Northeast Whitewater Blog

Benefits of Swiftwater Rescue Training

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The benefits of swiftwater rescue training are far greater than the alternative, which could be a tragic, preventable accident.  Northeast Whitewater trains participants in our Level IV ACA Swiftwater Rescue Training with hands-on, scenario-based rescue training designed swiftwater-rescue-trainingspecifically for whitewater boaters; kayakers, rafters, cat boaters, stand up paddleboarders, river boarders, and canoeists.  You will learn and progress your knowledge of how the river works in river hydrology, risk assessment, self rescue and how to save others, as well as understanding how to use your gear and equipment.  Ultimately the benefits of swiftwater rescue training results in solid survival skills.

Our Level IV ACA Swiftwater Rescue training is a fast-paced, scenario-based rescue course designed to develop the ability to choose good actions when a river rescue is necessary. This hands-on and physical course focuses on quick reaction time and thorough understanding of options and resources. The skills portion emphasizes knowing personal limits and skill level, knowledge of basic rope skills, and the ability to execute a rescue. Focusing on rescue scenarios that you are most likely to encounter while paddling, participants will practice rescue techniques through a variety of on river scenarios.

Northeast Whitewater Swiftwater Rescue Level IV Training workshop teaches recognition and avoidswift-water-rescue-trainingance of common river hazards, execution of self-rescue techniques, and rescue techniques for paddlers in distress. Emphasis is placed both on personal safety and on simple, commonly used skills. Techniques for dealing with hazards that carry greater risks for both victim and rescuer, such as strainers, rescue vest applications, entrapments, and pins, also are practiced. Scenarios will provide an opportunity for participants to practice their skills both individually and within a group context.  This course should be a pre-requisite for anyone boating on any river anywhere!

Northeast Whitewater offers training programs in Swiftwater Rescue Training for Boy Scouts in their Merit Badge Pursuits, Wilderness First Aid & CPR, Maine Guide Courses in Recreation & Whitewater Rafting.  For more information about Swiftwater Rescue Training, its benefits and why Swiftwater Rescue is invaluable for all individuals who spend a good portion of their lives on whitewater rivers as river guides, trip leaders, or paddlers contact us today!  207-695-0151. Ready to enroll?  Sign up today!

Wildlife Watching Nature Tours

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Maine welcomes you to be an observer of the natural world through wildlife watching nature tours!

Birds chirping, moose munching, deer bounding and otters playing – the sounds of the forest are all right here. Wildlife watching allows you to experience places you would not normally go, but because it is awe-inspiring, fond memories are created through the sounds and smells of the forest, being surrounded by nature and feeling like you are actually a part of something really special.  If you have a love for nature, wildlife and all living things, wildlife watching nature tours are a wonderfully wild way to immerse yourself in our natural world.  All you need is a little patience.

Successful wildlife watching is truly an adventure.  Wildlife are not always predictable and that is whatmoose tours makes the excitement of those special wildlife watching moments so thrilling.  For example, on our wildlife watching nature tours, we spend time in areas that are known for moose.  Even though moose are prone to being very habitual creatures, timing is what makes the encounters so exciting each time. Wildlife are unpredictable, even when we think we can predict their next move, they continue to surprise us.  A rewarding wildlife watching adventure allows you to understand nature and the inhabitants of the woods around you.

Important tips to take into consideration when planning your wildlife watching nature tour:

  • Each season presents a different occasion for viewing wildlife.  Therefore, if you have specific goals with wildlife watching, for instance seeing a moose calf, make sure you are visiting at the right time of year.
  • Time of day is important to take into consideration.  Visiting at dawn and dusk, when many animals feed, offers the best moments to spot wildlife.
  • Wildlife watching ethics are vital to our continued ability to wildlife watch.  Respecting wildlife by blending in to our natural world and remaining quiet, keeping a respectful distance from the wildlife, and finding a comfortable spot to remain still and take in the wildlife watching nature experience is really what makes wildlife watching so special.

