Invigorate your inner adventurer and explore the picturesque waterways of western Maine on this 8-day canoe journey.
Maine Rangeley Lakes Canoeing expeditions for Adults uncover opportunities for more difficult challenges and revitalization in a unique wilderness environment alongside teammates experiencing the same things. Heading out on the lakes and rivers of western Maine, you will learn to camp and travel simply, relying on your group, the supplies you have on hand, and the expertise you either have or acquire as you go. You’ll become a master in lake navigation, paddling techniques, woods craftsmanship, weather observation and campsite setup, among other things. You’ll have time to sit on the rocks and reflect on your progress, and think about the journey that still lies ahead. Leadership responsibilities are shared so that every crew member is integral to planning the journey, and discovering how best to live and work closely together is equally as important as many of the wilderness skills you’ll acquire. The habits learned and strengthened through this backpacking and canoeing expedition will serve you long after you return home.
NOTE: Outward Bound strongly recommends that all students be vaccinated against COVID-19 and up to date as defined by the CDC prior to arriving to their course start. For all open enrollment courses beginning on or after April 15, 2023, Outward Bound will no longer require students to be vaccinated against COVID-19. For questions regarding this policy please see this page or call us at 866-467-7651.
For detailed information on course availability statuses and what they mean,
Thank you for your interest in Outward Bound!
This course starts within the next week. Please call us at 866-467-7651 to assess the possibility of applying for this course!
APPLY NOW This means a course has several open spots and is actively processing applications.
APPLY NOW – Almost Full This means there are three or fewer currently available spots left on a course. To secure your spot click Apply Now to begin an application!
JOIN WAITLIST Once a course has reached capacity, three waitlist positions become available. To join a course’s waitlist, click “Join Waitlist” to begin the application process. A $500 deposit is required. This $500 deposit includes a $150 non-refundable application fee and a $350 tuition payment. The $350 tuition payment is refundable only if you cancel your waitlist application or if an open position does not become available. If a position does become available, the applicant will be applied to the open position and the Application and Cancellation Policies of the Regional Outward Bound School will be followed, including forfeiture of the $500 deposit if you cancel 90 days or less prior to the course start date.
Waitlist applicants are encouraged to complete all required admissions documents while awaiting an open position. Positions may become available up to two weeks prior to the course start date. Applicants may only apply to one course. We recommend applying to a course with open positions instead of a course that is accepting waitlist applications. If you have questions, please call 866-467-7651 to speak with one of our Admissions Advisors.
CALL TO APPLY This means a course is very close to its start date. Although it is unlikely to secure a spot this late, you can call the National Admissions office at 866-467-7651 to discuss your options.
COURSE IS FULL When a course has reached maximum capacity, meaning all spots and the three waitlist spots are occupied, a course will read “Course Is Full.” This means applications are no longer being accepted.
CLOSED As a course nears its start date, the availability status may read “Closed.” In this event, a course roster has been finalized and applications are no longer being accepted or processed.
Travel to course, welcome, equipment issue and check, introduction to camping
Rock climbing, personal challenge event, equipment clean-up and deissue
Do you ever want to unplug, step away from your daily responsibilities, and face new challenges? Adventure is calling! Outward Bound’s Classic expeditions for adults are designed to help you hit the reset button by breaking your routines and radically changing your surroundings. This is an opportunity to build new skills and remind yourself (or discover for the first time) what it feels like to crest a mountain peak, hear the echoes at the edge of a vast canyon, or feel the rush of whitewater. Put some “firsts” in front of you and you’ll find that the moments of unexpected discovery linger long after you return home.
Build skills, form connections: Meet like-minded peers and make connections as you work through priorities and adventures together, learn outdoor skills at the hands of expert Instructors, and earn every good night’s sleep.
Value strengths and strengthen values: Re-discover your inner strength, renew your natural leadership abilities and practice adapting to new environments. Tap in to your trust and compassion as you tackle obstacles with a support crew standing beside you.
Demonstrate mastery: As you awaken your wilderness skills and dig deep to rise to the physical and mental challenges, the bulk of the expedition’s leadership and decision-making responsibilities transfer from the Instructor to the crew. Work together to achieve team goals, solve problems and succeed both individually and together.
What you’ll learn: By allowing yourself to focus beyond daily responsibilities and obligations, you’ll master more difficult skills and open yourself up to new directions and opportunities you never thought possible. You’ll find clarity in the life changes you’re facing, you’ll uncover inspiration in the wilderness, and you’ll renew your sense of adventure to take on the next challenge in front of you.
