Guided Adventures in New England

A Guided Tour Takes You Deep Into Nature and Outdoor Adventure; No Extra Charge for the Tall Tales

Here’s the thing to know about taking a guided adventure in New England’s outdoors: your guide leads the way, offers instruction, helps you toward the goal. But the guide is also a local person with deep knowledge of the surroundings and, often, a lifetime of stories to tell. We’re talking about a guide to …what? How about:

  • White water rafting,
  • ATV trail rides,
  • Hunting trips
  • Salt-water or fresh-water sport fishing,
  • Bird watching and moose stalking,
  • Back-country skiing and snowshoeing,
  • Full moon nature tours to the haunts of owls,
  • Hiking and mountain biking,
  • ..Or kayaking New England’s dreamy coastal marshes.

You could try doing much of this on your own – if you had the equipment. But an experienced professional guide can provide equipment and instruction; can take you out and connect you with nature; and can show you how to look and listen deeply. If you hit the jackpot, a seasoned guide – and there are many of them -- might offer some Paul Bunyan-worthy tall tales that will keep you or your kids squint-eyed with wonder. Connecting with nature with the help of a local guide leading the tour can often be the highlight of many vacations, for adults and children. Who knows the ropes – wait, did we mention treetop zip lines? – better than a local person who is a life-long explorer? Often, a good guide will tell visitors it is his or her greatest pleasure to introduce visitors to the deeper sights and sounds and stories of the outdoors in New England.

Cross Country Skiing Group in Vermont - Photo Credit VT Office of Tourism
Mt. Katahdin Summit - 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

Center’s group tours are a great way to experience a variety of outdoor adventures

People experiencing their first adventure – whether it’s cross-country skiing, fly-fishing, snowmobiling or white-water rafting – are something of a specialty at the New England Outdoor Center. That’s why they offer a variety of guided tours, from three-hour snowmobile trips to moose and wildlife safaris to guided whitewater rafting trips. Registered Maine Guides can take you out to fish for landlocked salmon and brook trout. Learn how to ice-fish in winter or how to properly cast on a fly-fishing tour. Take your group on a guided cross-country ski adventure, ending with a hot beverage at the center’s River Drivers Restaurant. After your tour, relax in one of the many lodging options offered by the center, from campground tents and bunkhouses to cabins and lodges.
Horseback Riding - Mountain Top Inn & Resort - Chittenden, VT
Mountain Top Resort

195 Mountain Top Road Chittenden, VT, 05737 Phone: 802-483-2311

Saddle up, equestrians: Mountain resort offers variety of trail rides as well as boarding

It’s time to hit the trails at the Mountain Top Resort. The resort’s Equestrian Center, open from Memorial Day Weekend through October, features 40 miles of designated trails with stunning vistas — woodlands, meadows, a lake — wherever you happen to look. The center offers both English and Western-style riding for beginners to experienced equestrians. Book a one- or two-hour trail ride, or stop by for a 15-minute pony ride for kids. You can also board your own horse overnight if you are staying at the resort. A three-night Horseback Riding Vacation package includes lodging and six hours of guided trail rides. The Giddy-Up and Go getaway features a one-hour trail ride as well as a 50-minute massage at the on-site spa!
Zip Line - Alpine Adventures - Lincoln, NH
Alpine Adventures

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

Lots of ways to experience pure exhilaration at this mountain adventure center

Explore the glorious White Mountains at Alpine Adventures, where exhilaration takes several forms. You can soar 200 feet above the forest floor on three different zipline courses, for beginners through serious adventurers. You can go on a guided trek through 300 private acres on Barron Mountain, with stunning views of the mountains. You can enter Thrillsville, a self-guided course that includes bridges, cargo nets, rope ladders and a treehouse. You can take a snow tube down a ramp and fly into a supersized air bag in the BigAirBag Stuntzone. Or you can take the wheel of your own adventure on a Side X Side off-road mountain tour, after being oriented to the off-road vehicle by a trained guide team.
Whitewater Fun 500x250 - Crab Apple Whitewater - The Forks, ME
Crab Apple Whitewater (ME)

