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Snowshow Magazine

Cross Country Skiing and Snowshoeing at Maine Huts & Trails

Kingfield and Carrabassett Valley, ME 04947

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Enjoy "comfort camping" at the Maine Huts & Trails (877-634-8824, www.mainehuts.org), a nonprofit organization in western Maine offering a scenic groomed trail system and remote huts open to the public. Maine Huts currently has 50 miles of trails for classic and skate skiing and 4 remote huts along the trails. Each hut has a convenient trailhead and parking. You can go for a day, ski in for lunch, or plan a multiday hut-to-hut adventure. The huts have hot showers, soft mattresses, home cooked meals, and beer or wine.

The long term vision for the Maine Huts & Trails is for 12 huts along a 180 miles corridor in western Maine. These backcountry lodges are a day's journey apart. Each hut accommodates up to 42 guests in a variety of room sizes. Call for reservations (M-F 9-5) or have them craft a personalized adventure and itinerary with a gear shuttle (they carry your backpack to meet you at the next hut).

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There is a $35 organization membership fee ($100 for a family) to offset trail construction, maintenance, and operational expenses. Members receive discounted prices on hut overnights, reservation preference, etc.. The groomed and nongroomed trails run through a variety of public and private land. The trails are free and open to the public for year round nonmotorized use.

The huts are well built to operate with off grid energy systems such as solar and batteries. The Poplar Stream Fall Hut is 10 miles from Sugarloaf, ME and 2.5 miles from the Gauge Road Trailhead in Carrabassett Valley. Flagstaff Lake Hut, which in January 2009 was named by Outside Magazine as one of the best winter adventure lodges, is on a sandy shore of the lake in the shadow of Bigelow Mountain. The newest hut is Grand Falls, which is 12 miles north of the Flagstaff Lake Hut above the banks of the Dead River and 2 miles below the falls. The new 14.2 mile section of trail connects the Grand Falls Hut to the Forks. The trails now total 45 miles between Route 27/16 in Carrabassett Valley and Route 201 in West Forks.

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Prices for overnight at the huts: Mon- Thur is $69 member, $79 nonmember for adults and $54/$42 for kids 12 and under. Fri-Sun is $84 for members and $99 for nonmembers adults and $49/$54 for kids.

Directions: From Boston (4.5 hours drive) take I-95 North to Route 27 North in Maine through Farmington to Kingfield.