Northern Outdoors’ Response to COVID-19

Times are strange- but that doesn’t mean we can’t get outside in a safe and responsible way. There’s nothing better for the soul than a little time spent on rivers and trails – here is our plan to make sure we’re doing it all safely.

Northern Outdoors Resort:
Lodging Open

Lodging is available this spring but the main lodge will be closed.
Please call to book your summer reservations.
Office Hours: 9:00am-6:00pm

Northern Outdoors will fully reopen May 7th for rafting season, and reservations are open to visitors from out of state – see Maine’s current travel restrictions for guidance.

*Please see resort guidelines for details on operations.

Kennebec River Pub & Brewery:
Closed for the Season

Please visit our Facebook page for current hours.

Brewpub opens May 7th at 2:00pm.

*Please see restaurant guidelines for COVID precautions and protocols.

COVID-19 Prevention Badge

What to Expect at Northern Outdoors

Northern Outdoors opened on July 1st, 2020 with heightened precautions in place across our resort to ensure the safety of our staff and guests. It was a challenging time as we all adjusted to the new normal. We now have one year of adapting to ever-changing mandates, and feel very confident in our team’s ability to adapt to changes and provide the best and safest vacation experiences to our guests. We don’t know what the next 6 months will bring; all we know is what guidance and mandates are currently in place. Northern Outdoors is committed to abiding by all guidance put forth by the State of Maine and the CDC, while also providing the outdoor adventure experiences you know, love, and need! Below you will find current travel guidance in the state of Maine, general guidelines for the resort, our current brewpub operating plan, and summer 2021 procedures (as reference). Please keep in mind all of these guidelines are subject to change per state and federal guidance.

Current Travel Restrictions and Guidance

The Office of Governor Mills, in conjunction with guidance from the CDC, has the following measures in place to protect the health and well being of Mainers & visitors:

  • Mainers and visitors from New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Rhode Island can book reservations and travel into the state of Maine with no restrictions. Additionally, anyone who is FULLY vaccinated may travel to Maine with no restrictions. Starting May 1st, Governor Mills and the CDC expect ALL states to be exempt from travel restrictions.
  • According to the “Keep Maine Healthy” guidelines, those visiting the state of Maine that are NOT from above listed states are required to sign a Certificate of Compliance upon arrival stating that they have satisfied ONE of the following:
    • Will complete a 14 day quarantine in the state of Maine
    • Have already completed a 14 day quarantine in the state of Maine
    • Have received a negative COVID-19 test on a sample taken no later than 72 hours prior to arrival
    • Note: these guidelines are for everyone in your party 18 and older
  • Maine encourages you to get tested before coming into the state. Websites like Get Tested COVID-19 provide further information on where to receive testing in your state, or you can visit the following individual states’ websites:

Resort Guidelines

Northern Outdoors’ main lodge capacity and operations will abide by state COVID-19 guidance and mandates, with particular attention to…

  • Hot tub: the hot tub will not be open for the start of the 2021 summer season. We will review operations inline with state imposed restrictions prior to Memorial Day weekend.
  • Face coverings: All staff and guests inside of Northern Outdoors lodge are REQUIRED to wear a face covering when not seated at a table
  • Capacity: Northern Outdoors has a max capacity per State of Maine guidelines for restaurants which will be maintained at all times
  • Physical distancing: Please maintain distance of 6 feet from people outside of your party at all times

Restaurant Procedures

Kennebec River Pub and Brewery opens for indoor dining and takeout on May 7th. This summer season will look different as we work to keep everyone safe and healthy. Please be kind, considerate, and patient of our staff and other guests as we navigate these mandates. With your help, we know we can have a great summer — here are some important things to keep in mind:

wings beer fireplace
  • Masks REQUIRED by all staff and visitors, at all times, unless seated at your table. Once you are seated, you may remove your face covering.
  • State of Maine requires the name and contact information for one individual from each party for State’s contact tracing purposes. A sheet is placed upon entrance into the lodge – please have one person from your party use the clean pen to sign in.
  • Indoor capacity as determined by state mandates.
  • Parties are limited to groups of 8. Groups of more than 8 will be split into additional tables.
  • Take out is available- please call (207) 663-4466 and press 2 to connect with the pub. Phone lines for takeout are open Sunday – Thursday 9am-7pm, Friday and Saturday 9am-8pm.
  • NO bar service- you must be seated to be served

Our restaurant team is abiding by all guidelines for the safe reopening of restaurants, including frequent sanitization of high touch surfaces and frequent hand washing. To see all protocols, please visit: Maine COVID Guidelines for Restaurants.

