Every weekend is a good excuse to get outside in the Maine outdoors, but some can be more fun than others, especially when it’s the Great Maine Outdoor Weekend, coming up Sept. 28-30.

In March, the first Great Maine Outdoor Weekend attracted more than 700 participants to 96 events around the state, organized with the help and support of 70 organizations.

The fall program promises an even bigger turnout and more outdoor activities, offering Mainers a terrific opportunity to try a new activity and explore a part of Maine that perhaps you’ve neglected, all amid the changing colors of early fall.

This special weekend — destined to become a Maine tradition, I suspect– has one important goal, according to the organizers’ website: “To get as many Mainers outside as possible to enjoy this great state. We hope that positive, introductory level outdoor experiences will help show Mainers what great activities you can do outside, and where you can do them … “

Events are planned throughout Maine, but organizers are also focusing on a particular geographic area for this and future weekends, concentrating some events there with the hope that some participants will travel and camp out, and enjoy an entire weekend playing and socializing outdoors. The featured area this year is the Downeast region, which encompasses Hancock and Washington counties and a wealth of natural beauty ranging from Cobscook Bay and the Downeast lakes to the Bold Coast and Acadia National Park.

Choose from both guided and self-guided traditional activities like hiking, road and mountain biking, canoeing and kayaking, as well some nontraditional options, like kite flying, cider pressing, a youth triathlon, and other family-oriented fun.

Here’s just a glimpse of Great Maine Outdoor Weekend day hikes and other events:

Hike Eaton Farm and the Back River Trail in Wiscasset with Chewonki.

Take a full moon walk on the Eastern Trail in Scarborough with the Eastern Trail Alliance.

Visit Little Wilson Falls and Slugundy Gorge on the Appalachian Trail with the Maine Appalachian Trail Club.

Trek the Grafton Loop Trail to the summit of Puzzle Mountain with Mahoosuc Pathways and Mahoosuc Land Trust.

Give back with some volunteer trail work in Acadia National Park with Friends of Acadia.

Hike Spring River Preserve and Tunk Mountain just east of Franklin with The Nature Conservancy.

Take a skiff ride on Muscongus Bay and help clean up several islands with the Maine Island Trail Association.

Paddle the Kennebec River from Fort Halifax in Winslow to Old Fort Western in Augusta with the Maine Bureau of Parks and Lands.

Climb Jacob Buck Mountain in Bucksport with the Great Pond Mountain Conservation Trust.

Kayak scenic Sipp Bay in Perry with the Maine Coast Heritage Trust and Cobscook Bay Paddles.

Watch for wildlife on a walk through Horseshoe Bog at Sebago Lake State Park in Casco.

Celebrate the official completion of the Whiskeag Trail in Bath with Bath Trails.

Canoe from Biscay Pond to Pemaquid Pond in Damariscotta and Bremen with the Pemaquid Watershed Association.

The weekend is sponsored by the Maine Outdoor Coalition, an informal and diverse group of 31 organizations and businesses, from the Androscoggin Land Trust and Appalachian Mountain Club to Let’s Go and L.L. Bean to The Trust for Public Land and WinterKids. All are to be commended for their cooperation and commitment to raising awareness of our state’s bountiful outdoor resources and encouraging their increased use.

Thinking ahead, if you and your organization would like to host an event next winter/spring, the coalition provides a soup-to-nuts toolkit with information on submitting an event online, promotional logos and posters, media and community outreach tips, and much more.

For more information, go to www.greatmaineoutdoorweekend.com.

Carey Kish of Bowdoin is editor of the AMC Maine Mountain Guide. Follow his hiking adventures at: