Northeast Whitewater Blog

Affordable Bucket List Adventures

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Think dream trips are outside of your budget?  Think again!  Northeast Whitewater offers affordable bucket list adventures that will have you thankful that you chose to visit Maine and vacation with your friends and family, while enjoying outdoor activities that will top your bucket list.  We’ve got the inside scoop on these super-affordable bucket list items.  Here goes!maine-moose-tour

Go on a moose tour.  We’re not talking about bombing around in the woods all night long, we’re talking about canoeing where moose actually come to the water to feed.  Moose are one of North America’s largest animals, second to bison.  Cross this wildlife safari off your bucket list and enjoy a nature tour into the Maine woods and natural moose habitat with us.

Who doesn’t want to visit the Grand Canyon, right?  Well, let’s do a hike to the Grand Canyon of the East, which is right in our back yard woods of Maine.  You will enjoy hiking into 5 different waterfalls, through Maine’s Boreal forest, and appreciate the spectacular photo opportunities of Maine’s grand canyon of the east, Gulf Hagas.

You think ice caves were only an adventure to be sought after when it’s snowy, cold and actually winter outside?  Think again!  Our ice cave excursions are a bucket list adventure that you’ve got to consider.  Heavy boulders that were plowed together by glaciers during the last ice age created the ice caves in Maine’s north woods.  This full-day activity allows you to see the magnificent and meandering Penobscot River, Maine’s largest mountain, Katahdin, bald eagles and maybe even a moose!  Our ice cave excursions are offered weekly, so plan ahead now!

Whitewater rafting in Maine.  If going rafting isn’t at the top of your bucket list, it’s time to move it on up.  Whitewater rafting is a thrilling, fun and super safe activity for young and old to enjoy.  Not to mention an amazing team-building outdoor adventure for anyone going wkennebec-river-raftinghitewater rafting in Maine and did I mention the guides at Northeast Whitewater are exceptionally awesome and super fun to spend the day with?!  Choose from our #1 family rafting trip, the Kennebec river or more challenging adventure rafting trip on the Penobscot river.  It’s likely that you will find that the one day of rafting just isn’t quite enough and you’ll be begging for more, so we’ve got you covered with our Two Rivers in Two days whitewater rafting trips.  Rafting is an affordable, budget-friendly vacation for your group of friends, and you’ll be the coolest parent’s around when you book your rafting trip this summer for your entire family, and not to mention the coolest boss or scout troop leader if rafting is on the list of summer outings planned for your colleagues or troop this summer.

We welcome you to visit Mooshead Lake!  A destination that should top your bucket list when considering affordable and memorable vacations.  Located in the Maine highlands, with charming mountain towns and unspoiled wilderness.  Northeast Whitewater at Moosehead Lake is an adventure destination ideal for families, groups seeking affordable outdoor adventures and time for relaxation.  We’ve got it all right here for you, so get that list out and start crossing off these affordable bucket list adventures by calling Northeast Whitewater today book your trip at 207-695-0151!

New England Weekend Getaways

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So you live in New England and you’ve worked hard all week and now you FINALLY have two days for yourself! Somehow, every seven days we are confronted with the question of, “What do we do now?” Sure you could stick around the house, maybe clean out the garage, maybe binge watch an entire season of something on Netflix, but is that really what you want to do?! I am certain that most of us after spending 4 hours on the couch consider deleting our accounts. Why don’t we come up with a different plan for the next 48 hours of freedom!

maine-rafting-weekendHere at Northeast Whitewater, we have several trips to help make the most of your free time. If you crave adrenaline and love crossing things off of your bucket list, try our Two Rivers in Two Days package! You get to experience two of the wildest rivers in New England (we’re talking Class V whitewater) and see firsthand some of the most scenic sights in Maine, all before going back to your desk on Monday. Want to get your blood pumping even more? Ask about using one of our smaller sport rafts!

Or perhaps you are looking for something not quite as fast paced. Our Kennebec River overnight trip is the #1 overnight camping and rafting adventure in New England! Start by paddling one of our inflatable kayaks on the breathtaking waters of Moosehead Lake before being taken to a private wilderness island where your very own Registered Maine Guide will set up camp. That night, you can enjoy a roaring campfire, ice cream (that you make!!!), the huge feast prepared by your guide, and maybe even some of the abundant wildGuided Maine Overnight Tripslife that fills the Moosehead region! The next day, you take an exciting ride down the Kennebec River! No matter what your style is, we can custom-tailor a trip that is perfect for you.


