Canoe adventures for single parents and kids

May 5, 2004
Outside Magazine
Week of March 19-25, 1998
Canoe adventures for single parents and kids
A bonefishing honeymoon in blue waters
Summer outdoor jobs for teenagers
Learning to surf in California or Hawaii
Ideas for exploring Morocco in April

Canoe adventures for single parents and kids
Question: I need suggestions for a canoe camping adventure in the Northeast for a single mom and boys ages 9 and 13. Any ideas?

Kerry De Wolfe
Montpelier, Vermont

Adventure Adviser: To make this a vacation for yourself as well as your sons, look into Maine's Chewonki Foundation or the National Wildlife Federation, both of which offer week-long and week-end summer programs geared toward families (The National Wildlife Federation gears its program toward single-parent families.)

The Chewonki Foundation, a nonprofit institution specializing in summer programs since 1915, offers introductory paddling jaunts on the west branch of the Penobscot River, as well as more advanced programs on rivers throughout Maine. The six-day Penobscot trip emphasizes environmental education, outdoor skills, and a spirit of cooperation. Most of the paddling is on Class I (calm water with no current) lakes and rivers, and the trip includes an overnight in a yurt. Groups typically have 10 people plus two guides. The cost per child (age 12 and under) is $475. Cost per adult is $575. Get in touch with Greg Shute at 207-882-7323 for more details.

If six days of paddling is four too many, the National Wildlife Federation offers NatureLink weekend programs in various locations around the country. The focus of each weekend varies, but generally includes fishing, canoeing, camping, or wildlife studies. The cost is approximately $250 for three people and includes lodging, meals, supplies, and activities. Call 800-822-9919.

If you have paddling experience and want to brave the wilds alone with your sons, the Maine Island Trail is the most scenic way to explore Maine’s 2,500 miles of bays, harbors, fjords, coves, and inlets. Though "trail" is somewhat of a misnomer, since there are no markings to lead the way, the waterway is generally protected by spruce-fringed islands. A good place to start is Merchant Row, off the southern end of Deer Isle. For information on how to go about making campsite reservations, where to purchase maps, and how to rent canoes call the Maine Island Trail Association at 207-596-6456.

Search the archives | Ask the Adventure Adviser

©2000, Mariah Media Inc.

More at Outside

Elsewhere on the Web

Not Now

Got Wanderlust?

Escape your daily grind with Outside’s best getaways.

Thank you!