Amazing Time for Our Corporate Incentive Trip

Monday, February 10, 2014 by Northern Outdoors Trip Reviews

Thank you Northern Outdoors! Our snowmobiling trip this past weekend was PERFECT! As an event planner for our company, Combined Benefits United, I wanted to create a memorable adventure for our group of sales agents, and Northern Outdoors delivered!

Some members in our group came all the way from California just to experience snowmobiling in Maine. They were all more than impressed with the lodging, accommodations, service, food, and micro brews at Northern Outdoors.

The sleds we rented from Backcountry Excursions were all top notch and had plenty of power for our high energy sales team to enjoy. Everyone is already talking about our next incentive trip - whitewater rafting with Northern Outdoors on the Kennebec River this summer!

Thanks for making our snowmobile event a success (and my job easy)!

Hallowell, Maine

Rating: 5 *****


Friday, November 22, 2013 by Northern Outdoors Trip Reviews

My boys and I spent the day at Northern Outdoors. Our rafting trip was awesome. The boys, teenagers, had never been whitewater rafting. They now want to experience bigger and faster rivers. I was amazed at the gourmet lunch the staff provided on the river. My chicken teriyaki was delicious. After rafting, the boys swam in the pool while I sampled the freshly brewed beer.

All the staff, from the desk attendants to the rafting guides to the waitstaff, were all very friendly. We enjoyed it so much that we stopped back there for lunch with my husband on our way out of the state.

Thanks for the great time!

Boyne City, MI

Rating: 5 *****

Kennebec River Rafting Day Trip

America's Coolest Breweries: Travel + Leisure Magazine Features Kennebec River Pub & Brewery

Monday, November 18, 2013 by Northern Outdoors Staff

Kennebec River Brewery Rated One Of  "America's Coolest Breweries" by Travel & LeisureKennebec River Pub & Brewery - Northern Outdoors Resort, Maine

The quality and care that goes into the brewing of Kennebec River Brewery's beer is no local secret. We're pretty pleased that some others have discovered our special brewery as well. Travel + Leisure Magazine recently featured us as one of America's Coolest Breweries in their latest brewery roundup! Favorites like Let 'Er Drift Summer Ale, Bear Naked Black Lager, and Big Mama Blueberry Ale flow freely from the taps and are savored by the microbrew connoisseurs who frequent this pub & brewery located at Northern Outdoors' Adventure Resort in The Forks, Maine.

When you take a look at everything our Maine brewery has to offer, we think we've created an atmosphere that is not only conducive to enjoying a high quality beer, but to really kick back, relax, and escape in beautiful western Maine. Kennebec River Brewery is particularly unique in that its the only brewery we know of that's located onsite at a year-round adventure resort. This means pub-goers can take part in some of the best recreational activities on the East Coast in addition to sampling our ales. There is nothing better than spending a day whitewater rafting, snowmobiling Maine's famous wilderness trails, hiking through the Bigelow mountains, chasing wild rainbow trout, or hunting trophy white tail deer, only to return to the restaurant and brewery. Having worked up a healthy appetite, our guests can indulge in sirloin steak, Atlantic salmon, and of course, the lobster in the pub! The best part though, we have an outstanding beer to match every season or beer drinking mood you may be in.  Kennebec River Brewery is featured on the Maine Beer Trail.

You can find a guide to some of our favorite brews below:

Sledhead Red - An incredible smooth red ale with moderate bitterness up dront, which gives way to a delightful malty finish. Brewed using five European malts and three varieties of domestic Northwest hops. 

Let 'Er Drift Summer Ale - A classic American pale ale crafted with domestic malted barley and fresh Cascade hops from the Pacific Northwest. An excellent choice for those new to microbrews, it's as refreshing as a ride down the Kennebec "Rivah"!

Magic Hole IPA - Our flagship ale, this was our first brew ever made in 1997. This copper colored, American style India Pale Ale is crafted with abundant amounts of North American malted barley for a full malt flavor. The aggressive bitter bite comes from a generous infusion of Magnum hops, with late additions of Columbus and Summit adding abundant hop flavor and aroma. Dry hopping with Summit adds to the big hop aroma on this brew. Learn more here.

