Maybe you’re already an avid trail runner, paddleboarder, hiker, or cyclist. Maybe you’re just getting into the sport. Whatever your level, getting outside onto the road, trail, or water is a life-enhancing experience on its own. But it’s also way more fun when you’re with other people who also love to hike, paddle, run, and ride. Facebook groups and Meetups are a solid way to connect with locals who like doing the same things you like doing (like the Greater Portland Pickleball Meetup to the Maine-iacs Scuba Diving club). Join the group online, see what they’re planning, then show up to the next event and meet new people. Easy.
Here are 20+ Facebook groups/pages and Meetups to join to meet people who like doing the same fun stuff you like doing!
Southern Maine SUP
A Portland-area group of paddleboarders – races, recreational paddles, and some costumed paddles in Portland Harbor, too
Windham/Raymond Paddling Club
“Meet other local kayakers and those interested in paddling (kayaks, canoes, SUPs). Beginners welcome, focus is on easier trips – there are many beautiful ponds, lakes and slow rivers in the Sebago Lakes Region to explore!” – Also take note of their full moon paddles in the summer!
Southern Maine Sea Kayaking Network
“An organization for sea kayakers to meet paddling friends, learn more about all aspects of safe paddling, and plan trips together. We are an all-volunteer nonprofit and have been active since 1990. Network members range from novice to advanced paddlers.”
(If you’re in Southern Maine close to the NH border, check out the Seacoast Paddleboard Club)
MissFits of Maine
“The Mission of the MissFits is to bring together active women of all ages and abilities in a non-competitive atmosphere. We believe we are better when we take time to create new connections, support healthy living and enjoy our natural environment. We seek to find new focus, fun and friendship in a community of strong women. We are the MissFits of Maine. We are a community of active women of all ages and abilities who get together for new focus, fun and friendships. ALL are welcome.”
“This an open group for Adventure lovers! Post your running, hiking, skiing, kayaking gatherings!”
Full disclosure: I started this Facebook group. The goals is to have a place to share fitness classes, workshops, hikes, paddles and other fitness adventures so we can easily find each other when one of us needs a cohort for something active and fun. Mostly it’s me posting things like, “Anyone want to take a pole dancing class with me?!”
Runners (road and trail)
Trail Runners of Midcoast Maine
A community of fun-loving girls and boys who run amok in the woods and mountains of Midcoast Maine.
Read more: Monday Night Dirt: Into the woods with Trail Runners of Midcoast Maine
Thick Quad Squad
For runners in greater Portland:
“A free running community open to anyone looking to run a few miles, train with a new friend, and be encouraged to run a distance you’ve never run before.”
“We are a fun group of runners who live in (or near) Downeast Maine. We love running trails, and don’t mind getting dirty! Terrain is from gnarly rooted single track to carriage roads.”
Midcoast Maine Road Running
“Welcome to all things Midcoast Maine Road Running! A bunch of us were running 20 miles during the Fall of 2012, and thought it might be fun to have a group to post about all sorts of road running fun – roads, races, cool gear, great post-run breakfast spots, photos, upcoming races and long runs, etc. etc. etc.! Please add all your road running friends – the more the merrier!”
Old Port Pub Run
“Meeting at 250 Commercial Street, Portland on Thursdays at 6:15 p.m. Run is free and open to all ability levels (including walkers!). 3, 4 and 5 mile options.”
The Maine Trash Runners
“Some people run for pride, glory, or accomplishment. We Run 4 Trash (and a cleaner environment)! Join us once a month as we grab our bags, tie on our shoes, move our feet, and pick up some trash. Each month we’ll try to hit up a location or race and do our part to make Maine a little bit cleaner.”
Bike riders (cyclists, mountain bikers & commuters)
Western Maine Mountain Bikers
“Let’s ride! Use this group forum to share group rides, trail building initiatives and events in Western Maine/Oxford county area.”
Single Track Sisters
“Southern Maine’s largest Women’s Mountain Biking Club! We do two weekly rides during the biking season. Rides meet around 5:30, with wheels rolling by 5:45. Group members are always welcome to post other rides as well!”
Read more: Mountain biking with Single Track Sisters: Beginner-friendly Monday Night Rides
Kennebunkport Bicycle Co. Women’s Cycling Group
“This is a NO DROP group that welcomes all abilities to come and join us on weekly rides.
We will post routes, when we are meeting, weather updates and answer any questions you may have. I will also be hosting many fun CLINICS through the season. Add your friends. Join us. LET’S RIDE”
Casco Bay Bicycle Club
For cyclists in the greater Portland area: “Post CBBC rides, events and photos here!”
Trail Dames of Portland, Maine
“Trail Dames is a National hiking club for women of a curvy nature! However, all women are welcome!…We hike relatively slowly, enjoying every second, because we know that it is not the destination that is important, but the journey.” This group JUST launched and their inaugural hike (Sebago to the Sea) is April 23.
Outdoor Pursuits in The Northeast
“Perhaps you are interested in hiking, foraging, tracking, camping, nature awareness, backpacking, ect. Meetups will include some of these activities with an emphasis on reconnecting with the environment we love to engage in.”
Portland Swing Project
“Portland Swing Project is a local organization with a passion for swing music and dances of the 1920s to today. We teach, dance, perform and provide live and DJ’d swing music spanning a century to local venues. We’re also some of the friendliest people you’ll ever meet – we have a bunch of fun so come join us!”
Read more about it: Learn to swing dance! Thursday Night Stomp with Portland Swing Project
Hiking moms and dads
Hike it Baby Cumberland County ME
For moms, dads and babies who want to get outside: “Hike it Baby is a non-profit organization dedicated to building communities that support getting outside with children from birth to school age. Our purpose is to provide support to families as they get into nature whenever they feel ready. We are raising a generation to love the outdoors. We host a variety of events from trail hikes to urban strolls; toddler crawls to park and plays.”
Read more: Hike it Baby! A hiking group for parents and babies in Cumberland County
(There’s also Fit Maine Moms, although the group is more for virtual support and motivation.)
Feature photo courtesy Emily Higgins McDevitt, founder of Trail Runners of Midcoast Maine.