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Guided Kayaking Trips With Great Glen Trails


When you paddle, you go places!

Fellow kayakers - they’re the nicest people.

They are the type of people that would have your back in easy, ‘go-with-the-flow times,’ and in times of crisis. There’s a strong density of boaters - people who appreciate the flow of the river, and it’s nice to come together in a community that respects the value in that.”

That value is a huge piece of what Nate Harvey, Program Director and Retail Manager at Great Glen Trails wants to pass onto the guests who schedule a kayak tour at Great Glen Trails, (GGT).

Great Glen Trails offers three different types of adventures for those looking to kayak in Mt. Washington Valley; A Guided Wildlife Kayaking Tour, Sunset Kayaking Tour, and Whitewater Kayaking Clinic.

man standing with a kayak by a pond new hampshire
Nate Harvey has been working for Great Glen Trails since 1997, and guiding kayaking excursions for almost as long.
photo c/o Corey David Photography

Great Glen Trails offers three different types of adventures for those looking to kayak in Mt. Washington Valley; A Guided Wildlife Kayaking Tour, Sunset Kayaking Tour, and Whitewater Kayaking Clinic.

The Guided Wildlife Kayaking Tour is offered in a half-day and full-day form, and is perfect for families. The half-day tour is an activity that offers a lot of opportunity for families to plan a well-rounded day during their family vacation in Mt. Washington Valley. Due to the length of the trip, a half-day kayaking excursion leaves a family plenty of time to take a drive up the Mt. Washington Auto Road or spend a half-day playing at Story Land. For more trip details, click here.

It runs with a small group of people; meaning less impact and less noise, which sets you up for more success in seeing bear, deer, or moose on your trip. While wildlife sightings aren’t guaranteed, you’ll enjoy great weather, beautiful views, and pristine water on your trip regardless. Nate’s favorite time to lead this trip is during the months of May or September, when there are well over 100 species of birds to observe.

On the opposite end of the spectrum, Great Glen Trails guided Whitewater Kayaking Clinic is a more advanced course that teaches you skills that will allow you to continue in the sport. You will learn paddling basics and safety, how to wet exit, perform aggressive self rescues, paddle your boat in every direction, read river hydrology, practice eddy turns and peel outs, ferrying across the river, surfing, braces and more.

Being surrounding by the Presidential Mountain Range and Mahoosuc Mountains, means incredible white water - because where there are mountains, there are rapids. And the Mt. Washington Valley offers grades one through five of whitewater levels, ranging from mild to intense. But these rapids are not something adventure seekers will want to do alone. By hiring a guide for a Whitewater Kayaking trip, you ensure safety and technical training. You’ll only become a better paddler, and accelerate your ability with the help of an expert.

Clinics are offered in beginner, private, and semi-private form; and last an entire day, from 8:00am to 5:00pm. For more clinic details, click here.

Great Glen Trails also offers customized overnights on Lake Umbagog. Offering what Nate called the “White Glove” service, all you have to do is relax and enjoy the trip, while GGT supplies the camping and cooking gear; teaches you how to maneuver a boat and navigate a course; as well as brings you to notable scenic views where wildlife is known to be viewed. For more information on all courses, click here.

Nate loves to guide in the Mt. Washington and Androscoggin Valleys, because of the breadth of what he finds throughout the White Mountain National Forest, and Great North Woods.  He grew up hiking and skiing in the White Mountains, and even after all of these years, the mountains and rivers continue to deliver for him.

Nate even interned at Great Glen Trails in 1997, while he was earning a degree in Adventure Based Management from Lyndon State College. His summer job was spent demoing the new-to-Great Glen Trails fleet of Mad River canoes. Which meant he learned a lot about canoes. And when Great Glen Trails decided to include canoe and kayak trips to its services, it meant he had to learn how to put all his canoe knowledge to work.

So he became certified through the American Canoe Association. Now a proud, long-time employee of Great Glen Trails, Nate is certified as a Whitewater Kayak - Level Four Instructor, he’s part of the White Mountain Swift River Rescue Team, and Red Cross Small Craft Safety Instructor, and first aid and CPR certified.

man standing by a kayak in new hampshire
Use your resources! When it comes to ensuring safety out on the water, Nate encourages all boaters to use resources like
Mount Washington Observatory and USGS to monitor weather and water levels; as well as pack a comprehensive first aid kit.

photo c/o Corey David Photography

Nate has dedicated a lot of years to an outdoor hobby he loves, and he’s done it in one of the most historic places in Mt. Washington Valley. Great Glen Trails, and it’s sister attraction, Mt. Washington Auto Road are fixtures of the area, and dedicated to the culture of outdoor recreation in New Hampshire. Part of what Nate enjoys about his work, is the ability to pass on his expertise and educate guests on the natural resources in the valley, and how best to sustain them.

One of the biggest pieces of safety advice he wants to pass on to anyone looking to enter the water with a kayak: use your resources! Check the weather and river currents before you head out onto any body of water. Mount Washington Observatory offers an amazing resource for weather information, and the USGS monitors water levels and streamflow throughout the United States. When in doubt, call an outfitter for advice; guides are always happy to educate. Take it one step further, and even hire one. Regardless of your level of expertise you'll only improve with the knowledge of a guide at your fingertips.

Nate’s been paddling in the White Mountains for over twenty five years, and no matter where else kayaking takes him, he always makes his way back to its lakes and rivers.

The Mt. Washington Valley Chamber of Commerce highly recommends the hiring of a guide for any outdoor adventure that leads you into the woods. Not only will you be supporting the Valley's local economy, which is substantially made up of those dedicated to outdoor recreation, but you'll also be ensuring a successful trip through safety, and technical training. Click the link for a list of guiding outfitters.

For complete trip planning resources and information, explore this site,, or call 800-367-3364 (800-DO-SEE-NH) to talk to a Mt Washington Valley Chamber of Commerce rep.  To learn more about New Hampshire vacations, go to

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