24 warm-weather things to look forward to this summer

24 warm-weather things to look forward to this summer

April 26, 20181856Views

Things are starting to green up out there! Even still, the cold winds and rain of a Maine spring make it hard to imagine that there was ever a time when the mere act of being outside made us sweat. Remember, last summer, when we complained about the heat?! When we walked around with our limbs exposed – not a jacket in sight!? When we ran, biked, paddled, and boot camped with glee on endlessly sunny 80-degree days!?

We’ll get there again, I promise. But for now, let’s daydream about all the glorious things we’re going to do this summer. The rope swinging and paddleboarding and bike riding. We’re going to sweat in the sunshine and complain about the heat and it’s going to be fantastic.

We’ll canoe the Scarborough Marsh at sunset

Sunset canoe on the Scarborough Marsh. Shannon Bryan photo

Maine Audubon Center at the Scarborough Marsh hosts sunset and full moon canoe tours in the spring and summer.
Read more about it: Sunset and full moon canoe tours on the Scarborough Marsh with Maine Audubon

We’ll yoga while watching passing boats

Yoga at Fisherman’s Point in South Portland with Willard Beach Studio. Shannon Bryan photo

No studio can compete with the Maine outdoors. And when it’s warm out, our fitness moves outside, where we can balance and stretch in full view of beachgoers and passing boats.
The class pictured is through Willard Beach Studio in South Portland.

We’ll dip our feet into Rattlesnake Pool

Rattlesnake Pool, Blueberry Mountain, in Weld. Shannon Bryan photo

The water is cold as all get out, which makes Rattlesnake Pool a refreshing place to stop and dip your feet (or your whole self, if you’re bold) after a hike up Blueberry Mountain in Weld. The water is magical-colored!

We’ll run a 5K dressed like pirates!

Sailors and Sirens 5K. Shannon Bryan photo

There are so many fun runs ahead of us, including the 2nd annual Sailors and Sirens 5K, where we’re encouraged to dress like mermaids and pirates and sailors and swamp monsters. The course includes a jaunt along the beach with photo stops.
The 2018 Sailors and Sirens 5K is scheduled for June 16.

We’ll kayak Lake Megunticook

Kayaking in Megunticook Lake. Shannon Bryan photo

The clean, cool water of Megunticook Lake in Camden is perfect for a day of kayaking, swimming, and summer loitering. Rent a kayak from Maine Sport Outfitters in Rockport if you don’t own one.

We’ll conquer a ropes course

Ropes course at Gunstock Mountain Resort in New Hampshire. Shannon Bryan photo

We’ve seen the kid-friendly ropes courses popping up around Maine, but the Aerial Treetop Adventures course at Gunstock in New Hampshire is a grownup ropes course that’ll challenge us all. Maybe this is the year I work up the nerve to complete all the levels.

We’ll picnic on stunning coastal cliffs

Taking in the scenery during a hike at Cutler Coast Public Reserved Land. Wendy Almeida photo

It’s called the Bold Coast for a reason. The views along the trail at Cutler Coast Public Reserved Land are some of the most dramatic in the state, which means we can pack a lunch and cop a squat in front of stunning scenery.
Read more about it: Hike the Bold Coast at Cutler Coast Public Reserved Land

We’ll mountain bike with Single Track Sisters

Mountain biking with the Single Track Sisters. Shannon Bryan photo

As a novice rider, I totally dig the no-drop, all-levels weekly rides with Single Track Sisters, but they do rides for more-experienced gals, too.
Read more about it: Mountain biking with Single Track Sisters: Beginner-friendly Monday Night Rides
On a related note: Looking forward to Bikes and Brews rides this summer, too!

We’ll Paddle Battle on the Kennebunk River

Paddle Battle at Nonantum Resort in Kennebunkport. Shannon Bryan photo

The Paddle Battle at Nonantum Resort in Kennebunkport is one to look forward to. Friendly races on paddleboards, surfboards, and kayaks on the Kennebunk River. Categories for competitive and novice paddlers, plus live music, burgers, and beer on the lawn of the resort. The 2017 date hasn’t been announced yet, but check back at

We’ll hike the White Mountains

Hiking Whitehorse Ledge Loop Trail in the White Mountains. Shannon Bryan photo

Pick a trail, any trail. Hiking the White Mountains is a summer must-do, whether it’s an easy-going walk to a waterfall or a sweat-inducing hike up something steep. This photo was taken on the Whitehorse Ledge Loop Trail near North Conway, New Hampshire.

We’ll learn to sail

Learning to sail with Sail Maine. Shannon Bryan photo

SailMaine in Portland offers learn-to-sail programs from kids and adults. Last summer, they were also offering social sails, where you could get out on the water with an experienced skipper and learn a few things, but also just enjoy the sail. The photo is from a social sail last summer.

