the forest and the wildness of the area.  The moose tours are 3-4 hours and an exciting adventure for everyone; young, old, big, small you will love the interpretive journey lead by our Maine guides, exploring the forest, and beauty of this pristine area.

From Moosehead Lake, we recommend driving through Maine’s mountains that lead to New Hampshire.  You’ll find that traveling through the mountains of Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont tend to captivate the color changing of the fall foliage season perfectly during a one to two week fall foliage getaway.

Plan ahead, though!  Many travelers think that since most families and children are back to school, the Northeast must be quiet in September and October.  Not true.  Mid-September to mid-October are just busy as peak summer, it’s no longer family trips, instead couples and overseas travelers are enjoying holiday.  Schedule ahead of time, plan your stay and plays and we’ll look forward to enjoying the fall colors and moose watching with you.

Northeast Whitewater can be reached daily from 7 AM – 9 PM at 207-695-0151 or toll-free at 888-484-3317 or feel free to email us at info@northeastwhitewater.com.