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

Get ready for the rafting trip of a lifetime, with experienced guides leading the way

Let the experienced guides at Crab Apple Whitewater in Maine take you on the rafting trip of a lifetime. Journey down the Kennebec River, with Class II to IV rapids, for beginners and pros, as well as jaw-dropping scenery. Heart-pounding drops and huge rolling waves will be run expertly, followed by time among smaller rapids where you can get out and float. Back at home base, you can walk out of your raft and right into a hot shower or take a dip in the heated outdoor pool while guides prepare a cookout lunch. Over at Dead River, guides will lead you through the ultimate rush of continuous Class IV and V rapids. Lodging, a pub, restaurant and paintball fields are all part of the base camp.
Big Fish 500x250 - Black Hawk Party Boat - Niantic, CT
Blackhawk Sport Fishing

Sailing from the Niantic Bay Marina Niantic, CT, 06357 Phone: 860-448-3662 Toll-Free: 800-382-2824

Experienced captains and crew are why this charter service has so many returning customers

It’s easy to see why the majority of those who book cruises and fishing trips with Blackhawk Sport Fishing are returning customers and referrals: Experienced captains, helpful mates, a great record for finding fish, and a relaxing, welcoming environment. Whether you’re booking a trip to bring back a striper or two, or a cruise to marvel at fireworks or sunsets over the water, you won’t be disappointed. One of the fastest boats of its kind in New England, the Black Hawk is clean and comfortable, impeccably maintained, and devoted to its community. (Check the website for how your donations for local charities can decrease the cost of your trip.) Blackhawk also offers private charters for groups of at least 15 people.
Schooner Heritage - Maine Windjammers - Camden, ME
Maine Windjammer Association

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

Windjammer fleet offers breathtaking sights, on-deck fun, fabulous food, comfy cabins

Experience the dramatic coastline and spruce-clad islands of Maine aboard a historic Windjammer. The nine vessels of the Maine Windjammer Association are the ideal way to explore the granite islands of Penobscot Bay, the wildlife of this part of the Atlantic – and true Downeast hospitality and cooking! Sail for a few days or a week; take a curated cruise (photography, crafts, lighthouses, painting) or one with absolutely no set-in-stone itinerary. Help the crew with the sails, learn how to cook on a wood stove, or just relax on the deck. Wake to fresh coffee and blueberry pancakes and fall asleep to sea chanteys and starlight. Comfortable cabins, delicious food, great conversations and even an on-shore island lobster bake: It’s an unforgettable adventure.
Lighthouse Cruise Save The Bay Narragansett Bay Rhode Island
Save The Bay

Multiple Centers & Dock Locations Providence, Newport, Westerly, RI and Fall River, MA Phone: 401-272-3540

From seal tours to touch tanks, Save The Bay has lots of activities for explorers

Start with this: seal tours! And if that’s not enough, environmental nonprofit Save The Bay also offers lighthouse tours, nature cruises and an Exploration Center & Aquarium where you can meet sea stars, dogfish sharks and sea urchins at their three touch tanks. Lighthouse Tours are offered June through October, while Nature Cruisies and Seal Tours take place October through April. The organization’s Bay Center in Providence offers public, Bayside walking trails, a kayak launch and fishing platform, while the year-round Exploration Center and Aquarium in Newport offers three touch tanks, and dozens of exhibits featuring local species.
Boat tours depart from Newport, Westerly, and Providence RI.
Rafting Group - Crab Apple Whitewater - West Dover, VT
Crab Apple Whitewater (VT)

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

Professional guides who know the river will ensure your rafting trip is a first-rate adventure

