Sunrise at Acadia National Park, looking out over Bar Harbor

Iconic New England Places & Adventures: Acadia, Mt. Washington, Kennebec River

We were delighted to be included as part of a Brand USA video series that highlights iconic places in the USA and ideal active adventures to do in those places.  The first video is about Maine and New Hampshire, neighboring states that anchor the northeast part of New England.   As you probably know, New England is officially defined as Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, and Massachusetts.  New York and Connecticut are often lumped in with the New England states, but they are actually not part of the region. (Note: all the images in this blog post are from the video – watch the New England video for the best clarity!)

Acadia National Park & Bar Harbor

This first video clip highlights some of our very favorite places in Maine and New Hampshire. It starts at the Maine coast featuring the iconic Acadia National Park, overlooking Bar Harbor.

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Rock climbing and rappelling at Acadia National Park, Bar Harbor

Rock climbing and rappelling at the beautiful Otter Cliffs above the crashing waves off Acadia is a thrilling sport, indeed! Watch the early sunrise in the video – its gorgeous! In fact, nearby Cadillac Mountain is one of the earliest places to catch the sunrise in the United States – you’ll see it peak up over the Atlantic ocean.

Northern Outdoors runs college adventure programs that include activities in Acadia National Park.  It’s one of our favorite places on the coast of Maine.  If you go to the Maine coast – treat yourself to a trip farther north and visit Acadia and Bar Harbor.

Maine White Water Rafting: New England’s Biggest Rivers

Aerial view of Kennebec River Gorge - The Forks Maine

Aerial view of Kennebec River Gorge – The Forks Maine

Maine is known for the biggest whitewater rafting in all of New England. We have three fantastic white water rivers – the Kennebec, Penobscot and the Dead River. The Kennebec and Dead Rivers are in The Forks, Maine and the Penobscot is farther north towards Millinocket, Maine at the base of Maine’s tallest peak, Mt. Katahdin.

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Kennebec River Rafting is loads of fun!

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Face shot on the awesome Kennebec River1

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White water action everywhere!!!

The Kennebec and Penobscot Rivers start in beautiful steep gorges with awesome whitewater and then broaden out for their lower sections into calmer stretches. The Dead River is a wider river basin and only runs 8 times a year with special releases at several different exciting water levels. It’s the most continuous white water run in New England – not for the faint-hearted. The video crew came up to Northern Outdoors to experience the iconic Kennebec River, the very first whitewater rafting river in the state, pioneered in 1976 by non-other than Wayne and Suzie Hockmeyer – founders of Northern Outdoors.

New Hampshire Presidential Range & Mt. Washington

Aerial adventure parks are not just for kids!

Aerial adventure parks are definitely not just for kids!

From there, Brand USA traveled to New Hampshire to experience the beautiful White Mountains, also known as the Presidential Range.  Adventure Parks are all the rage, and they visited ELC Outdoors in Errol, NH to try out zips, ladders, cable walks and more. These adventure parks are terrific for families, its true, but their real gem is getting us big kids out with friends to step out of our comfort zones and really meet challenges and adventure head on.

Moose are abundant in New England - but you have to know where to find them.

Moose are abundant in New England – but you have to know where to find them.

Wildlife is as abundant in NH as Maine, and our moose friends don’t think too much about state boundaries. You’ll see a moose wading in the river by the bank on the NH river float wildlife tour they did with ELC Outdoors. We see moose regularly here at Northern Outdoors, on the way to the river for rafting, on hikes, especially on the ATV trails in The Forks Area, and while fishing. Moose are iconic to New England. Be super careful driving in Maine at dusk and dawn – for moose can be out crossing the roads and they are a LOT bigger than your car…

Mount Washington and the Cog Railway

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The historic Mount Washington Cog Railway was the first mountain climbing cog railway in the WORLD!

After the adventure park and wildlife tour, the Brand USA video team headed over to one my personal favorite places – Mt Washington. At 6,288 feet tall, Mt. Washington is the highest peak in the northeast and 2nd tallest on the East coast, (only Clingman’s Dome in North Carolina’s Great Smoky Mountains National Park is taller).  There are three ways to get to the top of Mt. Washington, where you can see 360 degree views stretching into Vermont, Maine, southern New Hampshire, Canada, and the Atlantic Ocean.   1) Drive up on the auto road, 2) hike up in an all day wonderful hike and stay at the Lake of the Clouds Hut overnight, or 3) take the historic cog railway up to the summit. Brand USA did the cog railway.  I didn’t realize that Mt. Washington had the world’s first mountain-climbing cog railway, and it’s the only cog railway east of the Rockies. That’s a mighty fine engineering feat of New Englanders, to be sure!  The views are gorgeous in the video, giving you a nice taste of what its like there at the summit, so far above tree line thanks to the altitude.

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The summit of Mt. Washington is often in the clouds, at over 6,000 feet tall.

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Absorb yourself in views into all of New England and Canada, from the summit of Mt. Washington!

Here’s a little bit more on the Cog Railway, from the Mt. Washington Cog Railway website:

Passengers will experience a sense of adventure and history on the Mount Washington Cog Railway’s 3-hour guided train tour to the highest peak in the Northeast. With approximately one hour to spend at the 6,288 foot summit, visitors can take in the spectacular panoramic view, spanning the mountains and valleys of New Hampshire, Maine and Vermont, north into Canada, and east to the Atlantic Ocean.

Check out the 6+ minute video here and treat yourself to some of New England’s iconic natural places and must do adventure sports, on your next New England getaway.

Learn more about Acadia National Park.
Learn more about Kennebec Rafting.
Learn More about Northern Outdoors Adventure Resort.
Learn more about ELC Outdoor Center in New Hampshire.
Learn more about Mount Washington and the Cog Railway.

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