Contact Northeast Whitewater for your next New England weekend getaway at 207-695-0151 or Book Now!

Memorial Day Whitewater Weekend

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Northeast Whitewater is the perfect outdoor adventure guide service for family, church, scout troop or corporate excursions for fun, excitement, team building, and memories that will last a lifetime.  Why not kick off the summer with us on our Memorial Day Whitewater Weekend rafting trip on the Kennebec River? Our experienced whitewater rafting guides will lead your raft througkennebec river raftingh the best whitewater rapids, swimming and surfing spots for big splashes and playing in the waves of the Kennebec River for a safe, super fun, whitewater rafting day.  During your trip you’ll get a taste of whitewater at “Taster Wave”, the pulse of “Big Mama”, the now you see them, now you don’t of “Magic Falls Rapid”, and the big whitewater wave train leading into, “Whitewasher Rapid”.  Book now for pre-season pricing!

Memorial Day Whitewater Weekend Kick-off

Your Kennebec river whitewater rafting adventure includes a licensed registered Maine whitewater rafting guide, all necessary safety equipment and state of the art Aire rafts, personal flotation device (PFD), helmet and paddle!

Northeast Whitewater uniquely offers our Famous Grilled Riverside BBQ at our riverside lunch site.  Our famous riverside BBQ includes choice of steak, chicken, or veggie burger, river rice cooked up in our BIG Daddy Fry Pan, Pasta Salad, Bread, and customer favorites our chewy, gooey chocolate brownies.  After lunch enjoy a float to take-out and shuttle bus back to Northeast Whitewater base lodge for slideshow of the day’s whitewater rafting excitement!

Reminder:  During the “off season” wetsuits are required prior to June 15 due to the water temps and unforeseeable weather conditions!  Wetsuits are available at Northeast Whitewater for rent ($15-$25) if you do not have your own.   A user fee of $6 per person for the Kennebec river rafting trip covers the Maine Inland Fisheries & Wildlife river and road access.

Whether you’re a first-time visitor to Maine, or a lifelong resident, it’s time to get out – to the heart of it all at Moosehead Lake – and experience firsthand the excitement and one-of-a-kind thrills of Maine whitewater rafting with Northeast Whitewater this Memorial Day Whitewater Weekend!

Call or Book Now for pre-season pricing with Northeast Whitewater 207-695-0151 and get in on our Memorial Day Whitewater weekend!

7 Reasons Why Maine Is Vacationland

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There are many reasons that Maine is called Vacationland.  Maine offers a unique natural setting that has been luring summer vacationers here for years.  Visitors can find endless things to do and places to explore, from pristine wilderness waterways to pine forests, clear waters and its rocky shorelines, Maine represents the perfect setting for summer—one that you won’t find just anywhere.

Maine is a great place to visit because it’s so diverse in what it has to offer.  There’s truly something for everyone when you visit Maine. Simply put, it’s beautiful here!  You can raft down a whitewater river; watch the sun rise from Cadillac Mountain in Acadia National Park; see a moose in Maine’s wilderness, relax on the beach; and explore Portland—Maine’s world-class city.

Just in case you are still undecided about your families vacation this summer, here’s 7 reasons why Maine is Vacationland – a vacation destination that can’t be matched anywhere!

