Family Getaways: New England Outdoor Center

For the kids’ first trip to the Katahdin region, MP planned an overnight stay at New England Outdoor Center (NEOC) in Millinocket. The family-friendly, lakeside resort offers a variety of fun adventures, including moose tours, rafting, canoeing and hiking. For accommodations, guests can choose from rustic cabins to modern lodges.


Our home for the night – the Eagle lodge.

We spent the afternoon hiking to Debsconeag Ice Caves (more on that experience here), and were happy to return to our secluded spot. The bright, 3-bedroom lodge has a large living room and sunroom with plenty of comfortable seating. The kids loved the loft-style second floor bedroom, which includes a single bed and cubbies built into the wall. “This is my corner!” CP#1 declared. Taking a cue from our girl, we chose our own quiet spaces and enjoyed downtime before walking to River Driver’s Restaurant for dinner.


River Driver’s, which is part of NEOC, overlooks Millinocket lake and Mount Katahdin. We were seated outside on the patio with other families and friends celebrating summer. MP is certain everyone had a smile on their face due to the near perfect evening and view. This is what vacation should look like —a vast blue lake, lush green lawn, dahlias in bloom and children at play.


River Driver’s Restaurant serves breakfast, lunch and dinner.


Hungry from an afternoon of hiking, we turned our attentions to the menu, which features classic American pub fare, including vegetarian and gluten-free options. We decided on sweet potato fries and burgers (regular for the boys and a black bean burger for MP and CP#1). After ordering our food, we took turns exploring the grounds.




After devouring everything on our plates, we played ping pong at the Recreation Center and then headed outside to see the sunset and evening fireworks. A family reunion was going on, and some of the kids were lighting sparklers and wearing 4th of July necklaces that beamed colorful light. DP gathered four adirondack chairs together on a dock, where we watched the fireworks light up the night sky.



There are grander fireworks shows for sure, but there’s nothing quite as special as watching lakeside fireworks with the outline of Mount Katahdin in the distance. MP found herself wishing she could linger a little longer.

Until next time, Katahdin!

FMI on NEOC, visit here.



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