Wildlife Watching Nature Tours

The Moosehead Lake area of Maine and Northeast Whitewater are a prime location for wildlife watching nature tours.  With 3.5 million acres of forestland, the Maine woods are home to white tailed deer, moose, black bear, bobcat, coyotes, red fox, fisher, otter, mink, beaver, snowshoe hare and so much more!  Combine your Bar Harbor whale watching and puffin tour with our wildlife watching nature tours, Maine moose watching tour, moose watching safari or bird watching tour – no matter what the wildlife watching adventure, let Northeast Whitewater be your guide!

Guides Fishing Weekend

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Northeast Whitewater guides fishing weekend was a fabulous fishing success, but also a wonderful northeast whitewater guideswinter weekend for Northeast Whitewater guides to get together here at Moosehead Lake to catch up, catch fish and enjoy the snow, ice and lots of food together.  All good times begin with food and we all enjoy camp stove cooking -a daily occurrence on our rafting trips– so we traded the whitewater for ice fishing and cooked up some great home-cooked food for a weekend on the ice.

Northeast Whitewater guides registered for the 11th annual ice fishing derby.  Our registrations makes it mount kineopossible to win prizes, but more importantly the ice fishing derby is the largest fundraiser for the Natural Resource Education Center (NREC) and all the profits go toward programs like the Maine Woods Explorer program and Fisheries Internships.  It’s a wonderful winter weekend to get together and enjoy Moosehead Lake, with bonus that all the proceeds go to valuable programs in our community.  Can’t you picture yourself right here?  Mount Kineo is our favorite ice fishing spot.

The Natural Resource Education Center (NREC) in conjunction with Maine Inland Fisheries & Wildlife & Rick Craven host the Moosehead Lake Togue Ice Fishing Derby each year.  Ricky Craven is an ESPN broadcaster.  Prior to his ESPN duties, he was a NASCAR driver who won in four different series—the K&N Pro Series, and the three national series. Ricky is from Maine, lives in North Carolina and also has a home here at Moosehead Lake.  The Moosehead Lake ice fishing derby is typically the last weekend of January each year, so plan ahead.

Ice fishing is a fun winter activity.  Plan to bundle up, bring your friends along, cook up some good food and enjoy!  We all had a great time together and of course was a bonus that the fish were biting. northeast whitewater fishing

Moose Tours Near Bar Harbor

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A visit to Maine’s coast is not quite complete without visiting our moose tours near Bar Harbor.  For moose to live on Maine’s rocky coast is not impossible, but unlikely.  Instead moose live in the woodlands and forests of the Maine highlands.  A day trip from Bar Harbor to experience a Maine moose watching tour is a highlight for visitors and one that should top your list when you are planning a vacation to Maine to see moose.

Northeast Whitewater’s Maine moose watching tours and moose safaris run in the morning and evening daily.  Guided moose tours are structured around moose habitat to get guests out in the woods during the best times to see moose in their natural surroundings.  Moose are large herbivorous maine-bull-moosemammals that browse on aquatic and marsh plants such as horsetails and pondweed with active feeding early in the morning and evenings each day.  Our most popular moose tour is our Maine moose watching tour by canoe.  Guides get guests out on remote, Maine woods ponds where moose come to the ponds to feed.  Incredible wildlife encounters ideal for nature lovers, wildlife photographers, and moose enthusiasts make for a memorable, once in a lifetime experience.  We are the closest moose tour guide service to Bar Harbor and Acadia National Park, so when planning your moose tours near Bar Harbor,  look no further than Northeast Whitewater Maine moose watching tours and safaris.

Plan your day trip for moose tours near Bar Harbor.  Typically, the drive from Bar Harbor to Northeast Whitewater at Moosehead Lake is 2 hours and 15 minutes.  It’s a scenic drive on well maintained roads.  If you choose our morning moose tour, the guided moose tour departs from Northeast Whitewater in Shirley, Maine at 6 AM and returns by 10 AM.  If you are an early riser this may be the ideal moose and wildlife watching tour for you, since the rest of the day you can enjoy our local shops, a hike or antiquing your way back to Bar Harbor that day.  Our afternoon moose watching tours depart between 3 PM – 5 PM depending on the season.  You can also choose to stay with us during your moose watching visit.  We offer stay & play packages for all of our activities with your choice of camping or lakeside motel.

