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.

Current Status of Northern Outdoors Resort: OPEN

Office Hours: 9:00am-6:00pm

Currently, the Adventure Resort, restaurant, and brewery are closed for our annual seasonal shutdown. We will reopen January 28th for snowmobiling season. Lodging is still available through 1/28/21 (at 50% off), and reservations are open to visitors from out of state per Maine’s current travel restrictions.

*Please see resort guidelines for details on operations.

Current Status of Kennebec River Pub & Brewery: CLOSED

Please visit our Facebook page for current hours.

The brewpub is closed for our annual December shutdown. We’ll be open when the snow flies, with plans to open January 28th at 12:00pm! Stay tuned- if we get snow, we’ll open sooner!

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 over 6 months 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 for winter 2021, and summer 2020 procedures (as reference). Please keep in mind all of these guidelines are subject to change per state and federal guidance. We understand the strain that puts on you as you plan for vacation – so please see our updated COVID cancellation policy for some assurances.

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 and Vermont can book reservations and travel into the state of Maine with no 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 plans to reopen for snowmobiling season on January 28th. We will abide by the COVID-19 Prevention Checklist, with particular attention to…

  • Hot tub: the hot tub will not be open for the 2021 winter season due to state imposed restrictions on the safe operation of hut tubs during the pandemic
  • 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 plans to open for indoor dining and takeout on January 28th with the following guidance in place:

wings beer fireplace

  • Guests and visitors inside of Northern Outdoors/Kennebec River Brewery are required to wear mask until seated at their table. Once you are seated, you may remove your face covering.
  • Indoor seating capacity limits with distancing between tables.
  • Parties are limited to groups of 8. Groups of more than 8 will be split into additional tables.
  • Frequent hand washing
  • Frequent sanitization of high touch surfaces
  • Bar service at window only- no bar seats, no hanging around at the bar

To see all precautions in place, please visit the Maine COVID checklist for reopening 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.

    • Our Housekeeping Team will not be doing makeups in rooms in order to limit exposure.
    • Please wear your mask when entering the main lodge to check in to your accommodation.

See the entire Maine state COVID checklist for lodging.

Cabin Rental snowmobiles
go pro family rafting

Whitewater Rafting Operations & Procedures – 2020

Northern Outdoors worked closely with rafting outfitters in Maine and across the nation 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. We are not sure what kind of guidelines will be in place for 2021, but we are confident in our team’s ability to provide you with life changing adventure, regardless of the circumstances. Although we expect guidelines to evolve for 2021, here are the current guidelines for whitewater rafting in Maine:

Additional Cleaning and Sanitation Practices

Maintaining a safe and healthy environment has always been important to us, but we will be stepping up the game to ensure all surfaces are frequently cleaned including paddles, life jackets, helmets, vehicles, tables, etc. Gloves, masks, and distancing measures according to recommendations will be required of all staff.

Riverside Lunches and Meal prep

In addition to existing cleaning practices including frequent cleaning of surfaces and materials and hand washing stations, guides will have completed COVID readiness restaurant training. This training, combined with new river standards in place, will ensure our riverside meals meet or exceed protocols for restaurants.


Heightened cleaning and sanitizing of all buses, vans, and vehicles will occur. Vehicles will be loaded back to front, and unloaded front to back. We will require face coverings in any transportation to/from the river. Windows will be down for increased air circulation, and bus will be sanitized prior to each use.

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 will be asked to have face coverings available. Although you won’t wear face coverings continually, there will be situations where we will require guests to wear them, such as while in transportation to and from the river.

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

Our cancellation policy for winter 2021 is that any confirmed reservation may be transferred or cancelled without penalty by providing notice to Northern Outdoors at least 14 days before your scheduled arrival date. For cancellations or transfers that occur with less than 14 days notice but at least 7 days notice, you will receive credit in the full amount in the form of a gift certificate; these gift certificate will expire one year from date of issue. Once you are within 7 days of your arrival date, all money shall become nonrefundable and nontransferable. No transfers can be made within 14 days of your arrival date. 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 also highly encourage you to purchase trip cancellation insurance for best protection.

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!