Sustainable Business Practices and Our Brewery

Kennebec River Pub & Brewery - Northern Outdoors Resort, MaineWe work hard to incorporate sustainable business practices into our brewing process. Reducing consumption, reusing and recycling raw materials are core components of our operations. Here's some of the things we do:

  • Office paper, cardboard, plastic wrap, glass and pallets are just some of the many components recycled at the brewery. All are diverted from the landfill. 

  • All our spent grains are delivered to a local deer farm for feed. 

  • Hot water produced during the process of cooling down the wort during the transfer to fermenters, is saved and reused for future brews as well as for cleaning. 

  • We do not use electrically run chillers and compressors to keep our beers cool while fermenting. Chilling is done geothermally, by circulating the cool waters from our 300' deep well.

  • Spent vegetable oil used in fryolaters at the Kennebec River Pub and Brewery is donated to one of our long time river guides Peter Brown. Peter converts the spent oil into fuel on his homemade biodiesel plant in his garage in Portland. 

Stop by and enjoy a beer at the Kennebec River Pub & Brewery, one of America's Coolest Breweries! 



What a Thrill

Wednesday, October 30, 2013 by Northern Outdoors Trip Reviews

I had no expectations as to what this white water rafting was all about. I had been tubing before but that was when I was in college. That was a very long time ago. I was a little nervous, excited and really wondered how I would react to this venture. When my girfriend and I immediately raised our hands when asked who would want to sit in the first row seats of the raft, the guides looked at us and said, This is going to be interesting".

All I could do was laugh and smile wondering what he knew that I did not. When we finally settled in and were about to hit the first challenge, Big Momma, I yelled and screamed and then proceed to fall into the middle of the boat, and could not move, felt like a turtle on its shell, Janet fell out of the boat. Our guide Josh was very expert in getting people back up into their seats either from inside the boat or outside. He was a fantastic guide. He had wonderful stories and loved to talk.

The lunch was also very good and expertly organized and presented to so many people. By the end of the trip I was so excited I was exhausted. I love all the pictures and was amazed at how great the actions shots were captured. I will definitely be back for another out Josh here come the J x 2.

All the guides and staff were very pleasant and helpful no matter what kind of questions was asked. There was always a smile on their faces. This experience was one I have wanted to do for a very long time; it was on my bucket list.

Thank you so very much for making it so memorable. J (aka Turtle) & J will be back!!!
Thank you again Northern Outdoors

Joanne V
Methuen, Massachusetts

Rating: 5 *****

First time rafting the Kennebec River in Maine

Not a mani/petti weekend!

Wednesday, October 23, 2013 by Northern Outdoors Trip Reviews

My wife said that planning our anniversary weekend was completely on my shoulders to plan. I chose rafting, which was a first for me, second time for her.

Couldn't have been better - cabin was "cozy", high water release @ 8100 cfs and flipping the boat on Maytag was killer! Dave Q., our rafting guide was great! Octoberfest on tap was very refreshing - as I had many refills!

The combo of the professional and very fun guides, facility, and brewpub will bring us back again next year. Already recruiting friends to mark their calendars for the same.

Casco, Maine

Rating: 5 *****

Kennebec River Anniversary Trip

Its Maine's Leaf Hunting Season!! How To Do More Than Just "Drive Thru" The Fall Show

Thursday, September 12, 2013 by Northern Outdoors Staff

Northern Outdoors - Fall Foliage Leaf Hunting!Up here in Maine, we are more than Leaf Peepers - oh yes indeed. We are Leaf Hunters - we take seriously the business of immersing ourselves in one of the most spectacular color shows of nature. In our neck of the "North Woods", this show just so happens to arrive annually in September-October, peaking in early October. We consider ourselves ridiculously lucky to get front row boat seats to drink in the intense oranges, reds, golds, and yellows blanketing our deeply forested region. And yes - it's true, the state of Maine is home to one of the largest deciduous forests in the entire United States!

We're ok with the leaf peepers headed to Vermont or New Hampshire to drive slowly on their lovely (crowded) back roads, cause we have LOTS of room to spread out in boats on rivers and lakes, on bicycles, with flyrods, hiking shoes, on motorcycles & ATVs, and yes maybe a few cars, to get smack into adventure recreation in the best colors in New England.