Lodging and Housekeeping

Heightened precautions will be in place for all lodging and check-in processes, including physical distancing at check-in and heightened cleaning and sanitization of high touch surfaces in the main lodge.

Contact Us at Northern Outdoors

    • Enhanced cleaning and sanitization practices will be occurring in all cabins between guest stays. For additional details, please visit the Maine State COVID checklist for lodging.
    • Our Housekeeping Team will not be doing makeups during your stay in rooms in order to limit exposure.

go pro family rafting

Whitewater Rafting Operations & Procedures

Northern Outdoors worked closely with rafting outfitters in Maine and across the nation early in 2020 to establish precautions to ensure we kept guests and team members safe during the whitewater rafting trip. These guidelines were approved by the State of Maine, and enabled us to run a successful, fun, and healthy summer of whitewater rafting trips on the Kennebec, Dead, and Penobscot Rivers. Guidelines have evolved (and will continue to do so), and Northern Outdoors will continue to follow all state and CDC guidance and mandates. We are confident in our team’s ability to provide you with life changing adventure, regardless of the circumstances. Here’s the current plan for Summer 2021:

Additional Cleaning and Sanitization Practices

Maintaining a safe and healthy environment has always been important to us, but we will continue practices from summer 2020 including daily sanitization of paddles, life jackets, helmets, vehicles, tables, etc. Gloves, masks, and distancing measures will be required of all staff according to state mandates.

Riverside Lunches and Meal prep

Continued practice of existing cleaning protocols, including frequent cleaning of surfaces and materials and hand washing stations for guests and guides.


Heightened cleaning and sanitizing of all buses, vans, and vehicles will continue to occur. Masks are required.

Rafter Participation Requirements

We ask each visitor to self-check for signs and symptoms of COVID-19 prior to arrival and sign a participation agreement. Guests and staff will be required to wear face coverings per state mandates.

Time Outside

More than anything, research shows that being in the open air is one of the safest places to be right now! Sunlight is a natural disinfectant, and with the wide open spaces of being outdoors, physical distancing is easy peasy.

**Please note: due to the limitations in our operations as we prepared for the season, we will not be doing videos of your trip this year. There will still be a slide show of photos, with hopes of video returning in 2021.

Northern Outdoors’ Cancellation Policy

Your confirmed reservation may be transferred or cancelled without penalty by providing notice to Northern Outdoors at least 30 days before your scheduled arrival date. For cancellations or transfers that occur with less than 30 days notice but at least 14 days notice, you will be charged a $25 per person cancellation fee; any remaining credit balance will be refunded in the form of a gift card. Once you are within 14 days of your arrival date, all money shall become nonrefundable and nontransferable. No transfers can be made within 14 days of your arrival date. For protection from events such as personal illness, injury, or death of an immediate family member, or military deployment, please consider purchasing Trip Cancellation Insurance, which will cover you up to day of arrival.

Deposits for snowmobile & ATV rentals are refundable, minus the 20% cancellation fee of the full reservation, up to 2 weeks prior to arrival. Assuming satisfactory conditions exist, cancellations made inside the 2 weeks to arrival would forfeit 50% of the full rental fee, likewise, the remaining balance if cancelling inside 48 hours to arrival.

We understand that the current times call for an adjustment to our policy. We want you to feel confident in booking an adventure with Northern Outdoors. Please know that if the Federal Government, the CDC or the State of Maine put in place special restrictions making it unreasonable to travel we will waive any transfer fees and provide you with a gift card or credit to your account that can be used at a future date. If a gift card or credit to your account is not reasonable for you, then we are happy to work with each group on a case by case basis.

Have Some Questions?

We understand that booking a vacation is hard right now. We want to make this process as easy as we can for you – please contact us and we are happy to answer any questions!