Professional, experienced guides at Crab Apple Whitewater will ensure your whitewater rafting adventure — whether it is your first or your 50th — is exactly as you hoped: fun, relaxing, exciting and problem-free. In Vermont, your adventure means riding the Class II to IV rapids in the West River in the spring and fall. It’s an invigorating combo that makes the 8-mile trip perfect for everyone: beginners, families and experienced rafters. The scenery is breathtaking, and afterward, you can unwind in one of the company’s recommended hotels or motels while watching videos of your rafting experience. The scenery along the river is magnificent, and with safety as its number one priority, you can just concentrate on having a great time. Helmets and lifejackets are provided; wetsuits can be rented.
Fishing & Hunting - Weatherby's - Grand Lake Stream, ME

112 Milford Road Grand Lake Stream, ME, 04668 Phone: 207-796-5558

Experienced Maine guides will ensure your fishing, hunting experience is memorable and rewarding

Experienced Maine hunting and fishing guides have been the hallmark at Weatherby’s, one of the country’s most famous sporting lodges, for generations. With your customized package to fit your interests, schedule and budget, you’ll enjoy an experience you’ll want to pass along to your children and grandchildren. In a Grand Laker square-stern canoe, your guide will take you to pristine lakes to fish for small-mouth bass, or help you hone your fly-fishing skills as you challenge leaping landlocked salmon in the clear waters of Grand Lake Stream, ME. Hunting guides and their dogs will seek out wild grouse and woodcock in the fall, or accompany you on hunts for white-tailed deer or moose. Packages include lodging in comfortable cottages and fine home cooking in addition to all necessary equipment.
Whitewater Splash 500x250 - Crab Apple Whitewater - Charlemont, MA
Crab Apple Whitewater (MA)

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

Rafting company guides known for their river knowledge, personalized attention

Knowledge of the rivers and personalized attention: That’s what the guides at Crab Apple Whitewater, a family owned and operated operation since 1983, are known for at all three locations: Maine, Vermont and Massachusetts. In Massachusetts, those experienced guides will be right there with you as you conquer the rapids in the Deerfield and Millers Rivers. On the Deerfield River, they’ll talk about local history and let you marvel at the scenery in the calm sections between rapids. Crab Apple’s equipment is as reliable as its experienced guides: top-of-the-line self-bailing rafts and inflatable kayaks (for Funyak fun on a quieter section of the river), helmets and lifejackets. The base camp, between the river and the Mohawk Trail, has a patio overlooking the river, changing rooms and a snack bar.
Cross Country Skiing - Great Glen Trails - Gorham, NH
Great Glen Trails

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

Superior equipment, instruction, base camp and, most important, trails for cross-country skiing

It’s hard not to wax poetic when you talk about the cross-country skiing at the Great Glen Trails Outdoor Center. It’s the combination of the striking White Mountains vistas, the knowledgeable staff, the superior equipment available and, of course, the quality of the trails. You can rent classic or skate skis in confidence, knowing new equipment is available every season. Groomed terrain is accessible right from the comfortable base lodge, with its lockers, showers, a wax room and a fireplace. No road crossings, just, well-marked terrain for all abilities. There’s a learn-to-ski package that includes a lesson, trail pass and equipment rental. Or, take semi-private ski lessons for ages 5 and above. The center’s Outfitters Shop is known for being one of the best Nordic ski shops around.
April 2024 Logo for Listing
Morningside Flight Park

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

Guided adventures at flight park include hang gliding, paragliding, laser tag games

Guided adventures in the air and on the ground are a specialty at the Morningside Flight Park, perched among the Connecticut River Valley’s rolling hills in New Hampshire on land that seems to have been naturally created for hang gliding and paragliding. After an overview and instructions, a professional tandem flight instructor and you will be hooked into a special tandem hang glider for the flight of your life. Or take some introductory lessons in paragliding. There’s also a zip line tour through the tree tops, featuring four zip lines (a fifth takes you back to the ground). On land, guides will lead you through a variety of five-on-five laser tag games in one- and two-hour sessions. Overnight options include tent sites, platform cabins and a large summit cabin.