6 Water Activities for the Ultimate Summer in Maine

From Whitewater to Waterfalls, Make a Splash in The Forks!

By: Zoë Clay

As the days start getting warmer and longer, I know I’m getting antsy to grab my swimsuit and dive right into summer. Luckily, I’m surrounded by endless water activities here in Maine at Northern Outdoors. We’ve got something for everyone, whether you’re a hiking fanatic, expert adventurer, or relaxation connoisseur. You’re sure to find something just your speed here in vacationland.

After trying them all, here are my top 6 recommendations for water activities in The Forks, Maine that are sure to be a hit:

1. Kennebec River Rafting

Starting off strong, fellow adventurers will love the Kennebec River Whitewater Rafting Trip. Nicknamed the rollercoaster of whitewater, the big, bouncy, splashy Class IV rapids are great for rafters of all experience levels. The Kennebec River provides both a great introduction to whitewater for first timers while also giving our more experienced guests the thrill they’ve come to love from whitewater rafting. You’re guaranteed to get wet as you’re guided through the spectacular rock-walled upper Kennebec River Gorge featuring playful rapids with big waves. 

Kennebec River Rafting is one of the best family adventures or group vacations you’ll ever take, with a perfect balance of adrenaline-pumping whitewater and relaxing floats. Plus, weather permitting, you’ll get the one-of-a-kind experience of eating lunch on the river! After 4½ miles of Class IV rapids, there’s nothing like sitting in the sunshine on the riverside and enjoying a grilled lunch made right in front of you. Insider’s tip: I highly recommend the salmon!

2. Kennebec River Turbine Test

Turbine Test
If you’re a real adrenaline junkie, you’ll love our Kennebec River Turbine Test Trip. This high-intensity water activity is one of the most unique in Maine. During a turbine test, Brookfield Power tests their generating turbines by releasing the maximum amount of water possible from Harris Station Dam. Rafting trips during this time enjoy 8,000+ cubic feet per second (cfs) water flows, which is nearly DOUBLE the Kennebec River’s normal whitewater rafting release volume. This means the trip is extra fast, extra splashy, and extra likely to tip! If you love whitewater action, you will want to be on one of these special Turbine Test release trips–only 4 per season!

3. Float Trip on the Kennebec River
Kids float trip inflatable kayaks on Kennebec River

Now I don’t want to scare you off with talk of boats tipping and roller coaster rides. Maybe whitewater rafting isn’t your jam! If you’re looking for a laid back, relaxing vacay with lots of sun and not a worry in the world, then the Kennebec River Afternoon Float Trip is for you! Nothing but sunshine and a few miles of calm Kennebec River water. Keep your eyes open though, you may be graced with a riverside moose sighting!

As opposed to the classic donut-style inner tube, our inflatable kayaks give you more control and maneuverability. You can paddle around to all the inlets and mini rapids you want, or you can kick back, relax, and let the river do the work. Just don’t forget your sunscreen!

4. Northern Outdoors’ Hot Tub
Bachelorette party at brewery hot tub

Speaking of relaxing… there’s nothing better than a hot tub soak after a day of adventuring! And on a cool Maine night, it’s an absolute staple. Between the jets and good company, I can’t get enough. Grab a brew and a friend, and enjoy our large hot tub on the deck. Need I say more?

5. Outdoor Pool (with Volleyball Net!)

Pool Desk Maine Resort

Is there anything more quintessential to summer-time water fun than a pool? Come make a splash in our outdoor pool! Featuring a volleyball net, the pool is fun for all ages and a great way to make friends with fellow outdoor adventurers.

Had enough of the water? Get some sun in one of our pool-side lounge chairs. When you’re looking to relax, nothing beats reading in a lounge chair and soaking up the sun. And when you get too warm, cool off with a jump in the pool! And don’t worry, our pool is heated so it never feels too cool.

6. Waterfall Hikes

Hike into Moxie Falls The Forks

The water wonders of The Forks don’t end at Northern Outdoors! Lace up your hiking boots and head out to one of the area’s breathtaking waterfalls. The star of the show is Moxie Falls, with a 90-foot cascade that makes it a must see while you’re in the area. The trail in is less than a mile long, wide, and easy to follow. And to top it all off… you can go for a dip! There’s a swim spot at the top– but BE CAREFUL, of course, and stay far away from the drop!

While Moxie Falls hogs the waterfall spotlight, there’s plenty more in the area. The hilly terrain of the area makes for gorgeous falls, rigorous hikes, and breathtaking overlooks.

So, what are the best water activities in Maine? Between whitewater rafting, river floats, pool games, hot tub soaks, and waterfall swims, we’ve got them all here in The Forks. Grab your swimsuit, a sense of adventure, and meet us in The Forks this summer! We’ve got everything you need to make a splash! Northern Outdoors is your ticket to an unforgettable, water-filled adventure.

What water adventure are you most excited for? We would love to hear from you in the comments!

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