Your Maine kayaking and canoeing experience starts here.
The New England Outdoor Center offers plenty of places to paddle and is the leading canoe and kayak instruction center in Maine. So if you’re a first-timer or ready for your first Class V Rapids, we can help.
Our kayak instructors and Maine canoe guides are avid boaters who share a passion for kayaking in Maine and all over the world. If you’re interested in learning new paddling techniques or even just a trip to see the scenery and learn about the Maine environment, we can customize your experience.
We offer individual kayaking lessons or group whitewater kayaking instruction on selected weekends from mid-June through early September on the Penobscot River. We provide kayaking classes and canoeing classes for beginners, advanced beginners and intermediate paddlers.
The variety of water options at our resorts make for perfect conditions to teach kayaking. We start by teaching the fundamentals at our private beach on the quiet and calm waters of Millinocket Lake at our Twin Pine Camps.
When the group has mastered the basics, we head to the West Branch of the Penobscot River. This is the same river used for our whitewater rafting trips, so when it is time for lunch our students enjoy watching our other guests on whitewater rafts negotiate the Class IV rapids.
We want to make learning as easy as possible, so we provide you all the equipment needed for instruction including: boats by Pyranha, paddles, spray skirts, helmets, and personal floatation devices. Complimentary paddle jackets and spray jackets are available upon request.
Lodging and Meal Options
To get great instruction and experience the fun and excitement of boating in Maine, call 1-800-634-7238 or
Canoeing and Hiking Combo Adventures
Boom House Trip:
The trip to the historic Boom House Museum incorporates a lake crossing by canoe or a hike through the woods to one of the last remaining buildings used for the Penobscot River log drives. Situated at the mouth of the West Branch of the Penobscot River as it flows into Ambejejus Lake, the Boom House has been restored as a work of love by Chick Harris who spent his younger years working on the last log drives on the Penobscot River. Many of the rooms have been restored to their original condition with artifacts found along the river and in sheds and barns in the Millinocket area. Hundreds of photos and writings hang in the Boom House, which help to illustrate the amazing challenges, hardships, and dangers that were part of every river driver's day. Mr Harris is often on-site and loves to answer questions about the history of the area. He is usually working on one of his birch bark canoes, on of which is on display at the River Drivers Restaurant in Millinocket.
Ice Cave Adventure Trips:
An upgraded river access road allows us to offer a much less taxing adventure to the Ice Caves overlooking First Debsconeag Pond. We will travel by NEOC vehicle to Omaha Beach on the Debsconeag Deadwater. This is one of the largest natural beaches in central Maine. From there we canoe approximately 1.5 miles to the entrance to Frist Debsconeag Pond. One of the three pristine, white sand beaches on the pond will be the stopping spot to swim and have a snack or lunch. Depending on weather and size of the group, access to the trailhead to the Ice Caves will be either on foot from the beach or by canoe across the pond. There is an option of hiking to the top of a bluff with a spectacular view overlooking the First Debsconeag Pond before returning to Omaha Beach by canoe where we will pick up our ride back to NEOC base.