You have to like a resort with their own brew pub, but Northern Outdoors of Maine offers far more than that. Located in a region known as ‘The Forks” for where the Dead River and the Kennebec River meet, Northern Outdoors in uniquely located in prime outdoor recreation territory. You can ride New England’s best white-water rapids, hunt, fish, hike, snowmobile in the winter, and of course explore the trails on your ATV or Side x Side in the summer. It sounded exactly like a place we needed to visit!
A CABIN IN THE WOODS
Even before we met Lisa Fisher, one of the managers at Northern Outdoors, we were already impressed. The resort is laid out well, with enough room between buildings you don’t feel as if you are right on top of the neighbors. One thing we look for is ample parking for a truck and trailer, and that is no problem at Northern Outdoors. At the center of the resort is the main lodge building. Lisa walked us through the resorts amenities which include:
- Multiple clean, cozy cabins of all sizes to accommodate a couple, or a large family. Choose how many beds you need and they’ve got a cabin to fit.
- All cabins are tastefully designed, with full amenities, and nearly all are pet friendly. They’re the kind of place we would love to live in!
- Northern Outdoors also offer Condos and Lodgominiums!
- On-site camping!
- Full-service restaurant and Kennebec River Brewery
- Main lodge with fireplace, multiple large screen TV’s, a pool table, WiFi, and gift shop
- Hot tub
- Pool with volleyball net
- Outdoor patio games such as Cornhole
- ATV / UTV / snowmobile fuel
Lisa explained that Northern Outdoors was established in 1976, and is one of the original all-season resorts in the region. They helped pioneer outdoor family recreation in the area, beginning with guided white-water rafting excursions. The resort was even recognized by Yankee Magazine for Best New England Adventures & Editor’s Choice awards. Today the recreation opportunities have expanded as the resort has grown, but we were there for the trails. After quickly unpacking and checking out our cabin which featured a kitchen, spacious bathroom, large screen TV in the living area, and anything else we could need, we settled into a comfy chair on the porch. It’s easy to relax under the tall, wispy pines, with the woodsy scents and aromatic smells of nature, and a chipmunk there to keep us company or remind us this was his home too!
DINNER AT THE LODGE
We can’t say enough about the lodge. We are SO impressed! The expansive lodge is beautiful and has a full-service restaurant and bar, a huge indoor and outdoor dining area, and is home to the popular Kennebec River Brewery. Just behind is a back-deck swimming pool and a large hot tub. Surely this is the place to unwind after riding all day! After thoroughly enjoying a steak done to perfection and sampling several of their craft brews it was back to our cabin for a quiet night in the woods. Tomorrow we would explore part of it!
THE RIDE TO GREENVILLE
Our guided tour with Ben and Holly Towle, owners of Maine Outdoor Power Sports Rentals, took us on a day trip to Greenville at the shores of Moosehead Lake. Moosehead Lake is the state's largest lake, and Greenville is the hub of outdoor activities. They celebrate everything outdoors with the Annual Wilderness Sled Dog Race, Moosehead Lake Togue Derby, Moosehead Artisan Village, Katahdin Steamship Brunch Cruise (the last remaining steamboat in Maine dating to 1914) and variety of year-round activities. Towering over it all is Mount Kineo with its 763-foot sheer cliff and should you climb to it’s top, be careful where you step. Our full day of riding, dining, and generally being a tourist to Maines never ending beauty ended at Towle’s Lakeside Cabins and Resort for a three-hour tour of Lake Wyman on a relaxing pontoon boat ride. After that we headed back to our cozy cabin on the hill at Northern Outdoors.
A CF MOTO TEST RIDE
One thing we were especially happy to try on our ride to Greenville was a CF Moto Side x Side. CF Moto has been building ATVs and Side x Sides for many years, but you don’t see a lot of them on the trail. Their U.S. distribution does not seem to be able to penetrate the market nearly as well as they do in Canada or Europe where they are much more common! Our Canadian counterparts report excellent results on CF Moto products, and we were anxious to try them for ourselves. Our ride would be the CF Moto UForce 500, a capable, crossover machine and there are three models (500, 800, and 1000) in the UForce class. Features are:
- LED projector beam headlights with LED accent lighting
- Stainless steel bumpers and a 3000 lb. winch
- Automotive grade paint
- Knobby CST brand tires
- 12” ground clearance & 14” wheels
- Large capacity dump box with nitrogen gas spring assist lift
- 2” hitch receiver
- High-performance CVtech drive and driven clutch
We were impressed by the CF Moto UForce 500 on the trails. The engine delivered plenty of power for any hill we wanted to climb, and the clutch was calibrated nicely for perfect power delivery. The suspension also handled the rocky trail very well, and it was easy to handle. Inside the cab we were comfortable, and small doors protect you from trail side branches and splashing water, but we would prefer CF Motor extend the doors up to the riders shoulders for even more protection and security. Overall, we give the UForce 500 high marks!
END OF THE TRAIL
Day three closed our trip with a shared ride. Lisa and Craig Fisher, both ATV enthusiasts and avid trail riders, and a group of other riders staying at Northern Outdoors decided to join our group. We’re always up for making new trail riding friends! For our last ride we decided to explore Moxie Falls, Moxie Lake, Grand Falls, and Houston Brook Falls. As any rider knows, outdoor activity is sure to work up your appetite and after many miles on the trail, pulling into Northern Outdoors was like arriving at an oasis. A quick shower, then a hearty meal and drinks were the perfect way to cap our day.
TRAILS TO BE PROUD OF
We are impressed at how well the Maine trails are maintained and marked. It’s because of the countless hours of volunteers that seemingly never waiver in their desire to improve the system that the Maine trails are in the excellent shape they are today. They offer great access to the pristine beauty of Maine, winter spring, summer, or fall. Northern Outdoors can help you explore every bit of it year-round and be your Northern home away from home.
Northern Outdoors - Maine's Premier Adventure Resort
Phone: 800-765-7238 www.NorthernOutdoors.com
Special thanks to:
Steph Dunn and Emily Yearwood, and Ben and Holly Towle from Maine Outdoor Sports who offered great hospitality and an awesome evening pontoon boat ride on Lake
The ATV clubs of the Upper Kennebec Valley who have developed extensive trail systems for many years of future enjoyment, and for generations to come.
Hawk’s Nest Lodge & Restaurant
The Hawk's Nest Lodge features first class style with a rustic atmosphere of handcrafted furnishings and amazing wooden carvings. They offer a delicious menu and dining inside or outdoors, fabulous river views, and affordable prices.
Maine Lakeside Cabins
P.O box 116, Caratunk, ME 04925 Toll Free: 1-855-528-3441
Maine Outdoor Powersports Rentals and Silver Cove Cabins, Resort and Bar. Rentals include UTV, ATV, Snowmobile, SeaDoo, Pontoon boat, Jeeps, rafting trips and fishing excursions. It’s a great location for your private retreat, wedding, family event, or corporate meetings. An outdoor dining hall allows you to have your catered event under cover. Also hiking and team building ropes courses, hunting, and limo transportation services are offered.