Maine puts out a great Fall Foliage report that is regularly updated during the Fall season. Opening day for their reporting is today, September 11th. Check out the full Fall Foliage report and best Fall Things To Do here. Northern Outdoors is located in Zone 5. The adventure resort and Kennebec River Brewery are open through October 15th, with special Fall rates on Raft & resort getaways in effect now. Come join us!

Northern Outdoors - Fall Foliage Season


Northern Outdoors - Fall Foliage Leaf Hunting!

Elliot Is Awesome!!!!!

Thursday, August 22, 2013 by Northern Outdoors Trip Reviews

I took the company and their family members on a trip River Rafting on the Kennebec this past Friday. While my group was on two separate rafts. My family, rode with Elliot. I just wanted to say that Elliot made the day! Extremely knowledgeable about the river and all the fun history facts associated with it. He placed my daughter right next to him and provided her with some extra dry pants after her swim in the Kennebec.

When I look back at the photos, which I just ordered, my daughter has a smile from ear to ear. I just wanted to thank Northern Outdoors for this great trip and definitely give a special shout out to Elliot who was awesome!!!

See you next year when I bring us all back again!!!

Paul VB
Sidney, Maine

Rating: 5 *****

Maine Company Rafting Trip

Daddy/Daughter Kennebec Adventure

Sunday, August 11, 2013 by Northern Outdoors Trip Reviews

After 8 previous trips with Northern Outdoors with "the guys", we decided to change things up a bit and bring our daughters. So, on August 1, we drove up to the Forks with 5 of our 11-16 year olds for a new adventure.

Arrived at the lodge around 4:00 and while the girls did some campground sightseeing the dads hung out at the bar and indulged in a little blueberry. We unpacked, settled in, did a little swimming and came up for dinner in the restaurant, where we had a great night-before feast. We had a little more blueberry (for the dads) and went back to our fantastic cabin for the night. We got things ready for the next morning and hit the sack before 11:00.

6:00 came early on Friday morning and after a little extra nudging the girls were out of bed, packed the car and went up for the breakfast buffet before our Kennebec adventure. Aside from having sleep in their eyes, they did seem a little anxious/nervous but after a good breakfast and a bumpy ride to the dam, they loosened up a bit...until they saw the trek down the stairs, with the raft and the river below :) I failed to mentioned that it had been pouring since the night before and we we all soaked even before we hit the river. So, the chill had set in.

One of the things I have done over the years is to request a guide when I book and have been very fortunate to have someone I had requested. This time we asked for Dawn as I know she is a darn good guide and have seen her interact with her guests. I thought it would be great for our girls to be lead by a strong, confident female guide. She did not let us down. She showed up and introduced herself and looked at the girls who looked like wet, cold drowned rats already. She then pulled out a dry-bag and introduced a few of them to some wool leggings, gloves and hats for those interested. All of a sudden, their faces brightened and they were ready to go... so much for the "dads" knowing what specific clothing would be good for them. We tried and Dawn helped us succeed.

Needless to say, our raft of 8 was filled with loud shrieks of fear and excitement on the first few hits, but as soon as we hit Big Mamma and a few girls went tumbling around the raft, they were awakened, if not already, for the rest of the day. In fact, their confidence grew to a such a high level that moved most of them to the front of the raft and taking the remainder of the hits, including Magic Falls from the front, while the dads "paddled" hard from the back. This confidense was awesome to see and Dawn is a HUGE reason for this change due to her great personality, coaching and leading abilities. In fact, we realized very soon, we should just sit back (paddle harder than normal :)) and let Dawn do her thing with the girls. By the time the gorge area was complete the girls were ready to "be dumped". We had a little swim through the smaller rapids, fooled around on the "duckies" and ended the trip with the sun coming out and drying us up before he headed back to the lodge for lunch.

All in all, another fantastic trip (this makes 9 now). The girls have a new found respect for the trip the dads go on annually and want to go and do them now too. Onto the Dead in 2014 for the girls and the dads will hit the Kennebec Turbine Test again - maybe this time we wont flip on Maytag :)

Thanks again to the reservation staff, restaurant/bar staff, housekeeping and to our guide DAWN for a great trip. You have hooked another 5 guests and these girls will be back again!!!


