Find Your Way Around Western
Maine's Lakes and Mountains with a Registered Maine Guide
~Professional guides offer visitors a look at hidden gems~
WESTERN MAINE - From anglers looking to find prime fishing
locations to sightseers hoping to catch a glimpse of Maine's
more remote beauty, hiring a Registered Maine Guide is a great
way to get expert advice and knowledge from someone who truly
knows the Maine outdoors.
The Lakes and Mountains Region
of western Maine provides many destinations for people to get
away and reacquaint themselves with
nature, but the wilderness is best explored and appreciated when
approached with knowledge, research and safety. All Registered
Maine Guides are trained in wilderness survival skills and have
completed at least one first aid course.
The Maine Professional Guides
Association specializes in helping people find licensed guides
who are dedicated to promoting a quality, ethical and safe outdoor
"For a lot of visitors,
they are really out of their natural element when they come to
the Maine woods," said Rick Hill of Mt. Chase Lodge in Mt.
Chase and president of the Maine Professional Guides Association.
"That is where the importance of hiring a Registered Maine
Guide comes into play. A guide has in-depth knowledge of the
areas where they lead trips. They make sure people are properly
prepared for being in the outdoors and that they stay safe."
For visitors looking to learn
something new or brush up some rusty outdoors skills, there is
no better instructor than a Maine guide. Guides are part tour
guide, part teacher and part historian. In addition to teaching
proper techniques and safety precautions, they also share their
knowledge of the history of the area, further enhancing the experience
of the trip.
Guides can teach you how to bait
a hook, show you the best hiking routes, whip up meals along
the way and help you rough it under the stars. When you hire
a Maine guide, it is up to you to decide what your trip will
be. All it takes is a little research to find a guide who meets
your outdoor adventure needs.
There is no shortage of hiking
and paddling adventures in western Maine. The many mountains
and lakes, streams and ponds offer an endless choice of outdoor
opportunities that show off Maine's scenic landscapes and wildlife.
Registered Maine Guides can escort you down a rapid river or
lead you on a trail trek to the top of a 3,000-foot peak. Most
guides practice eco-friendly behavior and can assist paddlers
with low-impact camping and how to follow the "leave no
Many guides - both male and female
- have established trips catering especially for women who are
looking for an outdoor adventure on their own, or as part of
a group of like-minded women. For many active women, a day at
the spa cannot compare with a day spent navigating whitewater
For fishing enthusiasts looking
to hook a trout or bass at the end of their line, western Maine
guides can bring anglers to where the fish are biting and the
scenery is breathtaking. Guides provide the boat, supplies and
knowledge of the area, as well as the most effective bait.
"It takes all the guess
work out of the planning," said Nathan Wight, who works
for Sun Valley Sports in Bethel, and is a fourth generation Registered
Maine Guide. "Since we are out there fishing every day,
we know where the fish are and what they're feeding on."
Licensed guides can also provide
the ultimate hunting outing as visitors track bear, moose, deer,
fowl and turkey through western Maine's dense forests. Depending
on the hunting season, guides will accompany visitors on speciality
trips as well, as they educate hunters on tracking animals and
provide safety instruction. Hill recommends that any first time
hunter in Maine hire a guide.
"Especially if you are not
familiar with the area, a guide can help give you pointers on
basic safety as well as help you find the best hunting spots,"
But don't think that a trip with
a Maine guide is only about traditional outdoor pursuits. Many
guides specialize in leading more nature-based trips, such as
wildlife watching, with moose gazing by far the most popular
request. Guides can even take you "prospecting" by
teaching you how to pan for gold.
"There is a whole array
of activities that guides are involved with," said Hill.
"The most traditional are hunting and fishing, but there
are also guides that specialize in nature photography, wild flowers
and bird watching."
Guides are ambassadors to the
wilderness and can introduce people to areas they might not discover
on their own. A guidebook can tell you a lot about a place before
you go, but it is no substitute for traveling with someone who
has first-hand knowledge of the region.
"As a Maine guide we have
to know a lot of things," said Wight. "Anything you
want to know about the outdoors, ask a Maine guide. We know the
answer because we are out here all the time."
Hiring a Registered Maine Guide
can enhance any outdoor experience, and not just for the customer
but for the guide too.
"For me, watching
a young kid getting the hang of fishing and finally catch that
first fish, or just watching people experience the outdoors with
you, that is what it is all about," said Carl Bois of Rocky
Ridge Guide Services in Lovell. "About 80 percent of my
business is repeat customers, so I get to see a lot of the same
people year after year. While they are your customers, they also
become your friends."
The Lakes and Mountains Region
of western Maine offers a multitude of outdoor adventures that
let you reconnect with nature and yourself. Visit www.visitmaine.com,
to find a Registered Maine Guide and start planning your adventure.