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Eco-Friendly Adventures in New England

Leave the motors & noise behind and let nature breathe!


Visitors to New England are transported by the beauty of its mountains, forests, and coasts. For many vacationers, there is no greater pleasure than venturing into the outdoors. For many people, the pleasure is enhanced when they can hear, out there, no sounds much louder than their own footsteps. The word eco-tourism simply means exploring the world while employing the greatest respect for nature. Many visitors love to walk the woods and paddle the waters of New England without help from any mechanized vehicle. What does that allow? Lots! In winter, think of snowshoeing or cross-country skiing on trails that cross farm fields or meander through snow-laden forests. Hiking is done almost year-round. In the warm seasons, it is a quiet thrill to hear no more than the rise and dip of a kayak or canoe paddle. Bird watching is no noisier than the bird calls echoing through the woods. Care for the natural environment is a major topic on everyone’s mind these days. It is a natural choice for eco-conscious visitors to walk (or paddle) lightly on New England’s relaxing lands and waters. Eco-tourism is healthy and especially great for families with kids, whose very nature demands that they run and climb. Choose a quiet, Earth-friendly activity – or several – for your next exploration into New England.

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Schooner American Eagle - Maine Windjammers - Camden ME
Maine Windjammer Association

Sailing from Ports in Rockland and Camden, ME, 04843 Phone: Toll-Free: 800-807-9463

Windjammers offer lucky vacationers an experience they’ll remember for a lifetime

Windjammer cruising is like nothing else on Earth, and it starts with the magnificent tall ships themselves. The nine vessels of the Maine Windjammer Association, some of them National Historic Landmarks, have been meticulously cared for, offering guests comfortable accommodations, amazing meals prepared by professional cooks and rich experiences from trying your hand at raising the sails to stopping off at quiet fishing villages. There’s also just relaxing on deck as your windjammer weaves in and out among green-forested islands, stopping once on every cruise for a traditional lobster bake. Wildlife sightings include bald eagles, porpoises, seals and the occasional puffin or minke whale. Steady breezes and calm bays make this an ideal cruising ground for schooners, an intrinsic part of the picturesque Maine coast for centuries.
Paddling Adventure - Great Glen Trails - Gorham, NH
Great Glen Trails

Route 16 at Pinkham Notch Gorham, NH, 03581 Phone: 603-466-3988

It’s four seasons of fun adventures at this White Mountains outdoor center

Every season is a fun season at the Great Glen Trails Outdoor Center, at the base of the Mt. Washington Auto Road. Spring, summer and fall are perfect for kayak cruises. Take a clinic, go on a wildlife tour (keep an eye out for moose and eagles) or go on a sunset cruise. Get out the bike, or rent one of theirs, and enjoy well-marked carriage roads through the forest and meadows, past scenic rivers. Hiking is a joy, with breath-taking views everywhere. Dogs, and strollers, are welcome. In the winter, there’s cross-country skiing, snowshoeing and old-fashioned snow tubing down Tubing Hill. Or, take the Mt. Washington Snowcoach to the tree line on the auto road. The center’s base lodge has showers, lockers and a cozy fireplace.
Rafting Group - Crab Apple Whitewater - West Dover, VT
Crab Apple Whitewater (VT)

289 Handle Road West Dover, VT, 05356 Phone: 800-553-7238

Rafting trips mean you aren’t just observing nature — you’re an active participant!

When you are zipping along the West River, the Vermont location for Crab Apple Whitewater, you aren’t just appreciating the environment around you — you are becoming completely involved in it! The river, one of Vermont’s true gems, with breathtaking scenery, features Class II to IV rapids, so it an exciting adventure for both experienced rafter and for beginners. The trips, offered in the spring and fall, are 8 miles long, and the minimum age is 11, so they’re great for families. Experienced guides provide expert leadership and information, and after your trip, you can adjourn to one of the nearby recommended hotels or motels to unwind and watch videos of your rafting experience. Helmets and lifejackets of all sizes are provided.
Whale Watching Tours in Bar Harbor, Maine - Outdoor Adventures
Bar Harbor Whale Watch Tours

1 West Street Bar Harbor, ME, 04609 Phone: 207-288-2386

Bar Harbor Whale Watch offers several distinct whale watching, sightseeing, light house and nature trips that sail daily throughout the summer. Come witness the awe inspiring beauty of the magnificent mammals of the sea. The Gulf of Maine is home to humpback, finback, and Minke whales. Because of the catamaran's speed visitors arrive at and cover lots of whale-watching territory. The boat’s galley is open during the voyage with food and beverages, including beer and wine.
Whitewater Splash 500x250 - Crab Apple Whitewater - Charlemont, MA
Crab Apple Whitewater (MA)

2056 Mohawk Trail Charlemont, MA, 01339 Phone: 800-553-7238

River rafting and paddle boarding let you explore, and enjoy, the local environment

Rafting on a river or paddle boarding on a reservoir: What could be more environmentally friendly than that? At Crab Apple Whitewater, a dedicated, experienced staff wants to provide each individual, every family and every group the most unforgettable New England whitewater rafting adventure. In Massachusetts, that means tackling sections of the Deerfield River in a raft with six to seven paddlers or having fun in an inflatable kayak, or Funyak, with giant squirt guns in a quieter section. Or, hit the Class II and III rapids on the Millers River on special dam releases. You can also rent a stand-up paddle board to explore the reservoir behind the base camp. (Check for bald eagles!) The base camp, with changing rooms, has a patio overlooking the Deerfield River.
Newport Waterfront Bike Path - Discover Newport, VT
Discover Newport Vermont

Newport Waterfront Recreation Path

The Newport Waterfront Recreation Path, located on Lake Memphremagog, is a great trail that visitors of all ages can enjoy. This waterfront recreation path is great for biking as well as walking, running, birdwatching or just exploring nature. The Path starts at the Newport, VT Gateway Center/City Docks downtown and follows the lakefront through Pomerleau Park, across the old railroad bridge, in front of the Waterfront Plaza to Prouty Beach, across the new connector bridge onto Bluffside Farm, and eventually connects to the Beebe Spur Rail Trail that hugs the eastern lakeshore of Memphremagog five miles to the Canadian Border. Maps of the trail are available at downtown businesses and the Information Center at the entrance to Gardner Park, and also on DiscoverNewportVT.com.
Whitewater Trip 500x250 - Crab Apple Whitewater - The Forks, ME
Crab Apple Whitewater (ME)

3 Lake Moxie Road The Forks, ME, 04985 Phone: 800-553-7238

Be part of the great outdoors, and meet its challenges, with a rafting trip in Maine

You’ll appreciate the great outdoors even more after a rafting trip with Crab Apple Whitewater in Maine. Journeys down the Kennebec and Dead Rivers are extraordinary: You’ll challenge Class IV and V rapids in the Dead River, or marvel at the scenery and pristine wilderness along the Kennebec, with legendary Class III and IV rapids like “Magic Falls” (just two miles from our base camp) waiting at every turn before you hit calmer water and can float beside your raft. With a lodging package, you can enjoy rafting one day and hiking up to Moxie Falls, soaking in the heated outdoor pool or joining a nightfall paintball game the next. Guides are experienced, helmets and lifejackets are provided, and breakfast comes with every rafting and standard and premium lodging package.
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Morningside Flight Park

357 Morningside Lane Charlestown, NH, 03603 Phone: 603-542-4416

Soar through trees or glide in the air like a bird at this multi-attraction flight park

What could make you feel more like a part of nature than being able to fly like a bird? At the Morningside Flight Park, there are several ways you can have that exhilarating feeling. You can strap into a tandem hang glider with a professional tandem flight instructor and soar like you have wings for 10 to 30 minutes. You can learn to paraglide or power paraglide. You can fly through the tree tops on a zip line tour. In its desire to be kind to the environment, the flight park also offers four-on-five laser tag games using state-of-the-art equipment: It’s like paintball without the mess, the sting or the environmental impact. And you can go camping in an old-growth forest, using either your tent or platform and summit cabins.
Art’s Dune Tours Provincetown Cape Cod MA
Art’s Dune Tours

