KINGFIELD, Maine - The Farmer's Almanac is calling for a snowy winter this year in Maine and the staff at Maine Huts & Trails is getting excited. Snowfall was light last winter, which left outdoor lovers wanting more. Winter is one of the best seasons at the huts as guests enjoy all there is to do outside knowing they have a cozy fire and hot, home-cooked meal awaiting them back at the lodge.
"Cross-country skiing, snowshoeing and fat tire biking are all great ways to access the huts when it's snowy," says Cayce Frigon, marketing communications director. "There's nothing quite like the Maine woods when they're blanketed in snow - the peace and quiet are transformative."
Once there is enough snowfall for skiing and snowshoeing, getting to the off-the-grid huts is part of the adventure. While the entire trail system spans more than 80 miles, three of the four huts are just a few miles from the trailheads to the comfort of the welcoming lodges, complete with warm fires and heated bunkhouses. Winter gear can be cumbersome, so many guests use the gear-shuttle service available during the full-service seasons for $35 per bag.
Since the trails to the huts are fairly short, day visitors are also welcome and can buy lunch at all the huts on weekends. Overnight guests enjoy an all-inclusive visit, with three meals included. Spend the morning trekking in, then enjoy a hearty meal before heading back home.
During the full-service winter season (mid-December to late March), rates include a homemade breakfast, dinner and bagged lunches, and in the self-service seasons (Nov.-mid-Dec. and from late March to early July), rates are lower and guests can use the commercial-grade kitchen to prepare their own meals. Year-round, the eco-lodges have hot showers, warm fires and heated bunkhouses to keep guests comfortable, as well as a sitting room stocked with games and books.