Kevin L
Pelham, NH

Rating: 5 *****

Father / Daughter Rafting in Maine

Family Bonding

Sunday, August 11, 2013 by Northern Outdoors Trip Reviews

My husband and I took 6 adult children between the ages of 20 and 27 white water rafting on the Kennebec River. We all had a great time. Each and every one of us enjoyed this experience and want to sign up again for next year. We may even try the Penobscot. We were very lucky to have Seamus as our guide. He was excellent and made our trip extra special! We will request Seamus again.

I can't say enough positive comments concerning this adventure. We are still thinking about it and it continues to make all of us smile!!

Wioncek Family
Beverly, MA

Rating: 5 *****

Whitewater Rafting on the Kennebec River

great father and son rafting vacation

Friday, August 2, 2013 by Northern Outdoors Trip Reviews

This was a father-son rafting vacation trip with 3 dads around 50 years old and 3 sons about 16 years. We were pleasantly surprised by the great food (and beer for dads). We lucked out with ideal weather on the day of our first rafting trip and while we planned to spend two more days and one more night, foul weather moved in and N.O. was quite generous in allowing us to cancel and refund our remaining night, so we could hit the road with the kids.

In terms of the rafting trip it was absolutely perfect down to the smallest detail. Seamus was our raft river guide and he was the consummate expert and assured for safe, informative, and exhilarating father-son adventure. I just can't imagine any outfit doing it any better-- there just wasn't any room for improvement.

You are THE professionals on the Kennebec River and it showed. Thanks!

Jay B
Bogota, Colombia

Rating: 5 *****

Father and son rafting adventures


Wednesday, July 24, 2013 by Northern Outdoors Trip Reviews

This past weekend 7 other friends and myself all came up to camp and go white water rafter. We knew we were going to have fun, but the trip and experience far exceeded every expectation we had! The brewery and pool was a great way to spend our Saturday and get ready for a day of rafting on Sunday. Our guide, Elliot was so friendly and knowledgeable (not to mention SO cute as well haha) and really made our experience memorable!

We rafted the Kennebec, and are already planning our next trip up there (to hopefully raft the Dead river).

Boston, Massachusetts

Rating: 5 *****

Whitewater Rafting and Camping in Maine

Craig Rafting group

Monday, July 22, 2013 by Northern Outdoors Trip Reviews

I have been raving about Northern Outdoors for years and this year you did not fail us. We brought all 7 kids and there friends and had a ridiculously awesome fun time!!!!
We cannot say enough about our guide , Brandi!! She was with us last time and a highlight of our trip! We were very happy to see her there again and requested her as one of our guides! Love her!!! She rocks on the river and with people, making it extra fun .

My only tiny regret is that we did not get to float with our other half of the group. Although Brandi tried to get us the opportunity several times the other raft was not coop. (Our younger kids on that raft.) BUT, as I write , I'm thinking maybe our younger boys did not want to be floating with their parents....

Super fun had by all. The kids talked about making it a traditional trip and soon having the grandkids join us!!!

Kim T
Ipswich, Massachusetts

Rating: 5 *****

Kennebec River Family Rafting

Great Family Day!!

Saturday, July 20, 2013 by Northern Outdoors Trip Reviews

Victor DiSylvestro treated the 8 of us to a very memorable day on the Kennebec. He guided us to a fun filled journey, helping to be sure our sons remained "hydrated" throughout, as we were celebrating two birthdays. And Emily, Trevor, Mary and the Gang prepared an awesome riverside feast of Steaks, Salmon, Chicken, Pasta Salad, Rice, Cowboy Coffee, Hot Chocolate and cookies--with some stand-up comedy at no extra charge! WOW, what a team!

We lucked out with perfect 85 degree sunny weather for great Family event, including the accommodations in the Mountain Ash Cabin. The Whitewater Wheat Ale at your Brewery was the icing on the cake!

We cant wait to come back next year. Thank you!

Troy H

Rye Beach, New Hampshire

Rating: 5 *****

Kennebec River Family Fun Rafting.

Kennebec River Pub & Brewery.

Great time on the Kennebec

Thursday, July 18, 2013 by Northern Outdoors Trip Reviews

This was our second excursion with Northern Outdoors on the Kennebec River. However, it was the first time that we could bring our 10 and 13 year old to begin at the dam (last time was an unscheduled release). Needless to say, after getting over initial nerves, the kids had a fantastic time. Ryan (our superb guide, entertainment and all-around great guy) made the trip an excellent adventure (to quote Bill and Ted!). The food for lunch was fantastic, not because it tasted great but because it is clearly evident that the crew enjoys what they do for each guest. We will defiantly be back next year!