moose-canoe-tourMoose tours near Bar Harbor are offered for groups, families and the serious moose watcher on our Maine moose tours and safaris.  You can choose from land tours by van or our guest favorite moose tour by canoe.  Whichever Maine moose watching tour or safari you choose, you can be assured that you are hiring exceptional guides poised to lead you into the natural world of moose and other native Maine wildlife, gain local knowledge and have a whole lot of fun along the way.  So, what are you waiting for?  Book your moose tours near Bar Harbor with Northeast Whitewater!  207-695-0151

Northeast Whitewater Winter Activities

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Winter activities at Northeast Whitewater guide you into the Maine Woods to enjoy snowy landscapes, wildlife in winter and the natural, unspoiled woodlands around Moosehead Lake.  Our registered Maine guides customize Northeast Whitewater winter activities to our guests comfort level to provide the best winter experience on each and every trip.  If you enjoy the snow and looking for new adventures, make the Moosehead Lake area and Northeast Whitewater winter activities your adventure destination for guided snowshoe treks, bird and wildlife watching from our warm and comfy van or a day on the ice, enjoying a locals favorite, ice fishing.

Guided Snowshoe Treks


Snowshoes are the mode of travel for wildlife watching in winter in Maine’s north woods.  Our private guided snowshoe treks get guests into the quiet, natural environment of the Maine woods for animal tracking, moose watching, bird identification and wildlife photography.  Bring your binoculars along to enjoy a quiet snowshoe trek in the Maine woods to see bluejay, cardinal, goldfinch, and the black capped chickadee.  Track moose, deer, fox and snowshoe hare; you may even find animal tracks for bobcat and lynx! For our guests most interested in moose and wildlife photography, our guided snowshoe trek takes you to the best places to maximize your moose sightings by getting you deeper into the woods and areas that moose live in winter.

Wildlife Watching Photography Tours

Seeking a comfortable option to get out and enjoy the woods without having to stray too far from the vehicle?  Our winter wildlife watching photography tours are the right guided trip for guests looking to enjoy nature, view the snow covered landscape and seek out moose, bald eagle and connect with nature during the winter at Maine’s Moosehead Lake.  We can guide you to snowy riversides for bald eagle photography or if your ultimate goal is moose photography and to see the elusive Maine moose, our registered Maine guides know the secret moose spots and best time of day in winter to capture the wildlife photography that you are looking for.

maine-ice-fishingGuided Ice Fishing Trips

Moosehead Lake is home to landlocked salmon, lake trout, brook trout and smallmouth bass, which makes for active days spent on the ice, ice fishing.  Our registered Maine Guides drill holes and show you how to set your ice fishing traps, get ready for flags and jig holes for fish.  While enjoying a day on the ice, you can x-country ski, snowshoe or listen to fish folk lore, all the while enjoying the beautiful area, eating hearty meals and catching the big one!

Experience Northeast Whitewater winter activities from mid-January until mud season begins.  And, since mud season is our transition from winter activities to our spring trips and tours, you can enjoy adventures with Northeast Whitewater from mid-January through the end of October each year!  Our most popular trips during the spring, summer and fall seasons are our moose watching tours, waterfall hikes and whitewater rafting trips.  Visit Northeast Whitewater at Moosehead Lake – your adventure destination for Moosehead Lake Things to Do!  Wondering about our winter activities?  Contact Northeast Whitewater at 207-695-0151 for the best guided winter activities at Moosehead Lake.

Destination Moosehead Lake Hiking Guide

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Moosehead Lake is a destination for everything outdoors; visitor highlights include seeing moose in their natural habitat, tackling whitewater rapids on our nearby rivers, relaxing with a book at a lakeside retreat and yes, hiking!  Not only is the Moosehead Lake area ideal for the casual hiker, it also is a destination for the more serious backpacker.  What’s great about this combination of rolling hills and mountains?  Based on your skill level you can choose from short day hikes or opt for a more rigorous and challenging mountain based on your hiking pursuit.

