Summer Adventures: How To Plan A DIY Maine Camp Experience
May 12, 2016, by Jake
Summer Adventures: How To Plan A DIY Maine Camp Experience
May 12, 2016, by Jake

There is something magical about summer in Maine. The fresh air, the landscape dotted with towering pines and sparkling lakes, the equal possibility of excitement or relaxation with every sunrise … it’s a special kind of paradise. Nobody knows this better than the 20,000 kids who attend summer camp in Maine every year. These campers have it made! In addition to an amazing array of activities on the grounds of their gorgeous camps, they all have the opportunity to venture out into Maine for some once-in-a-lifetime trips and adventures.

So why should they have all the fun?

The days of you sleeping in a bunk and eating at the dining hall may be long gone, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have the same kind of amazing adventures Maine campers experience every summer. Maine is “Vacationland,” and a trip to Maine can be as simple as relaxing by the picturesque coastline, eating your fill of fresh lobster, or as jam-packed with exploration and activity as you like. So learn how to enjoy Maine from the experts – summer campers who return, summer after summer, for the magic of Maine.

HIKE Mount Katahdin at Baxter State Park

Mount Katahdin (pronounced Ka-TAH-din) is the highest mountain in the state of Maine, and has many trails of varying degrees of difficulty. One of the most popular is part of the Appalachian Trail, and leads to the summit of Katahdin. Along the way, you’ll see picturesque Katahdin Stream Falls, the Boulders on Hunt Spur, and a breathtaking, panoramic view up at the top. It is one of the most popular trips among our Maine campers, and once you do it, you’ll see why.

HIKE Cadillac Mountain in Acadia National Park

Watching the sunrise on Cadillac Mountain means you get to see it first – it is the first place in the easternmost state where the sun appears. There are over 25 trails you can take on Cadillac Mountain, ranging from easy, smooth paths, to an almost vertical 1,000-foot climb. The views of and from Cadillac are absolutely stunning.

RAPPEL Otter Cliff In Acadia National Park

Only minutes from downtown Bar Harbor, Otter Cliff is located in Acadia National Park and is “one of the few true sea cliffs in the United States.” There is a wide range of terrain, with options for beginning and advanced climbers alike. The best way to climb at Otter Cliff is to rappel down to the base and climb back to the top, which is just as fun as it sounds.

CAMP on Hermit Island or at Migis Lodge

A long-standing tradition of the Maine Camp Experience is going on out-of-camp overnight camping trips, once the kids are old enough. Campers get to experience the thrill of nature, and learn valuable skills that will stay with them long past their days in Maine. It’s an experience that may take a little more work, but you too can unplug and have a completely different sort of vacation.

Tucked away among Maine’s many treasures are the seaside campgrounds of Hermit Island. Brian Irwin of the Boston Globe wrote that camping here is “like stepping back in time.” There is no electricity, no running water, no RVs … just some tents, a small store that sells ice and lobster, and the open ocean.

Or if you’d rather not rough it, try Migis Lodge. Here you can stay in a cabin, hike in the woods, take part in a myriad of lake activities or just kick back with a drink on the porch. It’s like a summer camp experience for adults and their families!

CANOE on a Pristine Maine River

Singled out by National Geographic as one of “America’s Best Adventures,” paddling down the crystal clear waters of the Allagash River is arguably another way to step back in time. You can take a week-long guided tour down the river, or just head out for a day of quiet reflection, a whitewater rafting adventure, or both.

Many Maine summer campers also take trips to the Kennebec and Penobscot Rivers, with companies like Northeast Whitewater, Adventure Bound and Moxie Outdoor Adventures.

EAT at the Maine Lobster Festival

This August will mark the 69th Annual Maine Lobster Festival, attracting over 30,000 people every year to Rockland, Maine. Enjoy fresh lobster dinners, entertainment, carnival rides and a celebration of all things Maine. If you want your lobster without all the hoopla, check out Maine Camps’ favorites Young’s Lobster Pound in Belfast or the lobster pounds at Harraseeket in Freeport and in Naples.

CATCH a Baseball Game

Head out to Hadlock Field in Portland to see Minor League Baseball’s Portland Sea Dogs take to the diamond. Many of our Maine summer campers make the pilgrimage each year, to enjoy a hot dog and a game, though not necessarily in that order.

TAKE A RIDE at Funtown Splashtown       

So many of our Maine campers head to Funtown Splashtown for a day of water slides, pools, roller coasters and the classic Tilt-A-Whirl. The park features Maine’s only wooden roller coaster (the Excalibur), and a wide variety of amusement park fare for when you’ve worked up an appetite screaming your way down Thunder Falls.


There is a reason (or rather, many reasons) that so many campers and their families flock to Maine each year. Natural beauty, a chance to unplug, incredible adventures, strong traditions and amazing eats only scratch the surface of the list. But by now it should be clear that incredible Maine adventures are not just for the summer camper, but really for the summer camper in us all.

Maine Camp Experience is a community of the 30+ best-in-class camps in the state of Maine. The website has camp selection and planning tools, including the Campcierge™ who personally assists families select the right camp. NOW is the time to research and enroll, as summertime is the “high season.”

Maine Camp Experience Resources & Tools

Looking for the perfect Maine camp for your child?  Try out our helpful tool where you can select a camp by choosing: type of camp (girls, boys or coed) and session length (1-8 weeks).  It helps to narrow down a few camps to a manageable list that includes rates.  Then you can research these camps in more depth.  

Next, be sure to contact our Maine Campcierge™ to discuss these camps as well as for free, year-round advice and assistance on choosing a great Maine summer camp for your child.

You can share your own Maine camps memories & expressions of gratitude on our Memories of Camp section of our website.

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“I greatly enjoyed speaking with Laurie (Guide at Maine Camp Experience). Thanks to her guidance, ideas and suggestions we truly feel that our ultimate choice is the right one for us. We can trust that our seven year old daughter will have a wonderful summer!”

Copyright © 2021 Maine Camp Experience

Copyright © 2021 Maine Camp Experience

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