We’ll ride our bikes along the coast

Cycling the coast. Shannon Bryan photo

We’ll ride our bikes all over the place! But I’m particularly looking forward to bike rides along the coast, with water views and ice cream stops and maybe a beer on an outdoor patio when all is said and done. The photo above was taken on a Fourth of July ride last year around Pemaquid. For help finding a great bike ride: Find the perfect Maine bike ride with Explore Maine’s searchable bike tours

We’ll run up mountains

Running with Trail Runners of Midcoast Maine. Shannon Bryan photo

We’ll run up mountains. Or jog-walk. Whatever. The Trail Runners of Midcoast Maine run all year long (tough folks, those runners) but I look forward to running with them in warmer months, when they meet on Monday nights for a free and all-levels-welcome group run at the Camden Snow Bowl.
Read more about it: Monday Night Dirt: Into the woods with Trail Runners of Midcoast Maine

We’ll do yoga on paddleboards

Paddleboard Yoga with Koan Wellness in York. Shannon Bryan photo

This is a bucket list item for lots of folks, and rightfully so. Yoga is nice exercise, so there’s that, but you also get to hang out on the water, which is the real treat. Paddleboard yoga (aka SUP yoga) classes pop up all over the place in the summer, but Koan Wellness in York (where this photo was taken) is the first dedicated paddleboard yoga business. No experience necessary and everything’s provided!
Read more about it: Yoga on the water: Paddleboard Yoga with Koan Wellness in York

We’ll ride the scenic roads of Freeport

Psyched to cross the finish line at the Maine Women’s Ride. Shannon Bryan photo

Any woman. Any bike. One ride. The Maine Women’s Ride is on my list every spring because I dig seeing all these women taking to the scenic roads of Freeport. The camaraderie is outstanding, whether you’re riding the 10, 25, 50 or 62-mile course. This year’s ride is scheduled for June 10.

We’ll work out outside

Outdoor workouts with Maine Boot Camp in Portland. Shannon Bryan photo

Crunches and planks don’t seem so bad when you’re doing them outside! (Scratch that, they still hurt something awful, but hey, at least your outside!) I love all the outdoor workouts that appear in warmer months. The photo above is from Maine Boot Camp, which meets in Portland all year.
Read more about it: Rise and shine! Morning outdoor bootcamp with Maine Boot Camp in Portland

We’ll watch hot air balloons launch

Watching the balloon launches from the river during the Great Falls Balloon Festival. Shannon Bryan photo

The Great Falls Balloon Festival is a popular summer event on account of all those really cool hot hair balloons. You can ride in one! Or you can watch the balloons launch from the comfort of your kayak on the Androscoggin River (there’s a public boat launch on Pulsifer Street in New Auburn). I did a couple years back and it was as cool as it looks. This year’s festival is scheduled for August 17-19.

We’ll run and drink beer after

A summer run with Old Port Pub Run. Shannon Bryan photo

Old Port Pub Run meets all year, but it’s the warmer months that I find most appealing. It’s still sunny and bright out at 6:30 p.m. AND it means the post-run beer drinking gets to happen outside on the patio at Liquid Riot. Meets 6:15 p.m. Thursdays at Liquid Riot, Portland. And it’s freeeee.

We’ll swim all the time

Cooling off with a dip at Echo Lake State Park in New Hampshire. Shannon Bryan photo

Swimming holes. Beaches. Cool rivers and lakes. I love them all on a hot summer day. And I love thinking that there will be a time when jumping into open water with barely any clothes on sounds like a good idea, because in March it seems crazy. The photo above was taken at Echo Lake State Park in New Hampshire.
Want more cool places to hike AND swim? Got it: Hike & Swim: 20+ trail hikes that include a refreshing swimming hole dip

We’ll run through all the colors

The Color Run in South Portland

Another fun run to look forward to are the color runs. Runs like this are more about the fun, the color, the music, and the after-party than personal records and podiums. And that’s why I like it. The Color Vibe is coming to Portland in 2018, although the date hasn’t been announced yet.

We’ll paddle Casco Bay

Paddling Casco Bay with Portland Paddle. Shannon Bryan photo

Despite all the people who live in easy view of Casco Bay, there are loads of them who have never recreated on it. Portland Paddle can help remedy that. Morning paddles, sunset paddle, paddles to Fort Gorges or even overnights on the islands. Kayak or paddleboard – pick your poison!

We’ll go camping

Camping at Cobscook Bay State Park. Shannon Bryan photo

Camping! It’s a summer treat! Because tents and campfires and s’mores and stories and peeing in the woods! The campsite photographed above was a real winner at Cobscook Bay State Park, which is conveniently close to Cutler Coast Reserved Land, which is also on this list!

We’ll rope swing

Rope swinging in Naples. Shannon Bryan photo

The high ones tend to scare me, but I do love me a low-to-the-water rope swing on a Maine lake or river. They’re so prolific, I sometimes wonder if rope swings grow in the wild, all on their own.

We’ll watch all the sunsets

Sunset paddle at Ferry Beach, Scarborough. Shannon Bryan photo

We’ll watch sunsets every night – from the beach, from the water, or through our (open!) car windows, as the case may be. We know that summer is brief, so we’re going to hang on to every single second.

Shannon Bryan

Shannon Bryan

I don't like "exercise" any more than you do. But you know what I do like? Paddleboarding with a friend all afternoon (and then sitting in the grass to drink chardonnay). Bike rides and nachos, hikes, yoga classes held in breweries, group paddles to Fort Gorges, you get the idea. Because Maine is my gym.