Return home with newly expanded wilderness abilities, an energized outlook, a rekindled allowance of empathy into situations and relationships and an eye toward the future.
Wilderness canoe expedition skills are the mark of a New England outdoorsperson. In the foothills of Maine’s mountains are networks of remote lakes and rivers. Students learn to maneuver canoes using paddle strokes such as the sweep, draw, pry, and J-stroke. To get from one waterway into another, the group will portage (carry the canoes on their shoulders), and line (guide the loaded canoe down the sides of unrunnable rapids). Team work skills are honed as every member of the crew learns to communicate well as they coordinate efforts with paddling partners each day. Discovering the power of people truly working together is a keystone of the experience.
Among the mountains of western Maine are many granite cliffs, known locally as “Little Bear,” “Bald,” “Table Rock,” and “Square Ledges.” You will learn to use climbing equipment, tie knots, and climb and belay each other while instructors provide overall supervision of the site. Climbing develops balance, coordination, flexibility and grace on the rock faces that you’ll cross. Depending upon the expedition route, technical rope activities may include a “via ferrate” or “Tyrolean traverse” which you’ll learn as you go, and you can then teach others. Climbing presents many individual challenges alongside what the whole group must accomplish by working together to set systems up, communicate clearly and support each other throughout the climb.
Service projects are often incorporated into Outward Bound courses through coordination with local land managers, conservation groups, government agencies or social service agencies. While in the wilderness, students are encouraged to practice service to the environment and their team by sharing responsibilities and following Recreate Responsibly ethics throughout the expedition.
The Solo experience provides an important break from the rigors of the expedition to give students quiet time to reflect on the Outward Bound experience. With the basics of food and equipment, and with safety a top priority, students will take some time away from the group to be alone at sites of their own, using the wilderness skills learned during the first parts of the course. Often located along beautiful lake shorelines or peaceful rivers, solo sites are chosen to offer as much solitude as possible (yet be within emergency whistle-signaling distance of other group members). Most students spend their Solo time journaling, drawing, or just thinking and resting as they process lessons learned and focus on their goals for the future. Instructors check on each participant at regular intervals. The time students spend on solo depends on the length of the course. On one-week courses, solo is four to 12 hours long.
Most adults find it hard to get away, with busy lives that are often filled with pressures and expectations. Outward Bound’s one-week adult courses are the perfect opportunity to get a fresh perspective, step out of daily routines, find new challenges, discover new strengths and forge new friendships. No previous experience is necessary—all wilderness skills are taught from the beginning. Only two things are needed: being physically fit and motivated to live, learn and work in a team. The expedition may only last a week, but the strength and impact of the experience lasts a lifetime.
Backcountry activities and techniques are great practice for the essential skills and habits that help prepare for new challenges at work, home, and in the community. Outward Bound expeditions encourage students:
To remain engaged and present, giving every challenge the best effort, even when the goal seems beyond reach.
To unplug and live in the moment. Living simply develops a strong sense of self-reliance and connectedness.
To form a team and focus on the team effort. Planning and organizing each day requires attentiveness to individual and group goals, and to details large and small.
To share responsibilities, communicate and lead. In addition to the challenges of moving through remote wilderness areas, living together requires commitment to the support of crewmates and community as a whole. Leadership roles are shared within the group, and responsibilities rotate each day.
To find reserves of tenacity and compassion. Outward Bound courses are designed to expand and stretch your limits so that every expedition is a true accomplishment and a memorable journey.
The upper reaches of the Androscoggin watershed is fed by Aziscohos Lake, the Magalloway River and the Rangeley Lakes. Indigenous Abenaki peoples used the Androscoggin as both a means of transportation between winter habitats inland, summer living on the coast and as a source of food. Later the Androscoggin River was used to move logs to mills downstate during the logging boom of the nineteenth century. These days the lakes and rivers are used primarily by canoeists, fisherman and other recreationalists. Some of the portage trails here, such as along the Rapid River, have been in use for centuries.
If you are ready to enroll on a course click the enroll button next to the course you wish to select or you can enroll over the phone by speaking with one of our Admissions Advisors (toll-free) at 866-467-7651.
To secure your spot on a course you must submit an enrollment form and $500 deposit that is applied toward the total cost of the course and includes a $150 non-refundable enrollment processing fee.