Maine Canoeing Course

Expedition through Western Maine, you will depart from basecamp on the first or second day of this course to hike and climb through the rugged granite Mahoosuc Mountains, paddle and portage the scenic Rangeley Lakes. You will be removing yourself from the conveniences of modern life, not returning to basecamp till the end of course. Carrying only what you need for as much as a week in your backpack as you hike, paddle or climb nearly every day on this expedition. Living a simple existence in the wilderness you and your group will create a lifetime of memories on this journey.

When your course begins you will get a basic introduction to backcountry travel and Leave No Trace etiquette. Throughout the course you will be taught everything you need to know to travel comfortably, including how to pack a backpack; maneuver a canoe; set up a wilderness campsite; rock climb; and navigate using a map and compass. Arriving physically fit will greatly enhance your Outward Bound experience and help you to take full advantage of your course.


You will canoe in the upper reaches of the Androscoggin Watershed. The Androscoggin is fed by Aziscohos Lake, the Magalloway River and the Rangeley Lakes: Cupsuptic, Mooselookmeguntic, the Richardsons and Rangeley. Indigenous Abenaki peoples used the Androscoggin as both a means of transportation between winter habitats inland and summer living on the coast, also as a source of food.

After the Europeans arrived, the Androscoggin River was used to move logs to mills downstate during the logging boom of the 19th century. Now days, the expanses of the region are protected for recreation. The lakes and rivers are used primarily by canoeists, fisherman and other recreationalists. Your journey will likely involve some portaging (carrying the canoe upside down on your shoulders) - the traditional means of moving boats and gear from one body of water to another. Some of the portages you may encounter have been in use for centuries, such as along the Rapid River.

Your backpacking course area will be the mountains of Western Maine and Northern New Hampshire in one or more of the following areas: the White Mountain National Forest, the Appalachian Trail, the Carter-Mahoosuc Range, the Grafton Loop Trail or in the Caribou-Speckled Mountain Wilderness. These spruce-fir and hardwood forests are home to hundreds of species of birds as well as moose, deer and black bear. Rock climbing instruction will take place at one of many granite cliffs you encounter along your expedition route. Most of this hiking terrain is protected from development and offers established camping, rushing waterfalls, twisting streams and spectacular views from rocky summits.

To apply for this course click the apply button next to the course dates that work for you. The non-refundable application fee of $125 is due at the time of application. For full fee schedule and process, click here. Course tuitions listed do not include our application fee or transportation fee.