What if we promised you biking along the spectacular coast of Maine, rafting on the wild Kennebec River, moose spotting, stargazing, and the opportunity to try out your French in a foreign city? You’ll do all this and more on our exciting Coast to Québec trip. This goal-oriented bicycling and rafting trip will have you exploring the back roads of both coastal and inland Maine, making great new friends as you go. Whether cooking meals together or working on a community service learning project, your group will bond with each day’s adventure. Together you will cross the Canadian border and make your way to historic Québec City, the grand finale of this amazing journey!
Maine & the Kennebec River
Our group will meet in Freeport, Maine where we’ll spend the day getting familiar with each other and our gear, and learn safe riding techniques. In the morning we’ll pack up camp and hit the road “downeast,” riding along Maine’s famous, island-dotted coast. On a day off, we’ll spend time working on a service project in a small Maine community. We’ll then leave the coast and head inland for the great Maine woods and the Kennebec River, which we’ll raft for a day with professional guides.
Canada and Québec City
Crossing the border into Canada, we’ll follow back roads to the charming city of Québec. As we navigate narrow cobblestone streets and hear French spoken, we’ll feel as though we’ve just pedaled into old Europe. We’ll spend two nights and a day exploring this vibrant city and celebrating our international adventure.
Please see our General FAQ page for many more frequently asked questions and answers!
How physically challenging is CQ?
Given a Challenge Level 5 (out of a maximum of 10), we consider CQ to be an intermediate cycle-touring trip that any moderately fit, motivated student can successfully complete with prior preparation. Compared to similar cycling trips, we believe that CQ is slightly more challenging than Vermont to Montreal (mostly because of the increased mileage and hills), comparable to Montana Service Adventure, but easier than Pacific Coast. Please note that all of Apogee’s Challenge Levels are not scientific and are subjectively calculated by the Apogee staff.
My child is new to cycle touring and has never ridden with loaded panniers. Could my child participate without previous experience?
Yes. Apogee’s trips are designed around the concept of “achievable challenge” – anyone who has a willingness to challenge themselves and possesses a basic to moderate level of physical fitness is already well-prepared. Upon your child’s enrollment, we will send you a suggested training schedule that we highly recommend your child completes prior to his/her trip. Training beforehand (especially with panniers and weight) will directly contribute to good risk management and your child’s physical comfort.
Does my child need to bring his or her own bike for this trip?
No – we offer rental bikes (as well as panniers) for an additional fee. In 2017, the cost of a hybrid rental bicycle for the 15-day trip is $225. Waterproof rental panniers are available for $50. If your child already has a bike that is appropriate for this trip, they are welcome to bring it! If you’re unsure whether your child’s bike is suitable for the trip, please give us a call and we’d be happy to help.
Aside from the trip cost, what are the additional expenses for this trip?
Apogee’s tuition costs are meant to be all-inclusive and include all meal, accommodation, and activity fees. The most significant additional expenses on our Coast to Quebec trip will include travel to and from the Portland, Maine area, a sleeping bag and sleeping pad, a bike helmet, and bike and pannier rentals ($225 & $50 respectively), as needed. Apogee provides a courtesy shuttle to all students on the last day of the trip from Quebec City to Freeport for family pickup.
What does the community service portion of this trip entail?
Our service projects vary from year to year, but most CQ groups will work with the Coastal Mountains Land Trust, based in Rockland, Maine, helping out with trail maintenance, invasive plant removal, or weeding and maintenance of organic blueberry fields – which means lots of snacking along the way! Students can expect 3-5 hours of community service on this trip.