Packed with adventure, this 10-day paddling and hiking trip is the perfect outdoor sampler, loaded with activities both in the mountains and on the water. Challenge your skills on a ropes course, hike to fantastic views in New Hampshire’s White Mountains, raft the Androscoggin River, and paddle sea kayaks along the Maine coast. Whether you are new to the outdoors or have camped your whole life, NEMC is a great way to explore New England and try something new!
Ropes Course & Rafting the Androscoggin
Our first full day together will be spent with certified instructors on a high-low challenge ropes course where we’ll combine ice breaker activities with team-building skills. Once we’ve gotten to know each other, we’ll make our way to northern New Hampshire to raft the Androscoggin River. With our professional guides, we’ll enjoy the thrills of class II and III rapids on this great New England river. From here, we’ll swap life jackets for day packs as we make our way to New Hampshire’s White Mountains.
Hiking New Hampshire's White Mountains
We’ll spend the next several days taking full advantage of all that the Presidential Range of the White Mountains has to offer, gaining confidence with every hike. As we hike above tree line, we’ll eat lunch in beautiful alpine meadows with stunning panoramic views. We’ll discover hidden waterfalls, swim in cool mountain streams, keep an eye out for moose and other wildlife, and maybe even make a summit attempt of Mt. Washington, New England’s highest peak!
Sea Kayaking, Community Service & Exploring Portland
For our last stop, we’ll learn the fundamentals of safe paddling before exploring Maine’s rocky coastline by kayak. We’ll travel around the islands, picnic at water’s edge, and enjoy a refreshing dip in Casco Bay. After a morning of rewarding community service with a local food bank or land trust, the grand finale of our trip will be a festive farewell dinner in historic Portland, Maine. A perfect ending to the perfect New England youth camping adventure!
Please see our General FAQ page for many more frequently asked questions and answers!
How physically challenging is NEMC?
Given a rating of Challenge Level 3 (out of a maximum of 10), we consider NEMC to be a beginner hiking trip that any moderately fit, motivated student can successfully complete with some prior preparation. Compared to similar hiking trips, we believe that NEMC is similar in challenge level to both Colorado’s Rocky Mountains and Golden State Adventure, but easier than California Mountains & Coast or Maine’s Downeast Explorer. Please note that all of Apogee’s Challenge Levels are not scientific and are subjectively calculated by the Apogee staff.
Where will my child be sleeping at night?
Our NEMC groups will be camping every night in established, front country campsites over the course of our trip. Leaders will separate students by gender into tent groups and will rotate those groups several times over the course of our trip. Students will share a tent with one or two other students.
Is there any “backcountry” hiking on this trip?
In a word, no. All of the hiking on our NEMC trip is on established and frequently-used trails. Some of the hiking does include trails that are more than one hour from definitive care (this is the usual definition of “backcountry” hiking). That said, our NEMC groups camp in established campgrounds every night and students can expect regular access to running water and showers.
How much weight will my child carry on the hiking portions of this trip?
Not a lot. As there is no overnight backpacking on this trip, your child will be carrying between five and ten pounds during their longer hikes, composed mostly of an extra layer of clothes, rain gear, water, and snacks.
What does the community service portion of this trip entail?
The specifics of our community service projects and the number of hours we volunteer varies slightly from year-to-year. In the past, we have worked with the Brunswick Topsham Land Trust or the Mid Coast Hunger Prevention Program on a variety of tasks including trail maintenance and garden work or food organization, etc. Students can expect 3-5 hours of community service work, usually over the course of one day.
How will I communicate with my child while they are on this trip?
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 New England Mountains & Coast trip will include flights (if necessary) to Boston, MA and from Portland, ME, a sleeping bag and sleeping pad, and hiking boots.
My child will be flying to this trip start. How will they connect with their leaders?
Please note that Apogee staff members do not travel with students; our trip leaders will already be in Boston on arrival day and will stay at our headquarters in Maine after the trip ends. Apogee staff and trip leaders will have a detailed flight itinerary for each student who is flying to the trip start and will be at the airport to greet them on arrival. Once students are with their leaders, they will call home to let their parents know they have arrived and are with their group. Please see our blog post for specifics regarding students traveling as Unaccompanied Minors. Further, we encourage you to coordinate travel with other attendees; we’re happy to put you in touch with other enrolled families from your region. We will provide enrolled families with a Travel Information document covering details specific to traveling to and from Boston, including airport information and arrival and departure time windows. Please contact Apogee with any specific questions or concerns regarding drop-offs and/or pick-ups.