Experienced outdoors-person? Never even tried on a pair of hiking boots? There’s a place for everyone to adventure, push yourself, and explore the woods, waters, and mountains of rural Maine—whether you’re into organized activities, or you just want to get out for a hike in the fresh air.

Outing club & organized trips

During the academic year students organize regular hiking and paddling trips in Acadia National Park and around Mount Desert Island. Occasional weekend excursions include backpacking, rafting, and winter camping—often further afield to places like the Bold Coast and Baxter State Park.

Borrowing gear

There’s no need to invest in your own equipment unless you want to. Students can borrow the following items from COA’s gear shed: tents, sleeping bags, sleeping pads, stoves, life jackets, paddles, sleds, snow shoes, and cross country skis. For more information or this term’s gear shed hours, contact outingclub@coa.edu.


The two primary campgrounds in Acadia National Park are Blackwoods and Seawall. Blackwoods is
open for primitive camping during the off season (December-March).

Sail, motor, and row

COA has several watercraft that are made available to community members including canoes, sea kayaks, peapods, skiffs, and sailboats. Get certified to take out a kayak or other seagoing vessel, and you’ll have ready access to the waters and islands of Frenchman Bay.

Outing Club stories:

  • NEWS
    Wilderness Trip Reaches for the Heights
    College of the Atlantic’s Outdoor Orientation Programs (OOPs) include hiking, kayaking, rock climbing, and more, giving incoming students opportunities to discover themselves, their classmates, and the great outdoors. The Baxter Peaks trip sends students on a six-day journey through Maine’s rugged Baxter State Park.
  • NEWS
    The first annual #RelayForCOA is a 44-point trek to inspire 44 percent of alumni to make a gift to the college. Join  president Darron Collins ’92 and others for a leg or more as a hiker, bicyclist, or volunteer.
  • NEWS
    Winding Rivers, Frozen Lakes, and Buzzing Flies: A Year with the COA Traditional Skills Club
    Through the turning of fall, winter, and spring, students in College of the Atlantic’s experiential outdoor program learn how to navigate, survive, and thrive in the rugged Maine Wilderness.