adventures
Skis at the ready outside the main lodge.

Outback Oasis: AMC’s Little Lyford Eco Lodge & Cabins

Text & Photography by Tom Richardson

If you’re looking for a great crosscountry or snowshoe adventure, book a stay at the Appalachian Mountain Club’s Little Lyford Eco Lodge & Cabins, east of Moosehead Lake. A former sporting camp dating back the late 1800s, Little Lyford (along with two other camps) was acquired by AMC when the group purchased a vast parcel of land in Maine’s Hundred Mile Wilderness in 2003. AMC upgraded the cabins (although many of the exterior logs are original) and other infrastructure, and now welcomes skiers, snowshoers, fishermen, hikers, bikers and more during much of the year.

The Little Lyford cabins are clean and cozy.

The camp is open from late December through early March, and again from late May through mid-October. In winter, guests can park at the winter lot some six miles from Greenville and begin the eight-mile trek to the lodge over groomed logging roads. If you have bags or gear that you don’t wish to carry, an AMC staffer can bring it to and from the camp via snowmobile.

 

Guests plan their day over a hearty breakfast in the main lodge.

Accommodations at Little Lyford include individual cabins for couples and families, and a communal bunkhouse that sleeps up to 12 individuals. The cabins have lanterns and are heated by wood stoves. Toilets, showers and a sauna are located in the communal bathhouse. Pillows are provided, but you will need to bring your own sleeping bag. Given the growing popularity of the cabins, it’s best to book your stay well in advance. Children and dogs are welcome, by the way.

 

The ski and snowshoe trails are groomed nightly.

Meals are included, and feature an ample homemade breakfast, dinner, and a bag lunch. Vegan options are available, too. Breakfast and dinner are eaten “family style” at long tables in the main lodge, which also has coffee, tea, trail mix, maps, bird books, and other resource materials available throughout the day. The lodge is BYOB, so be sure to bring your own beer, wine or whatever libation you prefer.

Groomed crosscountry trails extend in all directions from Little Lyford, including those to the spectacular Gulf Hagas, Indian Mountain Circuit and Laurie’s Ledge with sweeping views of the surrounding mountains. Lyford’s 26 miles of ski trails connect into AMC’s larger 90 miles of groomed ski trails. There’s even a steep glade section that winds through dense woods.

Many visitors also choose to ski or snowshoe to the other two camps managed by AMC as part of a multiday adventure through the Hundred Mile Wilderness.

A variety of trails extend in all directions from the camp.