You don’t have to travel to the Alps to enjoy an exciting hut-to-hut Nordic skiing and snowshoeing adventure. It’s available close by in Maine’s breathtaking backcountry!
Inspired by the hut-to-hut cross-country ski/snowshoe treks popular throughout the Alps, the organizers behind the group Maine Huts and Trails have been working for several decades to create a system of trails that would allow for similar multi-day adventures in Maine.
To date, they have built four ecolodges connected by 80 miles of multi-use trails stretching from the Mahoosuc Mountain Range to Moosehead Lake. The network comprises more than 50 miles of linear, groomed cross-country ski/snowshoe trails that offer visitors one of the most rewarding and unique backcountry experiences in New England.
Three of the huts—Stratton Brook, Poplar, and Flagstaff—are located around Bigelow Preserve and Flagstaff Lake. The fourth—Grand Falls on the Dead River—is the most remote.
Of course, to call them “huts” seems a great disservice. These are no scrapwood mountain shacks. The spacious, comfortable cabins are packed with amenities and offer a rewarding destination after a day on the trails.
Vaulted ceilings, leather furniture, crackling wood stoves, and walls of windows welcome skiers in the common rooms. Visitors can prepare meals in a state-of-the-art commercial kitchen, powered by solar or hydro energy. The clean, modern bathrooms feature hot showers and composting toilets. And the heated bunk rooms are a welcome respite after a day on the trails.
Guests stay in shared bunk rooms with a variety of configurations. Private bunk rooms are available at each hut, and must be booked when making a reservation.
For a more enriching experience, skiers and showshoers can travel with a guide. Maine Huts and Trails works with several local guides who offer a variety of trips throughout the winter. More information is available on their website.
Visitors can enjoy this Nordic ski/showshoe experience even if they don’t own any equipment. Nearby Sugarloaf Outdoor Center offers full gear rentals, plus lessons and services such as ski tuning and waxing.