Mountain peaks and waterfalls abound in the Moosehead Lake area, but you have to plan accordingly the time to get to some of these very remote hiking spots and roundtrip hiking time.  Fortunately, there are waterfalls and mountain peaks great for hiking enthusiasts that are nearby to Northeast Whitewater for the casual day hikers and for the more serious hikers, some destinations are an hour away on dirt roads which makes the hike and the drive both a challenging adventure.  Consider hiring Northeast Whitewater guides for both easy and the more challenging hiking pursuits!

The appalachian trail and section known as the 100 mile wilderness (the trail doesn’t approach any towns or places for hikers to resupply) is 5 miles south of Northeast Whitewater and continues north to Mount Katahdin, but not before rising up and over some challenging and scenic hikes nearby to Moosehead Lake.  Goodall Falls is at the entrance of the trailhead here and a nice stop for guests looking to stretch their legs, walk a few steps on the appalachian trail and see a scenic Maine waterfall.  There is a good size parking lot here.  Barren Mountain, Chairback Mountain and White Cap Mountain are all challenging hikes on the appalachian trail in the Moosehead Lake area.  These mountains are accessible as day hikes.  Plan for a full day, bring food/snacks and water, and plan for windy weather on the peaks, so pack some layers.

Nearby to Northeast Whitewater are Big Moose and Little Moose Mountains, and Eagle Rock.  All three hikes are nearby, scenic and wonderfully versatile hikes in the Moosehead Lake arelittle-moose-mountain-pondsa located northwest of Northeast Whitewater in Shirley and ranging in 10-30 minutes drive time to get to the trailheads.  What we love about Little Moose Mountain is the variety of hiking trails one can enjoy here.  There are 3 trailheads to access Little Moose Mountain; the easternmost trailhead is on the left as you depart Greenville north on Route 15.  The western most trailhead is called Notch Pond trailhead and located near the boat launch of Big Indian Pond.  Our favorite section is the Big and Little Moose Ponds trailhead, which is a loop trail.  There are ledges and dramatic cliffs, mossy covered boulders and tall standing evergreen trees add to the beauty of the hike.  

Big Moose Mountain offers panoramic views of Moosehead Lake; where you can see the charming town of Greenville (southernmost town on Moosehead Lake) and northwest towards Mount Kineo and north towards Big Spencer and Little Spencer Mountains.  This is a wonderful day hike for active people looking for a 3-4 hour hiking trip that is moderately challenging.

eagle-rock-hikeEagle Rock is a 6.3 mile roundtrip hike that also offers panoramic views of the surrounding mountains, lakes and ponds.  What is unique about this hike is that there are many moderate hills to pass up and over and then a few steep climbs to scenic views, so the hiking day covered seems much longer because of the ups and downs.  It’s well worth it!  The views are spectacular and makes for a great day out in the woods.  Pack a lunch/snacks and plenty of water and take in the beauty here.

If your next destination is Moosehead Lake, consider hiking on your own or with a guide, one of these mountain peaks!  If the spirit of competition gets you motivated, consider the Moosehead Pinnacle Pursuit.  The Moosehead Pinnacle Pursuit is a six mountain hiking challenge. The mountains include: Mount Kineo, Number Four Mountain, Whitecap Mountain, Eagle Rock, Big Moose Mountain, and Borestone Mountain.

Happy hiking and don’t forget to bring along your best friend (furry or otherwise)!

Modern Basecamp Under Construction at Moosehead Lake

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Northeast Whitewater is proud to announce its new, modern facility ready for spring 2018 with on-site camping, bunkhouses, meal plans and huge bathhouse – your basecamp, lodge and guides to 3.5 million acres of Maine’s woods and waters at Moosehead Lake!

Northeast Whitewater is nearing the end of its 11th season and 2nd season at our new location in Shirley, Maine just south of Maine’s largest lake, Moosehead Lake.  Since our purchase of the new property in October of 2015, we have been very busy with facility upgrades, new developments and big projects to cater to our summer camp groups, scout troops, motorcoach tours and many vacation travelers that visit Maine each year.

northeast whitewater campground

New Bathhouse Under Construction at                              Northeast Whitewater

Owner of Northeast Whitewater, Jeremy Hargreaves explains, “I’m excited to be able to offer our guests a modern, beautiful facility to meet for our day trips, as well as provide an on-site home away from home for our groups seeking a Maine woods experience through traditional guided trips at our new, modern basecamp, lodge and guide service.”  

