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Friday, September 18, 2015

Fall Foliage Moose Watching Tours

Maine Fall Foliage Moose Watching
A highlight for guests visiting Maine during fall foliage season is our moose watching tours.  The next 3 weeks tend to be the most exciting for us guides, too!  We have been waiting all season long to see the behemoth bull moose emerge from the forest showcasing his antlers and bull stature.  Needless to say, the fall colors in Maine are always a treat and as the backdrop for photographers in search of moose, it couldn't be more exciting!

Guests flock to the Moosehead Lake area each fall.  A typical getaway for many fall foliage enthusiasts is a tour to Maine's rocky coast to trek along the carriage roads of Acadia National Park.  Most will then journey inland to Maine's largest lake and that's where you will find us, the closest moose watching tour company to the Bar Harbor and Acadia region, here at Northeast Whitewater & Guide Service.  Travelers enjoy the rugged, woodsy view decorated in oranges, reds, yellows with evergreens pickling the landscape.  Once inland, joining our moose tours is an obvious choice to grasp the enormity of the forest and the wildness of the area.   The moose tours are 3-4 hours and an exciting adventure for everyone; young, old, big, small you will love the interpretive journey lead by our Maine guides, exploring the forest, and beauty of this pristine area.

From Moosehead Lake, we recommend driving through Maine's mountains that lead to New Hampshire.  You'll find that traveling through the mountains of Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont tend to captivate the color changing of the fall foliage season perfectly during a one to two week fall foliage getaway.

Plan ahead, though!  Many travelers think that since most families and children are back to school, the Northeast must be quiet in September and October.  Not true.  Mid-September to mid-October are just busy as peak summer, it's no longer family trips, instead couples and overseas travelers are enjoying holiday.  Schedule ahead of time, plan your stay and plays and we'll look forward to enjoying the fall colors and moose watching with you.

Northeast Whitewater & Guide Service can be reached daily from 7 AM - 9 PM at 207-695-0151 or toll-free at 888-484-3317 or feel free to email us at 

Friday, June 26, 2015

Spring Moose Watching a Highlight in Maine

June is a fantastic time to see moose.  So far we have seen over 40 moose on our trips!  On our beautiful Maine moose tours in our secret ponds we not only see moose but also deer, loons, eagles, hawks, blue herons, turkeys, and hares.

Just two nights ago we spotted our first moose calf of the 2015 season!  Moose calfs are typically born around the end of May and it usually takes us about a month before we see them; the mom is protecting the calf until they are big enough to venture further out together.

Now that summer has arrived we will see that the bull moose antlers will grow bigger and bigger.  The fall season is a great time to see large bull moose.

Spring, summer, and fall are all incredible times in Maine to see moose.  Join us for your next moose tour and experience the breathtaking Maine outdoors.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

The Wildest Gift

Check out our wildest package yet; for Maine Moose Watching that is!  Holiday gift giving - the wildest gift.  Give the gift of a Maine moose watching tour and 1 night stay at our Moosehead Lake view motel.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Maine Moose Watching Statistics

Our daily Maine Moose watching tours run from May 1st until October 12th.  It's our goal to provide accurate sighting reports to guests when asked, "are you seeing moose?"  "How many moose are you seeing per tour?"  "What other wildlife  might we see on the moose and wildlife safari?"  Here's how we can honestly answer these questions and more.  Our guides provide a daily moose and wildlife report.  We compiled the information the guides reported in order to provide statistics on how many moose and what other wildlife we actually see when taking guests out for a Maine moose watching tour.  This is a peak at what we have discovered for wildlife both from morning and evening tours from the 1st of May to the 1st of September.  The data for September and October has yet to be calculated because we are still in the midst of moose tour season.

Bull Moose Maine Pond

Our daily moose watching tours are in the mornings and evenings, centered around moose habitat.  From May to August 10, the evening tours are at 5PM; we then transition to a 4PM tour time until September 10; and have just in the last few days transitioned to our 3PM tour time for afternoon moose tours.  Morning tours are always at 6AM.  The tours are 3.5 to 4 hours, both by land or canoe.  Come enjoy a trip with us and look what awesome Maine wildlife you have the potential to see with us!
                 May                   June                         July      
No. Trips 17 35 44 49
Total Moose 35 150 200 88
Bulls 13 55 79 34
Cows 22 95 121 54
Avg. Moose/trip 2 4.3 4.5 1.8
Loons 8 51 91 79
Deer 15 45 75 33
Hare 19 35 22 15
Bears 0 6 2 1
Beavers 2 5 2 2
Eagles 1 4 1 4
Owls 0 0 1
River Otters 0 0 3
Minks 0 0 2 3
R-T Hawk 0 0 1 1
Merlins 0 0 2 3
Biterns 0 4 0
Turkeys 1 0 6 6
Fox 0 4 4 3
Ravens 0 0 2
Grouse 1 0 11
Newt 0 1 0
Osprey 0 1 0
Fisher Cats 0 1 0
Woodchuck 1 0 0
Blue Winged Hawk 1
Blue Heron 11


Saturday, August 9, 2014

Mother Nature's Therapy: Moose Watching

We all need a little of Mother Nature's Therapy every now and again.  We enjoyed a blue sky morning this AM for moose and wildlife watching. Thankfully, with the meteorologists messing up the weather most of the summer we have been fortunate that the predicted rainy days have turned out to be beautiful blue sky days.  As you plan your nature therapy vacation to see moose consider the time of year.

