About Trailblazer Pre-Orientation Trips

Transitioning to college life can be exhilarating and challenging at the same time. You are about to embark on one of the greatest journeys of your life and we are excited to share that adventure with you. Start off on the best foot possible by signing up for a Trailblazer Pre-Orientation Trip. Through these programs, you will meet friends, faculty, and professional staff in a small group setting before Orientation begins. A variety of programs are available for all interests.

Register for a trailblazer trip

The Experiences

Trailblazer experiences are divided into three levels designed to provide just the right amount of comfort or challenge for you.

Level 1 Experiences

Level 1 experiences are accessible to all and exploratory. Participants will sleep in indoor accommodations (UNE residence hall or hostel) and modern facilities are available.

Coastal Communities

June 23–26

Explore at least three quintessential coastal communities in your new home state of Maine. In Boothbay, visit the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens and discover Maine’s rich fishing and lobstering heritage. Spend a day in Freeport, visit L.L. Bean Flagship Store, and get your photo taken with the iconic giant boot. Check out island life off the coast of Portland and learn more about the history of Maine’s largest city. At the end of each day, kick back in the residence hall lounge with new friends.

Two students hold up bows for an LL Bean discovery class on archery
A group of U N E students stand in front of a giant troll installation at the Maine Botanical Gardens
A group of students in fishing apparel sit on a boat in Casco Bay
A group of students preparing to go rock climbing
A student smiles at the camera while paddle boarding

I have made so many connections here that I treasure, and I have never felt more like I was in the right place.” — Olivia, Wellness Wayfarer

Wellness Wayfarer

June 16–19

This experience focuses on whole-self wellness. From strawberry picking (season permitting) to meditation, a trip to a local farm and/or farmer’s market, and cooking collaborations, explore a broad range of wellness activities. Start each day with yoga before participating in a range of intentional explorations that will help you build authentic connections while learning about nutrition, mindfulness, and gratitude.

Level 2 Experiences

Level 2 experiences are entry-level, outdoors-based trips. Participants must be open to sleeping in a tent, but no other experience is necessary. Modern, though rustic, facilities are available.

Mainely Coastal

June 16–19 and June 23–26

Camp in tents on platforms at L.L. Bean’s Outdoor Discovery School in Freeport, Maine next to the ocean. Spend a day exploring the ocean by tandem kayak and stop for lunch on an island in gorgeous Casco Bay. Go canoeing on a point-to-point tour of the Androscoggin River. Walk around Bradbury Mountain State Park, and experience great views without the effort of hiking larger mountains. You can also try out archery and fly casting at Fogg Farm.

I’ve had such an amazing experience that honestly can’t compare to anything I have done before.” — Cait, Awesome Adirondacks

Western Maine Waters

June 16–19 and June 23–26

Stay in cabin tents next to the majestic Kennebec River at Adventure Bound in Caratunk, Maine. Get to know your classmates by supporting each other while working through a high ropes course. Pack up on the second day and prepare to camp on Indian Pond at a site accessible only by boat. Gather round a campfire as you get excited for a day of whitewater rafting. Travel to Harris Station Dam, New England’s largest hydroelectric facility, and experience 12 miles of whitewater — six of which are packed with high-flow class three and four rapids.

White Mountain Ramble

June 16–19 and June 23–26

A ramble is often defined as a “leisurely excursion for pleasure,” and that is exactly what this trip intends to be. You and your fellow soon-to-be Nor’easters will spend four days and three nights car camping in the heart of the White Mountains, while participating in a different adventure each day. Your days will be filled with rock climbing, day hiking, bike riding on gentle hills, and floating down a river while your evenings will be filled with community cooked dinners, campfires, stargazing, and s’mores. Other than being open to sleeping in a tent, no experience is necessary.

I gained new social skills, knowledge of Biddeford and Portland, and where I’m staying for the fall.” — John, Coastal Communities 

A student smiles as they put a life vest on
A group of students sitting in kayaks on the shore

Level 3 Experiences

Level 3 experiences are intermediate outdoors-based trips. They are physically strenuous and participants should be comfortable sleeping in a tent. There are no modern facilities.

Kayak Quest

June 23–26

Head out on a four-day, three-night sea kayak expedition in partnership with Portland Paddle. Before departing Portland’s East End Beach, learn how to pack up a kayak for an overnight trip. While paddling, explore the ins and outs of Casco Bay, see lobstermen haul their daily catch, and watch for marine life like seals and porpoises. Camp on a different island each night and master the art of living outdoors. By the fourth day, you’ll be gauging the time of day by the tides instead of your watch.

Momentous Mountains

June 16–19

If you enjoy hiking, this is the trip for you. This is a four-day, three-night outdoor learning experience partners with the Appalachian Mountain Club and focuses on life at UNE. You will hike from campsite to campsite in the historic White Mountains. While camping, you will engage with your peers and enjoy the time spent outdoors, sleeping in tents, and cooking meals on small camp stoves. You should be comfortable hiking three to five miles a day over moderate terrain with a backpack.

Register for a trailblazer trip