Leaves are starting to change color, and school buses are navigating the roads once again. It’s the tail end of a sunny summer, and the sun is still shining, beckoning you outside. Here are a few outdoor excursions for the last weeks of summer:

Moose safaris in secret spots

“Moose safaris” are an evening treat. The Northeast Guide Service, based in Greenville, organizes these guided moose watches through Oct. 11.

Registered Maine Guides bring moose watchers in a van to ponds in the Moosehead region. Paddling canoes, the group explores the pond in hopes of sighting a wading moose, which most likely are to be seen at dusk. The trip is from 4 to 7:30 or 8 p.m., according to Aimee Chasse, Northeast Guide Service office administrator.

“The ponds we go to are actually top-secret,” said Chasse with a laugh. “We don’t like to say where we are going. We’re protecting our resources out here.”

The moose safari meets at 241 Pritham Ave., Greenville. For information, call Northeast Guide Service at 888-484-3317 or visit www.northeastguideservice.com.

Riding white water

Rafting can be enjoyed by people of all ages, “from 4 to 104,” according to New England Outdoor Center in Millinocket. It offers a variety of white-water rafting trips led by Registered Maine Guides on the Penobscot, Dead and Kennebec rivers.

On the weekends, family float trips embark on the Penobscot River. Ages 4 and up are allowed to board the raft.

“It’s a flat-water experience — being out on the river in boats with wildlife and views of the mountains. You get to see Maine from a different perspective,” said Sarah Hunt, New England Outdoor Center communications and programs coordinator.

The white-water trips become progressively difficult with stricter age limitations. Ages 6 and up can join the lower river Penobscot trip on which the rafts hit Class I to III rapids. Ages 16 and up may participate in the Dead River trip, a 16-mile stretch of Class IV and V rapids for “thrill-seekers,” according to the NEOC website.

For information about New England Outdoor Center programs, visit www.neoc.com or call 800-634-7238.

Spontaneous adventures

Watching the sunset over Casco Bay while floating in a tandem kayak is one of the many adventures organized by L.L. Bean Outdoor Discovery Schools in Freeport.

The kayaking tours require no kayaking experience. In fact, tandem kayaks are more stable and easier to paddle because two people are propelling the craft.

The tour will reach Lower Flying Point and, depending on the group’s speed and the weather conditions, may continue around Sister Island, Williams Island and Pettingill Island, according to an L.L. Bean representative.

The fee is $59 per person. The paddles are from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. and run through Oct. 9. To make reservations, call 888-552-3261.

For those looking for a more spontaneous adventure, L.L. Bean in Freeport offers $20 walk-on adventures. All equipment is provided and no preregistration is required. For September, courses in kayaking, archery and sporting clays are offered on Saturdays and Sundays.

Age limitations depend on the adventure. For information on other kayak tours and walk-on adventures, visit http://www.llbean.com/outdoorsOnline/odp/index.html?nav=ftlink.

Famous late-summer climb

Precipice, the most challenging trail in Acadia National Park, opened Aug. 13 and will be available for climbing until March 24. The almost vertical 1,000-foot climb up the east face of Champlain Mountain was closed for the majority of the summer to protect the endangered peregrine falcons nesting in the cliffs.

This year, one fledgling was born near the Precipice Trail, according to park rangers. Young falcons learn to fly July through August, opening up the trail for climbers.

The trail is suggested for physically fit, experienced hikers with no fear of heights. As always, it’s safer to climb and hike with a buddy.

For information on the Precipice Trail and other hikes, visit www.nps.gov/acad/ or call Acadia National Park Headquarters at 228-3338.


Aislinn Sarnacki

Aislinn Sarnacki is a Maine outdoors writer and the author of three Maine hiking guidebooks including “Family Friendly Hikes in Maine.” Find her on Twitter and Facebook @1minhikegirl. You can also...