Projects that will be ready for the spring of 2018 are:

(4) New Bunkhouses that sleep 4 – 8 guests

(6) New wooded and private campsites

Covered Pavilion for catering meals

Large, modern bathhouse with changing rooms, showers and toilets

On-site meals for breakfast: Maine blueberry pancakes, sausage and eggs or opt for our hit the spot breakfast sandwich!

northeast whitewater campingOur famous grilled riverside BBQ is a customer favorite on all of our rafting trips!

On-site dinners: From BBQ’s to Pizza Parties and Guided Theme Dinners, you won’t want to miss out on this new guided dinner experience!

Beach Volleyball, Cornhole and Horseshoe pits are ready to go!

Are you ready to start planning your 2018 summer camp, inflatable-kayak-tripscout troop or class trip with Northeast Whitewater?  We offer whitewater rafting trips, ice cave excursions, waterfall hikes, moose canoe tours, stand up paddleboarding, tubing, inflatable kayaking, staff trainings and so much more!  Our goal of providing quality, personalized trips with really amazing guides is at the heart of what we do. We are a family oriented.  It’s not a wild party with us.  We are dedicated to families and youth having an exceptional Maine experience both on and off the river.

See you on the river and at our new basecamp at Moosehead Lake soon!  FMI 207-695-0151

Awesome Trip: Kennebec River Rafting

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Awesome Trip: Kennebec River RaftingKennebec River Rafting

This was our first time whitewater rafting and we had so much fun! Our guide, Derek, was friendly, knowledgeable, and had a great sense of humor. We loved the BBQ lunch, much better than the usual cold sandwiches, and were impressed with how quickly everything was set up and prepared for us. We will definitely be back next time we visit Maine!

Rating: Excellent⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Christine & Mike P.

Huntington, New York

Unforgettable Moose Safari by Canoe

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Unforgettable Moose Safari by Canoe
Canoe Moose Safari
We (a family of 2 adults and 4 children ages 12 to 14) hired a private water moose safari in the afternoon, and had an unforgettable experience. Our wonderful guide, drove one hour to the lake where we were to take 2 canoes, she explained everything about moose and how we should behave to maximize our likelihood of spotting them and not scare them away, as well as gave us information about the whole area of Moosehead Lake. She knew very well the spots where it is most likely to find moose rummage around and took us to a lake where we could enjoy observing them for two hours! Yes, we were a bit lucky, as not all trips are that fortunate to have a mother and a son moose some meters away for two hours, but her knowledge and expertise were key to having that. As we boarded the canoes our guide took control of the two canoes, that is, she alone rowed for the two canoes, and made sure we were as close as possible to the moose without scaring them away, so that they did not feel uncomfortable with our presence. Of course, that exceeded our expectations and it is something we will not forget. I thus strongly recommend anyone willing to watch moose in their own habitat to hire a safari with Northeast Whitewater. They are knowledgeable, professional, and friendly. With these ingredients you only need a bit of luck to have an unforgettable experience.
Rating: Excellent⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Xavier R.
Barcelona, Spain

Canoe Moose Watching

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Canoe Moose Watching Canoe Moose Watching

We had an absolutely fabulous time moose watching by canoe in the evening. Some members of our group were absolute nervous novice canoeists. Northeast staff immediately was warm, reassuring, friendly and inviting. Our guide was fantastic: knowledgeable, friendly and we had two perfect, very up close long encounters with a cow and then a bull. The lake he took us to was a scenic delight and just right for beginner and experienced canoeists alike. I did not know what to expect, but Northeast Whitewater exceeded all our expectations (one member of our group cried from happiness). The price is reasonable, staff is knowledgeable and safety conscious and I would definitely like to return for some of their other tours. Thanks for a memorable trip!

Rating: Excellent⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Lisa L.

Tillsonburg, Ontario Canada