Moose watching in June is of course the best month all year round to see the most moose per tour.  Our guides were seeing upwards of 15-18 moose on some of the June moose tours.  You can imagine with black flies and mosquitoes pestering us, they love to mess with the moose.  That is why June is such a busy moose watching month.  The moose get literally driven out of the woods to clear, open areas where we are waiting patiently to photograph them! 

As the weather warms and bugs taper off, July continues to be a good month for wildlife and moose sightings. The moose calves are beginning to mature and travel more often with momma moose, so seeing the calves at this monthly stage is always a highlight for our moose watching guests. 

August is a warm month when the sun angle here in northwestern Maine begins to change, so preference of morning or evening moose watching tours is up to you.  We average 4 moose per tour during this time and consistently see moose on the remote woods ponds feeding each day.

There is less traffic and commotion in September.  The kids have returned to school books and class room time.  Parents tend to be settling back into their fall work routines, so those that vacation in September tend to have Maine all to themselves.  Moose rut begins in the later part of September, so bulls tend to be less predictable (you understand why...vavavavoom)!!

Early October brings beautiful fall colors to cover Maine's landscape.  What a perfect time to capture that amazing fall foliage and bull moose picture, right?!  The days begin to be much cooler in the mornings and evenings here in Maine, but it's a spectacular time to breathe in the fresh, crisp fall air and enjoy the landscape that Mother Nature has painted for us.

If you have never seen a moose, it's time to venture to Maine's woods for an adventure like no other.  Calm, quiet, beauty.  Nature's therapy.  Come relax with us and enjoy a Maine moose watching tour with Mother nature and let Northeast Guide Service be your guides! 
Young bull moose in July on Maine pond

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

The delight of Mount Kineo

There is no place on earth quite like Mount Kineo. If you have never been, it really is difficult to explain what makes it so unique, even the air smells different on Kineo. Since I had yet to make the trek over this year, the enthusiasm of an old college friend amped me up for a trip over to this one of a kind Peninsula. Before this weekend, I had never camped overnight on Kineo, so I knew this was going to be a treat.

                                                                             MEET ME!!

We started our journey traveling to Rockwood from Greenville, to the Kineo shuttle, which is the best way to get over to Kineo. You can also drive up the West side of the lake, but the road isn’t always in the best of conditions, and it is about a two-mile walk in from where the parking area is located. If you take the shuttle, you are dropped off right in between the hiking trails, and the golf course clubhouse. Of course, if you’re one of those lucky people who own a boat, you can always take your boat over, as there are plenty of places to dock your boat. We aren’t part of that lucky group, so we piled our gear onto the shuttle to start our day on Kineo.  I could tell our small group of four was already shaking off some stress as we approached our destination. We reached the Peninsula around 1pm on Saturday, with what we thought would be plenty of time to hike into camp, get set up, and hike to the top of the mountain, but our timing was a little off. Okay, maybe a lot off. Despite what we thought, our hike into our camping spot on hardscrabble was more like a 3-mile hike down the carriage trail, not a mile, as we originally suspected.

With excitement to get set up, and far more gear than we would need for our one night stay, we began our hike into our campsite. We were fairly fast moving at first, but with a cooler packed with food, weighing at least 60 pounds (this is a total guess) Our three mile hike down the carriage trail quickly turned into an experience we all were ready to put behind us. Thankfully, we are a group of optimistic people who make the best out of any situation, bad, good, or indifferent. So with smiles wide, we continued down the trail for as long as we could, though truth be told, about a quarter of a mile away from our campsite on hardscrabble, Tom and I set the cooler down on the trail and booked it to our campsite. At this point, my hands felt like wet noodles, only throbbing, so we didn’t really have a choice. At first we were a bit apprehensive because I mean, what if someone were to steal it? After all, we did plan on going back for it. We figured they could give it a go, but worse case scenario was that they were just going to lug it a bit closer to our site before they gave up, deciding it wasn’t worth the effort.