PS: based on Ryan's recommendation we returned a subsequent day and hiked Moxie Falls (great side trip and beautiful) but also visited the proverbial Benny's in The Forks. To quote the guy behind the counter who asked who we rafted with, we replied Northern Outdoors. He said that you guys were a class operation; we can agree more! Thanks for a memorable experience.

Edward M
Burleson, Texas

Rating: 5 *****

Kennebec River Family Rafting Adventure

Family and friends hit the river

Sunday, July 14, 2013 by Northern Outdoors Trip Reviews

We (my family and our friends)booked the trip several months ago and were pleasantly surprised to get a lodge room, which were roomy and comfortable. The atmospere in the lodge was very relaxing and there was plenty to do for the kids, who want to go back!! This was our friends first trip rafting, anxious and nervous!!

The rafting was fun, although the unusual high water (8400) covered a lot of the rapids! This was my third trip on the Kennebec and first forthe two boys, who want to do the Penobscot next year! I am looking forward to my second trip on that river with the boys! After the experience, our friends want to go back too!

The guide, Emily was awesome! She knows the river and had the boat where it needed to be for the most fun. She even taught the kids how to steer and give commands!

Overall, great time, better beer from your taps(go with the Red!) and good food and service! I was last there inthe 90's and you still have a first rate resort!

Jeff S

Northbridge, Massachusetts

Rating: 5 *****

Family & Friends Whitewater Rafting Adventure

Another home run

Thursday, June 20, 2013 by Northern Outdoors Trip Reviews

Just completed rafting with Northern Outdoors for the fourth year in row. What a great outfit. Everyone is personable, well-trained, and sincerely interested in providing a memorable experience. There is no reason to consider another company. Hit the Kennebec and 8,000 cu. ft. turbine test this time around.

Our guide Ryan was outstanding. Not only did he competently guide us through one heck of a wild ride, he pointed out interesting geologic and environmental features along the way. Ryan and Northern Outdoors - you're the best. See you again next year.

Tim M
Reading, Massachusetts

Rating: 5 *****

Kennebec River, Maine Turbine Test Raft Trip

GoPro Camera Survives Maine Winter In Kennebec River - Are You Its Owner?

Wednesday, June 12, 2013 by Northern Outdoors Staff

GoPro "Survivor Camera" needs to find its owner after spending a Maine winter at the bottom of the Class III-IV Kennebec River.

Northern Outdoors - GoPro Survivor Kennebec River CameraThe "World's Most Versatile CameraTM" just scored an epic credibility win in the eyes of Maine's rugged, professional whitewater rafting guides at Northern Outdoors. These guides use GoPros to shoot whitewater rafting video and stills on Maine's three most popular whitewater rivers, the Kennebec, the Dead, and the Penobscot. They know the cameras work, (and they work 'em hard) but the GoPro HD Hero 960 camera that was pulled out of the river just this week got their "stand-up and salute" kind of attention. 

THE FIND: June 2013

Guests from Three Rivers Rafting hanging out along Maine's Kennebec River this week at a popular midway point found a GoPro camera case stuck in the mud and pulled it out. They gave it to their bus driver, thinking someone must have recently lost it.

Northern Outdoors - GoPro Survivor CameraThe driver took it back, opened it up, and plopped the disk in a computer to see what was on it. The pictures and video were all there, fully functional! He recognized the raft was a Northern Outdoors raft, and delivered the camera to us so we could try to track down the owner. Kudos and thanks to this fellow!

Someone out there is going to be one happy owner - maybe in a matter of cyber-days from posting this initial story...


The images on the camera revealed that the guide was Dawn Knowles, one of our long-time, year-round guides here at Northern Outdoors. She recalled that it was a late spring 2012 rafting trip of 6 fellows (might have been a bachelor party group). The camera was lost in Swimmer's Rapid, nearly a mile from where it was pulled out of the river. (For any Sherlockian sleuths or doubting Thomases out there, our video boater and another long-time year-round guide, Nick Atwood, points out that the foliage seen in the camera pictures is in full foliage, and so far this spring the leaves are still leafing out.)