  1. Go on a moose watching tour – Maine moose can weigh over 1,000 pounds and stand over seven feet just to their shoulders!  And yet despite the massive size of the Maine moose, it can be very hard to find on your own.  Northeast Whitewater’s Maine Moose Watching Tours go on land or by canoe to proven moose hideouts with experienced registered Maine guides.  Get up close and personal, take a great photo of a moose and tell your friends that moose really do exist! moose-canoe-tour
  2. Eat a Lobster or 2!  It doesn’t have to be a lobster on the coast, though that does sound delicious, sitting ocean side taking in the salty air and savory Maine meal.  You can visit Maine, really any part of Vacationland and crack into fresh Maine lobster.  So, tie on your bibs and enjoy the succulent Maine delicacy of lobster when you visit this summer.
  3. Visit Portland Maine – there are so many reasons to visit Portland, but for this post it’s because of the amazing restaurants here.  Portland offers an innovative and nationally recognized hub of cuisine.  Bon Appétit named Portland America’s foodiest small town, the New York Times calls it “one of the best places to eat in the Northeast.”  A culture of eating out and supporting the local culinary scene has been created in Portland and if you love food, you won’t want to miss out on the experience offered in Portland for foodies.
  4. Enjoy a Maine Festival –  Maine has many festivals throughout the summer to celebrate our favorite things about Maine; its heritage, crops, music and lifestyle.  Festivals are typically held annually in Maine and for a couple days to week long events.  You can enjoy Maine’s lobster festival, potato blossom festival and wild blueberry festivals.  Beer even has its own festival in Maine because Beer and Maine’s brewer’s are on the rise.
  5. Whitewater rafting – Northeast Whitewater rafting vacations are not just wonderful ways to see Maine’s Kennebec River and Penobscot River—they’re wonderful ways to see Maine’s Vacationland.  Maine is the only state in the Northeast that can guarantee water levels even during dry sAcadia Bar Harbor Raftingummers due to daily hydropower dam releases.  Rafting trips can range from day trips to overnight whitewater rafting trips, with visitors staying at area campgrounds, lodges or cabins.  Northeast Whitewater is located at the heart of whitewater rafting country with daily whitewater rafting trips from May – September.  All equipment, transportation to and from the river and a grilled riverside BBQ feast are all included in the rafting trip.
  6. Acadia National Park near Bar Harbor, Maine – When you visit Acadia National Park you will find granite cliffs side by side with sand and cobblestone beaches at its 49,000+ acres of rock-bound coast on Mount Desert Island and offshore islands.   Enjoy hiking paths, biking trails, Cadillac mountain which is the highest peak and where the sun is first seen to welcome the day, the rocky coast and thunder hole.  After a day of adventuring in the park, enjoy the shops and bustling, yet quaint town of Bar Harbor.
  7. Moosehead Lake “America’s Crown Jewel” – When considering places to visit in the Northeast and Vacationland, the Moosehead Lake area of Maine should be a destination that tops your list if you enjoy wide open spaces, all things outdoors, and a vacation that can offer both time for relaxation and recreation.  Northeast Whitewater Moosehead Lake Things To Do give your family an assortment of outdoor options to consider for both half day family activities or full day adventures on Maine’s whitewater rivers or in the wilds of our Maine woods.

There are so many more reasons to visit Maine’s Vacationland and we have scaled it down to our top 7 reasons why.  If you are looking for more inspiration or have questions about your summer vacation plans, contact Northeast Whitewater 207-695-0151 – we are glad to help you visit Maine and enjoy Vacationland with us!

Best White Water Rafting in New England

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kennebec-river-raftingWhitewater rafting is a popular activity for outdoor enthusiasts to test their skills and tackle the rapids, thanks to Mother Nature. New England offers many scenic settings for rafting surrounded by mountains, vast forests and exceptional whitewater rivers. Whitewater rafters in New England can enjoy mild river rafting on some of the less challenging rivers here in the Northeast or step it up to push their skills on high energy, big fun, adventurous whitewater rapids.  There are rivers ranging from easy Class II to challenging Class V in New England, so you are sure to find the right whitewater rafting experience that is a perfect fit for your group.

When looking for whitewater rafting action in Maine take a trip with Northeast Whitewater, founded in 2006 on the principles of providing small, personalized trips to exceed guests expectations. Our whitewater rafting trips are led by experienced guides who provide groups with skilled instruction in rafting practices and whitewater river safety. We are also the only Maine rafting company that trains all of our whitewater rafting guides in a secondary training program, called Swiftwater Rescue, after our guides have completed their state of Maine required training to guide rafts. So, you are guaranteed the best whitewater rafting in New England with Northeast Whitewater and the best and safest whitewater experience for your family and friends.

Whitewater Rafting trips in New England are offered daily from May – September on the Kennebec and Penobscot Rivers in Maine. The Kennebec river is ideal for families and inexperienced whitewater paddlers.  The Kennebec river provides thrilling waves, high volume whitewater rapids, like Big Mama and her Three Sisters and the big class IV Magic Falls rapid.  The 14 miles of whitewater also includes a lower river where thrill seekers can swim in the river, experience Northeast Whitewater’s inflatable kayaks, better know as ducky’s, or relax and enjoy the beauty of the river, and its surrounding landscape.  Step it up a notch to tackle Maine’s Penobscot River, which is Maine’s longest, steepest whitewater rafting river and the most thrilling and technical whitewater rafting in the eastern United States.  The Penobscot river is suitable for more experienced rafters and those seeking a high adrenaline whitewater rafting trip.  All of Northeast Whitewater’s rafting trips include transportation to and from the river, all necessary whitewater safety equipment, the best Registered Maine raft guides and our famous grilled BBQ served up hot and delicious, riverside.