We made it to the site, though Bree had left her phone at the clubhouse to allow it to charge, which we later learned closed at 5. This meant that she had to walk the 2.7 miles back to the clubhouse, and 2.7 miles back to get her phone before we could even begin our hike. At this point, it was around 3:30pm. Yes, it took us about two and a half hours to get to our site, bear in mind that we had a cooler the size and weight of a large dog with us on the way in. We made a decision as a group to split up; Bree and I would venture back to the clubhouse to grab her phone, while Tom and Mandi ventured back to the cooler to carry it the rest of the way.

Bree and I entered the clubhouse around 4:30, and met a very sweet young lady named Justine (which I remember so well because Justine is my sister’s name). She talked about how dramatic the community on Kineo can be at times. Though I have always known that there were homes on Kineo, I never really thought of it as a community. Even though people only live there in the summer, of course there is drama! She talked about “the association” and talked about how all of the kids on the island dare each other to sleep up on the fire tower. This was so fun to me, and was reminiscent of so many novels I read in my youth. Bree and I polished off a refreshing beverage before we skipped back down the carriage trail, back to hardscrabble.

By the time we made it back to our campsite, it was nearing six o’clock. Tom and Mandi had set the campsite up, but at this point, we were all starving. We once again made the decision as a group to cook up some grub, and pass on anymore hiking for the time being. At that point, Bree and I had already put in nine miles, because this is the first hike I had done since the unfortunate event with my ankle, I was alright with relaxing for the evening. We got a fire going, and threw a pork tenderloin and some hot dogs on the fire and started in on the shmorgishborg of smuttynose beer we had going on. Tom works for Smuttynose brewing company, so you can always bank on plenty of beer being figured into the equation whenever he’s around.
Because of the weight of the cooler, we all decided that no beer or food was coming back with us, which meant we would be doing a lot of eating and drinking, this turned a s’mores session into a one of a kind taste testing session, leading us to discover some amazing combos. The favorite of the night we have deemed cheesecake s’mores, which is just a s’more with a chunk or two of cheddar cheese, talk about heaven! For all of you cynics, don’t knock it until you try it, the flavor is out of this world.
After our feast, we traveled out to the point to enjoy some star gazing, where we discovered that directly across the lake, at The Birches Resort, there was a wedding reception happening. Every pop song you can imagine from the last two decades blared across the lake, echoing late into the night. Usually this would be more of a hindrance than anything, however, we all reminisced as we jammed out to songs such as “No Diggity”, it was almost delightful.

We all stayed up too late, and enjoyed far too many adult beverages, but everyone needs to kick back on occasion. The next morning, slow moving, we began to pack up our things with heavy hearts. I believe all four of us could have benefited from another night or three in this magical world.

Unfortunately, it was back to reality for all of us. Looking at the large amount of food we didn’t consume, we were all less than enthusiastic about hiking the 2.7 miles to the shuttle with all of that gear. Luckily, strangers often become friends. There was a family camping at the first campsite you approach off of the carriage trail, and had a boat! He was more than generous, and allowed us to load up far more gear than his little motorboat probably should have been hauling. Tom climbed aboard, and planned on meeting us at the Indian Trail trailhead. We saw Tom off with our new found friend, as we began the trek, with much less gear in hand, to the trailhead. Apparently we were just not meant to do too much hiking on this adventure, because after waiting ten or fifteen minutes, it became apparent that Tom was not on the same page as us. We began the rest of our trek back to the landing, where we met up with Tom. Not only did our new friend haul our gear for us, but he and Tom actually brought it back to mainland and packed up the car for us! This is why Tom left us waiting at the trailhead. It felt nice to know that once we got off of the shuttle, we could just jump in our cars and head back to Greenville, as much as we didn’t want to leave, even though we didn't get the hiking in we had so hoped for.
Since we didn’t have time to do the hiking we had planned, we decided a visit to pebble beach was necessary before we were brought back to reality. I was slightly disappointed with pebble. Though the rope swing was still there, it seems as though the beach has fallen to the wayside. I remember as a teenager spending many sunny days with the Rockwood crew out on pebble beach, it was the beach to frequent. This trip down memory lane left me longing for long summer days from summer’s past.  It is still a nice beach, but it has become apparent that people don’t appreciate it as they used to. I was picking through the rocks, trying to find white ones, as my daughter is a collector of the white rock kind. As I dug around my fingers came across something all too man-made, as I pulled a snickers wrapper out from underneath a number of rocks. It’s sad to see such a magnificent place become so underappreciated. I’m hoping some changes can be made in that regard, because the atmosphere just wasn’t the same.

