Guided tours have boomed in recent years, both in number and variety. These range from 2-night guided inn-to-inn hiking trips to weeklong canoe and kayak expeditions, camping each night along the way. A few reputable outfitters to start with include the following:

*Backroads (tel. 800/462-2848 or 510/527-1555), has an extensive inventory of trips, including a 5-day bike trip from MDI to Rockland, following the contours of Penobscot Bay. This trip involves moderate physical challenge and nights in a few lovely hotels and inns.

*Country Walkers  tel. 800/464-9255 or 802/244-1387) has walking trips around the world. Among its Maine offerings: walking tours in Acadia National Park. Trips run 6 nights and include all meals and lodging at appealing inns.

*Maine Island Kayak Co. (tel. 800/796-2373 or 207/766-2373) has a fleet of seaworthy kayaks for camping trips up and down the Maine coast. The firm runs a number of 2- and 3-night expeditions each summer and has plenty of experience in training novices.

*VBT (tel. 800/245-3868), founded in Vermont (it's name was once Vermont Bicycle Touring), is one of the more established and well-organized touring operations, with an extensive bike tour schedule in North America, Europe, and New Zealand. VBT offers several trips in Maine, including a 6-day Acadia trip.

Local outdoors clubs are also a good source of information, and most offer trips to nonmembers. The largest of the bunch is the Appalachian Mountain Club (tel. 671/523-0655), whose chapters run group trips almost every weekend throughout the region, with northern New Hampshire especially well represented.


Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.