General Information for Adventures
All scheduled itineraries are middle-of-the-road in terms of activity level, but VO offers customized tours for groups of 4 or more that can range from more relaxed (emphasis on mindfulness, interpretation, and restoration) to hardcore (“I’m shooting for the Olympics!!) intensity.
With Venture Outside, your chariot may be a sea kayak, a road or mountain bike, a canoe, or your hiking shoes. Your practice may be yoga, nature awareness, wildflower identification, or meditation. Your tools will always include your senses, and also may include a musical instrument, binoculars, a field guide, or a sketch pad.
The trip descriptions below present general descriptions, but also leave plenty of room for the discovery that we think is a critical aspect of VO trips. We won’t guarantee you’ll see seals on our kayaking trips – we will guarantee that you’ll have an amazing experience on the water during which nature will provide some type of surprise and reveal some mystery, and that we’ll do our best to make sure that you are awake and aware so that you don’t miss it!
Some examples of activities that will be mixed in with the physical activities of our excursions will include:
· Learn to see more in nature.
· Sing to snails – we’re not kidding!
· Games to heighten your “outdoor” senses – getting inside the head of wildlife.
· Learn about and forage for wild edible plants.
· Learn to roll in a sea kayak.
· Hiking where there’s no trails.
· Bang on a drum.
· Build and experience a sweat lodge.
· Learn and practice woods survival skills and camp crafts.
· Practice feeding off the energy of rocks and trees, streams, and the wind.
· Sing at the top of your lungs around a campfire – to yourself and others!
Choose camping or BnB options for accommodations for either established or custom itineraries, except when island camping is specified.
Our menu for any included meal will have a decidedly Maine flavor and will feature locally grown vegetables, locally harvested seafood, local wild edibles, and other locally produced foods. We’ll work to accommodate special diet requests.
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Try Maine Tri – We offer weekend and five-day versions of what we call the TMT – the Try Maine Tri – designed to rejuvenate the Body, Mind, and Spirit. Three sports, interspersed around some other really healthy activities in various places throughout Maine, including Midcoast Boothbay/Camden area, Downeast/ Acadia National Park region, and Baxter State Park.
Hike, bike, and sea kayak. Enjoy yoga, practice “just being” in nature, forage for wild edibles, watch wildlife, listen to – and participate in – folk music, and lay in hammocks. Bike to sustainable organic farms and see something to apply back in your own garden, or along scenic byways along the coast and in forests, and pause to absorb nature. Sea kayak to Maine’s incomparable coastal islands, and experience the wonderful but tenuously changing ecology of the North Atlantic from the peaceful perspective sitting just above the water surface.
Check HERE to see when TMT’s are scheduled or contact us to schedule one for your group of 4 or more.
Day Trips – One day trips usually involve single activity trips to interesting Natural Areas and Destinations, and will always involve a “journey.” They typically also will include at least one activity of holistic well-being, such as yoga, meditation in nature, and natural history lessons.
· Fall Biking Excursion – BIke through routes that highlight Maines stunning fall foliage. We’ll also stop to notice fall wildflowers, and if lucky, watch for migrating hawks.
· Fall Canoe Paddle – Fall is a great time of year to be on the water. Water temperature is still relatively warm, and water levels are back above summer lows. Paddling along shorelines is a great way to see migrating songbirds, take in the colors of fall foliage around you and reflecting on the water, and to exercise the paddling muscles one more time before winter.
· Spring Adventure Birding – A mini-Bird-a-thon completely minus the fossil fuel cars to drive you around. We’ll peddle, paddle, and hike in various places, keeping track of what we see and where we see it. Our binoculars will be in our hands during most breaks!
· Spring Wildflower Hike – Spring is an amazing time to take in the blooming of wildflowers, in particular at higher elevation in some of the “alpine gardens.” This Day trip will feature a hike to several reknowned places to take in early spring wildflowers.
· Hiking For Edible Plants – The woods and fields of Maine are filled with edible plants, at any time of the year. The menu is always changing as plants grow from shoots to maturity, and as different plants peak at different times. We’ll identify and learn about the uses of the different plants, all while getting in some excellent exercise on a hike in special places along the coast and inland.
· Hiking, Biking, and Geology – Maine is the land of pink granite, basalt dykes, and quartz veins. The action of the ocean has made sure that much of it is on full display.
· Winter XC (Nordic) Ski – Maine has miles and miles of both backcountry and groomed trails. Cross country skiing provides a fantastic opportunity to combine a fun physical activity with learning opportunities, like wildlife tracks, winter ecology, and snow shelter building.
Click HERE to see what Day Trips are scheduled, or contact us to schedule a custom day trip for your group of 4 or more.
Overnight and Weekend Excursions – Overnight trips will generally be extended versions of the Day Trips that will offer greater immersion in the nature of a place, and longer journeys. Accommodations generally will be camping, although some locations may allow flexibility for BnB.
Click HERE to see what Overnight and Weekend Excursions are scheduled, or contact us to schedule a custom excursion for your group of 4 or more.
Sea Kayak Where You Are – Many fine sea kayaking outfitters are scattered along the coast of Maine. There also are many fine sea kayaking destinations that are not located near outfitters. Designed for people who are vacationing in one of the “away from outfitters” locations, or for people with a specific favorite place they want to kayak in, VO will bring the trip to you. Our Licensed Maine Seakayaking Guides will plan out a trip anywhere on the coast, and bring the kayaks to your location. A minimum of 2 paddlers is required, and we’ll plan both one day, and multi-day excursions. Price per person will depend on location in Maine and number of paddlers.
Contact us for details on our “Sea Kayak Where You Are” service or to schedule an excursion now.
Expert Guide Service
· Natural History
· Geology and Coastal Ecology
· Plant Identification and Interpretation in Edible Plants
· Maine Cultural History
· Winter Ecology
Are you planning a trip or excursion to Maine and you’d like to have a guide along to provide an extra level of insight for your visit? Let VO’s cadre of professional-level Licensed Maine Guides add to your experience.
We’re not talking about a college kid on summer break serving as your “expert” naturalist.
Head Guide Dave Santillo has a PhD in biology, and is an expert in ornithology, botany, and natural history. He is an expert outdoorsman who has over 25 years of experience studying natural habitats and wildlife throughout Maine and most of the western hemisphere, and has taught ecology courses at the college level.
Head Guide Ellie Osborn has B.S. and M.S. degrees in geology and education, and was a science teacher for 12 years. She also is a professional musician who teaches 8 instruments and vocals, and can combine music into outdoor adventures in interesting ways!
Contact us and inquire about our Professional Guide Service