Our voyage back to the landing was somber in demeanor, as we shuffled our feet, knowing we would soon be leaving our kind of paradise. It was a quiet shuttle ride back to main land, as we knew we would be parting ways, not only with each other, but also with an atmosphere of utopia. Before parting ways, we decided on one last stop, before everyone had to journey home. As I had mentioned, Tom works for Smuttynose Brewing Company, so he was beyond thrilled to check out the Stress Free Pub, which has Smuttynose’s finestkind IPA on tap. We stopped for a quick bit to eat, and one last frosty beverage.
Parting ways with two old college friends, and one new friend was difficult, as I’ve missed the carefree days we all used to spend together. Though we have all gone our separate ways, some more grown up than others, it’s fantastic that we can get together, years later, and still enjoy a carefree day or two together, before stepping back into reality. I promise my friends, if you ever need an escape from the real world, take a trip over to one of my favorite places in our Great Northern Maine Woods, Mount Kineo does not disappoint. Until next time, go find an adventure; I would love to hear about it!


Monday, June 23, 2014

I Moose be dreamin'

Whether we humans like to admit it or not, here in the Moosehead Lake Region, moose pretty much rule the roost. Outnumbering us 3 to 1, any local you speak to should have a pocket full of moose stories. If not, they so obviously haven’t embraced the outdoor culture embraced by most locals in the region. If you’ve never been in the presence of one of these majestic creatures, you are missing out. It truly is a humbling experience. They are so massive, yet pensive, in a sense.
Many people will venture out on their own moose hunt, so to speak, wandering around the area aimlessly in hopes to see one of these beautiful beings.  As a local, this makes a whole lot of sense for me, not so much for our visitor’s for a number of reasons. First of all, as a visitor, you don’t know the area very well. Traveling down unmarked dirt roads can certainly put you in a pickle in the North Maine Woods. It doesn’t take long to get turned around, and lose your way. A lot of these roads offer spotty cell phone reception, at best, so getting lost while traveling down these back roads could turn into a long trek which could quickly make you feel like Dorthy, lost in the land of Oz. Another reason is that a lot of visitors don’t understand that, though moose seem fairly docile, they are wild animals, and should be treated as such. Something as simple as a fly could spook them enough to send them charging. Averaging around 7 feet tall, and around 1000 pounds, this is not an animal you would stand a chance with if you were to get trampled. I remember seeing a picture of a woman kissing a moose not long ago. Though this woman lived to tell the tale, you would have a better chance seeing me kiss my own rear end, than kissing a moose. That could have very quickly turned into a tragic situation, as opposed to a cute picture. Another reason is just simply that our local guides know the local moose hangouts, and the best times to see a moose, our visitors don’t!  
Moose facts? To us locals, this may seem like redundancy, but ask us about some facts on the polar bear, and I bet the people of Alaska could tell us a thing or two that would blow our minds, so don’t worry about the locals giving you a hard time about asking “silly” moose questions. Afterall, I was always taught that there are no stupid questions, only stupid answers. So, to ward off some of these locals heckling you, here are a few facts about these gentle giants.
  • ·       The Moose is the official Maine state animal
  •     A male moose is called a Bull, a female moose is called a cow, and a baby moose is called a           calf.
  • ·      Bull moose antlers can be up to 6 feet wide, and weigh up to 90 pounds.
  • ·      Bull moose shed their antlers every winter, and grow a new set back in the spring.
  • ·      Moose have the highest rate of bone formation growth, growing up to an inch per day!
  • ·      The average life expectancy of a moose is 25 years
  • ·      Moose can weigh up to 1500 pounds!
  • ·      The average moose stands 7 feet tall, and 8.5 feet in length
  • ·      Moose can swim as fast as 6 miles per hour
  • ·      Moose can run up to 35 miles per hour
  • ·      Moose have no upper teeth
  • ·      Moose have very poor eyesight
  • ·      The Maine moose population hovers right around 30,000

Please, however, don’t ask us when the white tail deer turn into moose, then you’re just asking us to direct you up the golden road, when you ask us where the best restaurant in town is.

As you can tell, moose are fairly impressive creatures. Most people don’t realize just how fast these guys can run, which is why you end up seeing people kissing moose and thinking it isn’t dangerous. Your best bet is to have someone who knows a bit about these animals take you out to see them, for safety sake, but also to increase your chances of seeing a moose!
Our guides head out at 6am, and 5pm everyday, with a group of people, wide eyed, anxious to catch a picture of one of these amazing creatures. The great thing is that they almost always see at least one, usually many more. With local commentary from our guides, usually involving stories from past moose tours, our visitor’s not only enjoy the scenery, but also the company.
Last Monday and Tuesday evenings were particularly successful tours, as our guide came back with news that they saw 18 moose on Monday, and15 moose on their adventure Tuesday! On top of dodging moose left and right, there were deer, hare, loons, osprey, eagles, and so much more to be seen! There aren’t many sounds that are as soothing to me as a loon call, so this was a real treat for our visitors. Though you are on a moose tour, here in the north Maine woods, it’s hard to venture out without coming across at least a few other critters.
I hope I helped clear up some questions about our favorite animal up here in northern Maine, and I hope I’ve enticed you to venture out with one of our guides to check out the wildlife.