Northern Outdoors

Kennebec River white water rafting
Northern OutdoorsWhitewater rafting on the Kennebec River with Northern Outdoors

Located in The Forks along the Kennebec, Penobscot, and Dead Rivers, you will find Northern Outdoors Maine. Here lies a resort, brewery, and adventure all packed into one.

Founders Suzie (AKA the Queen of the Kennebec) and Wayne Hockmeyer started Northern Outdoors in the spring of 1976. The pair first started with whitewater rafting, eventually adding in hiking trails that include the big and beautiful Moxie Falls, backwoods ATV excursions, craft beer, moose watching, fishing, and many other outdoor activities. Snowmobiling was added in 1983 to make Northern Outdoors a year-round resort.

The Kennebec River hasn’t always been open to the public for recreational use, though. In 1976, the State of Maine passed a law that banned loggers from transporting lumber down the river, marking the start of a transition from a working river to a recreational river.

Co-founder Suzie Hockmeyer commented in an interview with WCSH6 TV in June of 2016 about how forgiving the Kennebec is compared to many other rivers; there is a 4 mile stretch that has few rocks and a high volume of water. She has now been traveling with Northern Outdoors on the river for almost 4 decades. Hockmeyer notes that when they originally opened up they first saw firemen, cops – people who liked the adrenaline rush. Now they more frequently see families. But have no fear, as Suzie had said–there are trips that are slower and easier to take the kids on.

A family trip isn’t the only sense of family you get while visiting. Emily Yearwood is a raft guide at Northern Outdoors, and during the rest of the year she works as a preschool teacher. It all started with her dad who began working there in 1981 while raising her and her brother. Even in her off-season, you can still catch her spending the day relocating bald eagles and feeding deer with her dad on a snow day, really bringing together the sense of family and adventure that can be found here.

These are just a few of the things Northern Outdoors has to offer. The brewery attached to the resort launched in 1997, with the help of a few river guides that started crafting beer at home and wanted to take it further. They use a 4 barrel pier russo brewing system out of Quebec and keg-condition their beer. Nothing is filtered, which improves the taste profile of the beer and differentiates them from other breweries. Northern Outdoors also offers college courses up to 4 credit hours (held in winter and summer) and team bonding experiences.

For more information on booking a trip, please take a look at their website.

Address: 1771 US-201, West Forks, ME 04985

Phone: 207-663-4466

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