You’ll find New England rafting at its best when you head to Maine for whitewater rafting adventures with Northeast Whitewater.  Our Maine-based whitewater rafting adventure guide service offers whitewater rafting day trips and guided overnight rafting adventures.  Look no further than Northeast Whitewater when seeking the best white water rafting in New England.  Give us a call today 207-695-0151 or book your trip now with our convenient online reservations.  We hope to see you on the river this summer, right here in New England, at Northeast Whitewater.

How to Become a Maine Rafting Guide

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Naturally, we understand why anyone would envy a rafting guide.  What Maine rafting guides consider their summer work is vacation for Northeast Whitewater rafting guests.  Rafting guides are story tellers and fun to spend a day on the river with.  Rafting guides take life one day at a time, just like each rapid they enter; it’s about enjoying the moment, living wild and free and even when whitewater chaos ensues a Maine rafting guide takes what comes ready to navigate the whitewater ahead and does it all with a smile.  Interested in finding out how to become a Maine rafting guide?  Here’s six tips that will help to point you in the right direction.

  1. Go White Water Rafting: If you haven’t already been whitewater rafting, you should go on a guided whitewater rafting trip.  What better opportunity to see first hand what a day on the river for a whitewater rafting guide is like, than experiencing first hand what a day is like on the river.  Take the time to ask your rafting guide questions about the Maine rafting guide whitewater-rafting-mainejob.  Your rafting guide can tell you first hand about the Maine river rapids, lifestyle of a Maine rafting guide and who knows you might just find that at the end of the day’s whitewater rafting trip, you want to ask for an application to join the Northeast Whitewater family for the next rafting season.
  2. Sign up for Maine Whitewater Rafting Guide Training: In Maine, river guides must be licensed rafting guides through Inland Fisheries & Wildlife.  Northeast Whitewater is a commercial whitewater rafting training company and offers a Maine rafting guide training every spring, typically in late May.  The 2016 whitewater raft guide training at Northeast Whitewater is May 27 – June 6.  Raft guide training is structured around the instruction of technical strokes, maneuvers, river knowledge, river safety and group leadership achieved through on-the-water whitewater skills, which prepares Maine rafting guide trainees to pass the State of Maine written exam and earn the honor of becoming a Maine whitewater rafting guide.  If you don’t already have first aid, you must get it.  Wilderness First Aid is a great start, but anyone who already has Advanced first aid or a Wilderness First Responder certification, always looks good on the raft guide job application.
  3. 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.  Nothing sets you apart from the rest of the pack of rafting guides than being in good shape with a healthy, positive outlook about each day.  Kick up the cardio training, take a yoga class and get your shoulders and arms in shape. Training is very physically demanding, but to keep the level of energy and stamina high, while others are beat is to get yourself in good shape.  Enough said.
  4. Raft a day in my sandals: Once you are hired on to guide rafts for Northeast Whitewater, a Maine rafting guide can expect for each day to start early with prepping the guests rafting day river lunch, making sure the rafts and whitewater rafting equipment are safely prepared for the days whitewater river trip. Rafting guides meet and greet the Northeast Whitewater guests as they arrive, brief guests on what to expect for their Maine rafting trip, and make sure guests are informed of the whitewater safety speech. Other typical duties for rafting guides often include helping at the Northeast Whitewater basecamp office, making brownies, organizing and selling rafting retail and trip photos. Maine rafting guides may also help guests find the best local place to eat, enjoy a brew, point guests in the right direction of where to stay or set up a volleyball court where guests can play and visit after the rafting trip.
  5. Perks of becoming a Maine rafting guide: For those of us that love the river, who wouldn’t want to get paid to go on the river every day?  Whether it’s a day of guiding whitewater rafting guests, playing on the whitewater with other rafting guides, or a day of kayaking, every day on the river is a good day to be alive.  Rafting guides meet people from all over the world each day.  Maine rafting guides spend time getting to know guests from Connecticut to California, Austria to Israel, Pennsylvania to Perth and everywhere in between.  The guests are great, but needless to say the Maine rafting guides you spend the summer with are super awesome, too.                                           OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
  6. Wear that smile: There are days as a rafting guide that won’t always go as planned.  The days can be long and you may feel tired, but nothing in life is easy and working as a Maine rafting guide is a dream job.  The more you put into your Maine rafting guide job, the more rewarding it will be.  Keep that positive spirit, zest for life and enthusiasm and always wear that smile.   Your rafting guests will appreciate it, the staff at Northeast Whitewater will notice it and you’ll feel great no matter the day, challenging or chill, by staying positive and upbeat as the waves roll.

