Everything was great, from the super-helpful young lady who booked our stay over the phone, to the facilities at Stratton Brook, which were stunning. The hut was filled almost to capacity, but it never felt even half-full in the main room. The beer and wine selection is amazing, and the food was wonderful. We're already planning a repeat visit.
Guest Stories & Reviews
Flagstaff rocks snowy getaway
- Maine Huts & Trails did a great job grooming Flagstaff trailhead to hut, XC ski in all the way.
- Flagstaff is a wonderful location, peaceful, warm, comfortable, relaxing
- Welcoming staff, lovely warm fire
- Inspiring to chat with other guests and learn about other Huts
- left with "when, not if..." we return.
Pleased to have made our first jaunt to Stratton Brook in the snow (up Oak Knoll, down Newton's Revenge). A wonderful surprise to find that my 9 year-old son and I had been placed in a private room, which we did not ask for during reservation. Awesome upgrade, for which we thank you! This crew produced the best food we've ever had at Maine Huts & Trails (high praise because that's a high bar), and judging from their rapport this staff clearly love what they do. Always a great touch to encounter staff who deeply care about the cause and the educational part of the mission. I should also say that our 14 others shared the hut that night and the staff handled it seamlessly. This is a organization my family is proud to support.
Maine Huts & Trails offers the best in "human powered" outdoor recreation!
My adult daughter and I booked 2 nights (over New Years) - one night each at Poplar & Flagstaff huts, with the goal to X-country ski. I am from Seattle, and she lives in Portland, Maine. We had hoped to spend 3 nights - (and add a night at Stratton Brook, but, we didn't have enough time. Definitely use the Maine Huts & Trails website: it is incredibly well organized, and has everything you need to plan your vacation, (which you need to read!) - but, since we had questions, I opted to call Reservations.
The staff was amazing and helped us decide the best way to use our time, and construct our route. We decided to start at the Stratton Brook trail head and ski to Stratton Brook - stop for lunch, and then continue on to Poplar Hut for the night. The second day would take us to Flagstaff Hut. This route was 10+ miles a day - just enough challenge without being exhausting. (But, had we been day skiers, Maine Huts & Trails is a perfect day trip too!)
We used a car transport service to drop our car off at Flagstaff, and then bring us to the Stratton Brook trail head, where we started. That allowed us to ski out at Flagstaff and have our car waiting for us. (And the fabulous website gave us the contact name for this great option!)
We also opted for the Gear Shuttle - which allowed us to send our packs ahead (with the sleeping bags and fresh clothes) so all we had to carry were our day packs. A perfect solution and definite value at $35/transfer! Had we had to carry the packs ourselves, I doubt the trip would have been doable.
The day before we arrived, they got 30 inches of fresh snow! Definitely a mixed blessing given the grooming challenge, but, their staff worked non-stop and the resulting trail conditions were exquisite! The best part of Maine Huts & Trails is that the terrain is completely family friendly! There are trails for just about ALL skill levels - making it family friendly and/or challenging. I can honestly say we spent 2 full glorious days skiing in the most pristine natural conditions - awe struck by the snow covered beauty surrounding us.
That alone would have been enough - but, that was only the beginning! The huts are actually full-service lodges that have been built with exacting care to minimize their ecological footprint while offering gracious hospitality with basic+ comforts. Dinner & breakfast were served family style and the staff carefully accounted for dietary requirements. Since we spent New Year's Eve - we were treated to a special dinner and champagne toasts. Lunches are available for purchase on weekends at the Hut, but, as an overnight guest, we had a chance to pack a sack lunch for the trail. (I *have* to get the recipe for the chick pea salad!)
Maine Huts & Trails is rightfully proud of their Mission to make the outdoors available to everyone and the staff shared the history & vision of Maine Huts & Trails along with the painstaking planning that went into the design and build of each Hut. Every night an energy tour is offered - and the opportunity to learn how the Huts operate off the grid is not to be missed!
Maine Huts & Trails encourages people to be "screen free", not that hard, since there is no Wi-Fi. This creates a camaraderie and by the end of the evening we'd made several new friends.
I don't want to forget: We particularly appreciated the toasty warm "drying rooms" - which allowed us to hang our wet clothes & boots and reclaim them warm & dry.
I cannot believe that Maine Huts & Trails charges nothing to use their trails for day-use but providing free access is part of their values. Staying overnight is a complete bargain! If you go, please strongly consider joining Maine Huts & Trails, $50/person, $100/family. These funds go toward critical trail maintenance & staff salaries - and ensuring that Maine Huts & Trails is developed and preserved for everyone's use and enjoyment! How refreshing in these days of commercial development!
Maine Huts & Trails deserves far wider publicity and recognition for its first rate facilities, passionate staff, and incomparable (winter) x-country / snow shoeing terrain! I look forward to my next visit very soon!
Snowshoeing excursion to Stratton Brook Hut
We had an amazing time at Stratton Brook Hut. With Snowshoes on we blazed up the Oak Knoll trail and spent 1.5 days at the hut, relaxing and doing an extra 7 mile /6 hour hike on other trails in the vicinity of the hut. The weather was cold but the hut was warm and inviting. Great local home made food compliments of chef Rob and his friendly co- staffers Chrissie and Hannah.
Besides the sparkling shores of Flagstaff Lake lies Flagstaff Hut, one of four eco-huts of of the Maine Huts & Trails organization. Hiking along the gentle meandering shore trail was revitalizing. We experienced a number of tree framed views of the shimmering lake, backdropped by mountains, cumulus clouds, and baby blue skies. The forest trail was alive with an abundance and variety of blossoms and fruits on woodland plants. During the evening the songs of the loons echoed across the lake's surface, throughout much of the night, then disappearing during my slumber only to greet us at early sunrise. This place was enchanting ---- nature at its best. The staff made for an enriching stay. Their enthusiasm, site expertise, and connectedness to the "Hut" truly speaks highly of the MH&T. This place as others have reviewed, has all the comfortable amenities in which hikers could indulge, yet not diminish the gift of nature's surroundings. Thank you Emily, Hannah and Mike for the ecotour, the first class home style dining, and especially the conversations.
AFTERTHOUGH - Because I enjoy reading and or learning about a region that we experience, I have researched more about the history leading to the formation of Flagstaff Lake, largely in the name of hydroelectric energy. Then look at the Eco-design that the MH&T has done! Go research the "Ghosts" of Flagstaff. And check out the song, "Below" by Slaid Cleaves. This may be a setting for an enchanted, or even haunted, history lesson.