4 Standish Street Provincetown, MA, 02657 Phone: 508-487-1950

For three generations, the family-run Art’s Dune Tours has been taking spellbound visitors on tours of the dunes of the Provincelands, a marvelous, otherworldly place of sky, sea, dune grass, and wind-sculpted dunes. On the tours, you will travel through the majestic dunes where your guide points out the dune shacks where famous artists and writers lived and found inspiration. You will pass the remains of the Peaked Hill Life Saving Station and learn how life savers enacted their heroic efforts to save the lives of thousands from shipwrecks. Access by the public to the dunes is limited, so this is the way to see this marvelous landscape.
Sailing Trio - America's Cup Charters - Newport, RI
America's Cup Charters

49 America's Cup Avenue Newport, RI, 02840 Phone: 401-849-5868

Get onboard with this idea: Your sailing adventure begins in Newport, on a classic yacht

Sail into your next adventure by booking a cruise aboard one of the magnificent yachts at America’s Cup Charters. From conveniently located docks in downtown Newport, RI, you’ll board one of the legendary classic America’s Cup 12-meter yachts to set out on a two-hour daily harbor and Narragansett Bay sail, a fun-filled three-hour racing experience or a customized charter cruise. Sail aboard the Heritage, with its eye-catching varnished Sitka spruce hull, a 1970 Cup contender and ocean-racing champion; the Gleam, built in 1937 and designed by famous naval architect Clinton Crane; the classic beauty Onawa; or the 1962 cup winner Weatherly, a legend in American sailing history. Enjoy the beauty that is Narragansett Bay on a spring, summer or fall day. Help raise the sails or just sit back and revel in the views.
Cross Country Skiing - New England Outdoor Center - Millinocket, ME
New England Outdoor Center

30 Twin Pines Road Millinocket, ME, 04462 Phone: 207-723-5438 Toll-Free: 800-766-7238

Sustainability is critical in all the adventures offered by this Maine outdoor center

At the New England Outdoor Center, their mission is to foster respect for the responsible shared use of the Maine woodlands they call home. So when you set out on one of the center’s fishing trips, snowmobile or wildlife tours, hit the bike or cross-country ski trails, you know it’s a sustainable adventure. The center manages its 1,400 acres in accordance with the American Forest Foundation’s standards of sustainability. At its Millinocket Lake location, it reduces waste, recycles and offers lodging options that are eco-friendly. New mountain-biking trails are being built in a sustainable manner, and that principle also applies to the use of waterways for fishing, rafting, paddle boarding and kayaking. Check the website for tips on how you can help with this effort.
Zip Line - Alpine Adventures - Lincoln, NH
Alpine Adventures

41 Main Street Lincoln, NH, 03251 Phone: 603-745-9911

You’ll experience the thrill of it all in so many ways at this outdoor adventure center

There are so many ways to enjoy the great outdoors at Alpine Adventures! Experience 300 private acres on Barron Mountain via off-road vehicles with guided Side X Side tours. Or zoom through – or over! – the trees with two heart-pumping zip line tours. Stay in the canopy on the tree-to-tree Tree Top tour or soar above it on the Sky Rider tour with higher, longer, faster lines, extreme tree platforms and sky bridges. Over at Thrillsville, take a self-guided adventure course that includes bridges, cargo nets, rope ladders, zip lines and a tree house. And, finally, there’s the Off-Road tour, where you scale to the top of Barron Mountain in a six-wheel-drive vehicle that acts like a low-speed roller coaster.
Kids Outdoors - EcoTarium - Worcester, MA
EcoTarium, New England's Leading Museum of Science and Nature

222 Harrington Way Worcester, MA, 01604 Phone: 508-929-2700

Connect with Nature at the EcoTarium!

Experience hands-on exhibits and make new discoveries, indoors and outdoors, at the EcoTarium in Worcester. The EcoTarium offers three floors of interactive exhibits, exciting shows in the Alden Digital Planetarium: A National Geographic Theater, daily Science Discovery programs, live animal habitats, nature trails through forest and meadow environments, PLUS unlimited play in the expansive Nature Explore® Outdoor Exhibit. To complete your visit, take a trek through the treetops on the Tree Canopy Walkway (seasonal). Rain or shine, summer or winter, there’s always something fun for the whole family to discover at the EcoTarium!