If these tips have helped to sway you into participating in our spring rafting guide training program, contact Northeast Whitewater to sign up!  We are seeking enthusiastic, positive, fun, full of life personalities to join our Maine rafting guide team.  Contact us for more information at 207-695-0151 or

How to Choose the Best Whitewater Rafting Trip

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The best whitewater rafting in Maine is found in the Moosehead Lake area at the heart of Maine’s whitewater rivers.  Maine is known for some of the best whitewater in the Northeast, but what river has the best whitewater rafting depends on a few considerations.  It’s important to consider the miles of whitewater, classification of the whitewater on the river, the natural beauty each river experience invokes and the level of difficulty of the river.  How to choose the best whitewater rafting trip in Maine?

whitewater-rafting-maineIf you are looking for a whitewater rafting river experience that is ideal for all ages, look no further than Northeast Whitewater Kennebec River whitewater rafting.  The Kennebec river is the best Maine river trip for all ages and ability levels.  Get started in the upper Kennebec river gorge rolling whitewater waves, riding up and over Big Mama and her Three Sisters, then rafting through Magic Falls Rapid and getting a chance to jump in and swim through Swimmers Rapid all before our hot, grilled riverside BBQ lunch!  Feast on our sizzling riverside BBQ, then enjoy the Kennebec river float after lunch to sunbathe on the rafts or float in the moving river current.  Your sure to be a hit at home when you choose our Kennebec river whitewater rafting trip for your family!

Looking for a more adventurous whitewater rafting trip experience for you and your friends?  Then you want to choose the Penobscot River trip, since its the best high adventure whitewater rafting trip in Maine.  Northeast Whitewater experienced Maine raft guides navigate our state of the art whitewater rafts through the technical rapids know as the Penobscot river gorge exterminator hole and Cribworks rapid.  If scenic and wild whitewater adventure is right for you, than Penobscot river whitewater rafting is the most thrilling whitewater rafting experience offered at Northeast Whitewater in Maine.

For some, a day on the river isn’t enough, so Northeast Whitewater offers guided overnight whitewater rafting and camping trips to whitewater river enthusiasts seeking 2 or more days of whitewater rafting adventure.  Our East outlet Kennebec river overnight rafting trip is our best whitewater rafting overnight trip for everyone to enjoy.  Day one kicks off with a fun whitewater introduction in our inflatable kayaks, staying at our wilderness island overnight camping site and whitewater rafting on our Kennebec river trip day 2.  Step it up to join our Penobscot river overnight whitewater rafting, great for bachelor parties and high adventure whitewater enthusiasts.  Northeast Whitewater is the only Maine rafting company to uniquely offer our North Maine Woods overnight rafting on Canada Falls and the Seboomook section of the Penobscot river annually on Labor day weekend.  This is a 2 day whitewater playground river experience suitable for adventurous youth, families and friends seeking total whitewater immersion both rafting, inflatable kayaking and swimming in the whitewater rivers.

overnight-raft-kayak-tripAges related to river difficulty: Minimum age to raft on Maine’s Kennebec river with Northeast whitewater is 8 years old to tackle the class III-IV whitewater on this tumbling, rolling whitewater river trip.  The Kennebec river is our #1 family activity at Moosehead Lake.  A sense of adventure is needed to tackle the class V Penobscot river trip and minimum age to challenge the rapids on our Northeast Whitewater Penobscot river trip is 14 years old.  If you are considering our Canada Falls & Seboomook overnight whitewater rafting and camping trip this Labor day weekend for 2 days of whitewater adventure, the minimum age to sign on for this whitewater playground adventure is 12 years old.

When is the best time to go whitewater rafting in Maine?  Fortunately, Maine has dam-controlled whitewater rivers that allow for a recreational flow daily.  Spring run-off, due to snow melt definitely can make the whitewater river experience more intense when challenging the rivers in late May and early June, but if warm water is more suitable to you, than July – September on Maine’s rivers is ideal for everyone and still allows for an exceptional whitewater experience due to our daily dam releases.

Northeast Whitewater can help you choose the best whitewater rafting trip and you can get started by giving us a call at 207-695-0151 or send us an information request, so we can provide you all the trip information that you are searching for.  We are excited to have you visit Maine’s Moosehead Lake area to enjoy our whitewater rafting rivers and hope to see you on the river soon!

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


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.