northern-maine

Winter Camp: AMC’S LITTLE LYFORD ECO LODGE & CABINS

By Tom Richardson; Videography by Kevin Erdvig

If you’re looking for an incredible crosscountry ski 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 1800’s, Little Lyford (along with two other camps) was acquired by AMC when the group purchased a vast parcel of land in Maine’s One 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 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.

Accommodations at Little Lyford include individual cabins for couples and families, and a communal bunkhouse that sleeps up to 12. The cabins are lit by propane lanterns and 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.

Meals are included, and feature a hearty, homemade breakfast and dinner, plus a bag lunch. Vegan options are available, too. Breakfast and dinner are eaten “family style” at long tables in the main lodge, which also offers 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 leading to the spectacular Gulf Hagas, Indian Mountain Circuit, and Laurie’s Ledge, the last offering sweeping views of the surrounding mountains. Lyford’s 26 miles of ski trails connect into AMC’s larger 90 miles of groomed trails, making it the largest cross-country groomed trail system in the northeast. There’s even a steep glade section that winds through dense woods.

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