THE PEOPLEAre You My Owner?


We have your "GoPro Winter River Survivor" camera! We also have all of the images/video intact. Call us at 207.663.4466 or email us:, provide identification as the owner, and we’ll send the camera back to you.

GoPro HD Cameras:  Waterproof -  Oh Yeah...

GoPro Says:

World's Most Versatile CameraTM
Wear It. Mount It. Love It.TM

Northern Outdoors Maine River Rafting Version:

Use It. Lose It. Drown It. Find It.
And... Use It Again.

Northern Outdoors Kennebec Rafting

GoPro: Maker of Survivor Cameras....







Bachelor Party Weekend!

Wednesday, June 12, 2013 by Northern Outdoors Trip Reviews

I was placed in charge of planning Bachelor Party weekend for a group of 8 guys, with only one pre-requisite from the groom to be. He wanted to go White Water Rafting and he heard that Northern Outdoors was the best place to do it.

Following his lead, I organized our group and contacted Northern Outdoors to begin planning our trip. The staff I spoke to by phone were very informative, and made booking a breeze. We decided to drive up on a Saturday, stay overnight, and raft the Kennebec on Sunday morning. Upon arrival, we were greeted and checked in by Tina who had a good sense of humor, and was willing to suffer the usual hilarity that one might expect from a bachelor party group. We then checked into the Timberdoodle Condo which was conveniently located next to the main lodge. The accomodations were perfect for a group of our size.

We gathered for dinner at the restaurant/pub and enjoyed some burgers, as well as several offereings from the Kennebec River Brewery. After dinner, we found plenty to do, without having to leave our location. We enjoyed drinks and cards games in our condo, games of cornhole in a courtyard area, drinks at the bar, swimming in the pool, and relaxation in an enormous hot tub. Most of our group called it a night around 2:30AM and before we knew it, Sunday morning was upon us. We enjoyed the breakfast buffet before gathering for pre-rafting instructions and gear pickup. Then it was off to the Kennebec River to begin out rafting adventure.

Only a few members of our group had rafted before, and the staff (Zach & Peter) made sure that everyone was prepared for what to expect and helped put everyone at ease. The weather began as cloudy with almost a slight chill in the air, but soon, adrenaline would take over and weather would not be a factor. When we got to the river, our group was assigned Dawn as our river guide. Although I'm sure the other rafts had great guides as well, I'm confident in saying that we couldn't have asked for better guide. Dawn guided us down the river, instructing us, and encouraging us, all along our route. We didn't unintentionally lose anyone along the way, but we did take the opportunity to take a dip at several authorized areas. The water was downright frigid, but exactly what one needed after a prior evening filled with a perhaps a few too many liquid treats. It was a most welcome wake up call!! Halfway down the river, we stopped for a grilled lunch, and everything was delicious. After lunch, the sun broke through and provided a great setting for the remaining leisurely trip down the river. One member of our group enjoyed the opportunity to use an inflatable canoe, while others took time for another plunge. Everyone in our group had an amazing time.

Once back at the lodge, we gathered to share some laughs while viewing a slide show and video of our morning and daytime excursion. Then sadly, it was time to depart for home. It was indeed, a great weekend and I can't say enough about the staff at Northern Outdoors and quality of the experience we enjoyed.

We can't wait to plan another trip!

Mark G
Bradford, Massachusetts

Rating: 5 *****

Maine Whitewater Rafting Bachelor Party

Judy & the Rafters

Monday, June 10, 2013 by Northern Outdoors Trip Reviews

8 of us stayed at the Northern Outdoors lodge for 2 nights. Our objective was a day of rafting on the Kennebec. We had Dave as our guide & he was tremendous! Guiding us expertly & telling stories of his life & the history of the early rafting trips.

We ate both nights at the brewpub & enjoyed our food & beers tremendously.

Our cottage, Crying Loon, was spacious for us and it overlooked the pond, which we enjoyed the views both early morning & evening! Overall the staff was friendly & helpful. Especially Dave, our guide & Jillian, who helped us check in both to our cottage & rafting trip.

We will definitely be back!

Greg P
Danvers, Massachusetts

Rating: 5 *****

Kennebec River Maine Whitewater Rafting

The Forks Resort Center Crying Loon Cabin