One does not necessarily need to escape to another country to experience the joy and wonder of New England eco-tourism. In the first of a series of articles highlighting the natural beauty and wildlife viewing opportunities within the United States, why not consider taking the family on an ecotour getaway through New England, specifically Massachusetts and Maine. Whether it is a long weekend break or taking one last trip before school starts again, we suggest the following eco-itinerary.
Depending on your proximity to New England, you could travel by Amtrak train from Boston to Portland, Maine and then rent a hybrid car from Budget, Enterprise, or Hertz.
Suggested family ecotourism activities:
- There are numerous wildlife sanctuaries (some with nature centers) throughout Massachusetts that offer families many opportunities to enjoy nature including hiking, viewing flora and fauna and canoeing. Guided tours and demonstrations are also available.
- Visit the Maine Wildlife Park near Gray, Maine where more than 30 species of wildlife are permanently cared for as they cannot survive in the wild due to injury or being orphaned. From bobcats and moose to mountain lions and black bears, the Maine Wildlife Park offers extensive educational and volunteer opportunities.
- Visit the Moosehead Lake region near Greenville, Maine where you can go hiking, white-water rafting, fishing, and mountain biking. Moose safaris are available as well as kayaking and wildlife viewing.
- Meadowmere Resort near Ogunquit, Maine (halfway between Boston and Portland, Maine) – the resort is an environmental hotel leader in Maine with composting, recycling, energy conservation and employee educational programs in place. The town offers kayaking, whale-watching, mountain biking, and hiking tours as well as wildlife viewing activities at the nearby Maine Educational Reserve.
- Inn by the Sea near Cape Elizabeth, Maine – this luxury inn near the beach offers farm to table ocean view dining, a spa built to LEED specifications and 5 acres of indigenous landscape certified as a wildlife habitat and butterfly way station.
- Spencer Pond Camps near Beaver Cove, Maine – this cabin campsite offers six completely off-the-grid and environmentally certified wilderness lakeside cabins nestled deep in the woods and adjacent to the Thoreau Wabanaki, Maine Birding, and Northern Forest Canoe Trails. Cabins have docks, screened porches, and canoes included so that you can enjoy fishing, wildlife viewing, and paddling. Read our review of a summer in Maine.