09 Jun 17 Camping on the Kennebec River in The Forks, Maine
I spent last weekend camping at Northern Outdoors in The Forks, ME. I’m in Maine for 3 months and this was my first weekend trip. I had planned to tent camp, but it was pouring rain when I arrived so I rented a 2 person “cabin tent” instead for only $10 more a night. It was basically 4 canvas walls and a roof with a screen door on a platform. It was more than I needed, but better than setting up camp in the rain for little difference in money. They also had 4 person cabin tents and on a separate part of the property actual cabins of all different sizes.
The location of the campground was perfect! Located right on the Kennebec River, it was very peaceful and was exactly what I was looking for. I had plenty of room and privacy. It is still early in the season so it was not busy at all, but I could see how during midsummer it could get pretty cramped in the campground. The sites are somewhat close to each other. Again, this wasn’t an issue for my stay and I actually only saw 2 other groups staying on my row the entire weekend!
The area is very close to several hiking trails including Moxie Falls, the tallest waterfall in Maine, and only a few miles north of the Appalachian Trail, among several others. White water rafting is a big part of Northern Outdoors business, but I did not take a rafting trip so I can’t say much else about it other than I met several of the guides who were all very nice and seemed knowledgeable. My sister guides on the New and Gauley Rivers in WV and I have rafted all over the country, so I plan on making a repeat visit for this!
The lodge is an easy walk up from the campground and has wifi if you need to stay connected. It has a restaurant and is home to the Kennebec River Brewery. I did not have any food from the restaurant, but the beer was cold. I particularly enjoyed the porter and the rye pale ale. They were out of the IPA all weekend which I believe is their most popular beer. The lodge also has a pool, large hot tub, cornhole, pool table and game room as well as a small gift shop.
Most of the river guides and staff members will be at the lodge in the evenings and are all pretty engaging with the guests. I’m terrible with names, but I do remember a few. Jessi and Liz were both great bartenders, especially Jessi on a very busy Saturday night! Emily and Erica were also both great and recommended a few hikes and places to SUP. They also acted as impromptu DJ’s on Friday night and went around taking song requests from guests.
Overall, it was exactly the weekend I was looking for at Northern Outdoors! I definitely recommend it for anyone looking to get away from it all, hike, raft or just hang out at the lodge with other guests and some great staff members! I plan on making a repeat trip later in the summer for sure!