Strengthening women and girls’ confidence in the outdoors -- and life!

Outdoor Women Lead (OWL) reduces barriers women and girls experience in the outdoors.

We believe when more people have meaningful experiences outdoors, their quality of life, health, and social well-being improve.

Outdoor Women Lead OWL

We offer:

Giving-- it's the Maine thing to do.

OWL is a collaborative project between WHRL and Maine Outdoor School, and is open to women, including women-identifying individuals, non-binary, and gender-nonconforming people who are comfortable in a space that centers women’s experiences in the outdoors.

Outing Group for Women

Are you interested in joining other women on outdoor adventures and learning more about our local natural ecology? This outing group is reserved for women and girls 16+.

Woman holding salamander eggs

Unique Organisms

Backfield Park, Great Wass Island

November 18th, 2023 – 12 -3 pm

This mossy wonderland is the perfect place to learn the differences between non-vascular plants, symbiotic organisms, and algae (mosses, lichens, seaweeds!) and begin your journey on identifying these unique organisms. This is an easy network of trails through the woods and along the shore.

A group of women snowshoeing

Forest Stewardship & Sachets

Machias River Preserve & Downtown Machias

December 16th, 2023 – 9 – 3 pm

Are you interested in learning more about trees and forest stewardship? Join OWL: Outdoor Women Lead for “Forest Stewardship & Sachets” – a day-long event in partnership with Women Owning Woodlands and Maine Outdoor School.

This forest-focused event is an excellent way to brush up on your winter tree ID skills and learn more about forest stewardship. In the morning, we’ll take a hike through the Machias River Preserve to learn how to identify trees and harvest balsam fir tips to create balsam sachets. We will hike on foot or snowshoes, depending on the conditions, and get to know the local trees. You’ll also have the chance to create a simple handcraft that will allow you to soak up the soothing and immune-boosting scent of evergreens.

We’ll return to downtown Machias for a catered lunch and to discuss land stewardship with seasoned professionals, Allyssa Gregory, a Maine Forest Service District Forester, and Sandy Walczyk, Blue Hill Heritage Trust’s Conservation Forester & Lands Manager. You’ll leave with ideas for caring for the land you love, whether it’s a woodlot or a small backyard.

Take advantage of this incredible opportunity to connect with nature and learn more about forest stewardship.

In the event of a necessary weather-related cancellation, outings will be rescheduled for the following day. Registered participants will be emailed the Friday afternoon before an outing in the event of a postponement.

Outdoor Skill Building Workshops

These workshops are geared towards women and their families, ages 10+. You do not have to have kids to participate.

Participants in a Wilderness First Aid course

Upcoming Workshops

Check back in January 2024 for the schedule of upcoming outdoor skill-building workshops.


Outdoor Safety

Outdoor Safety

Outdoor Safety by Hazel Stark If we don’t feel like the outdoors is a safe place, we’re not going to spend much time there. This is a simple concept, but one that is worth unpacking as being able to...

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Women for Healthy Rural Living

WHRL is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization

Copyright © 2005 – 2022 Women for Healthy Rural Living

Our Mission

To advance and promote the health and well-being of the woman, her family, and her community.

87 Main Street
PO Box 463
Milbridge, ME 04658


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