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Basecamps: Gorman Chairback Lodge and Cabins, Little Lyford Lodge and Cabins, Medawisla Wilderness Lodge and Cabins

  1. Lodge-to-lodge skiing in the Maine Woods

  2. Maine Woods guided weekends: intro to cross-country skiing & family adventure

  3. Snowshoeing around Little Lyford and Gorman Chairback

  4. Cross-country skiing around Little Lyford and Gorman Chairback

  5. Gulf Hagas cross-country ski and snowshoe adventure
Unwind in a magical outdoor setting at AMC's full-service Maine Wilderness Lodges, Gorman Chairback, Little Lyford, and Medawisla. Set within 66,500 acres of AMC conservation and recreation land, the lodges offer a unique opportunity to
snowshoe and cross-country ski on an expansive, protected natural landscape in the
heart of the Maine Woods. Skiing at Little Lyford. Photo: Jerry & Marcy MonkmanFor additional ideas and packages, check out AMC's Winter Guide

1. Lodge-to-lodge skiing in the Maine Woods
When AMC's Gorman Chairback Lodge & Cabins opened this past year, it added a fourth stop for lodge-to-lodge cross-country skiing. This winter, AMC is further expanding its backcountry ski trail network for even more opportunities to explore 66,500 acres of conservation land in the heart of Maine's Moosehead Lake region, plus guests can snowshoe up to Third Mountain on the Barren-Chairback Ridge. Off the grid and powered by solar energy, Gorman Chairback is LEED-registered.

Along the lodge-to-lodge route, heading from Medawisla all the way to Gorman Chairback, you'll see Mt. Katahdin's snow-covered summit and beautiful views of other surrounding peaks, wind through forests and valleys, and ski alongside the frozen Pleasant River before arriving at Gorman Chairback, perched on Long Pond.

2. Maine Woods guided weekends: intro to cross-country skiing & family adventure
Along with lodge-to-lodge trips for experienced skiers, AMC is offering beginners the chance to enjoy the beauty of the Maine Woods while learning to cross-country ski with a trusted guide. Another weekend is especially for families, whose skiing and snowshoeing adventures will include exploring Gulf Hagas, the “Grand Canyon of Maine.”

3. Snowshoeing around Little Lyford and Gorman Chairback:

Snowshoe routes

  • Easy: Numerous forest roads nearby Gorman Chairback offer relatively easy terrain for snowshoers to explore.  
  • Moderate: From Little Lyford, gain some elevation on a five-mile round-trip snowshoe journey up Indian Mt., stopping along the way at Laurie's Ledge for memorable views of Gulf and Hay Mountains. You could even catch a glimpse of Mt. Katahdin in the distance on a clear winter's day. This vantage point also overlooks the nearby Little Lyford Ponds, and gazing up the Pleasant River Valley, there's a view of Baker Mt. Continue to the summit and, with good visibility, you can see all the way to Moosehead Lake in the distance. Closer up, there's a handful of local lakes that include Horseshoe Pond, the two small Pearl Ponds, and Mountain Brook Pond, plus Elephant Mt.
  • Moderate: Head out 1.3 miles on the Henderson Brook Trail from Gorman Chairback. 
  • Difficult: From Gorman Chairback, snowshoe up to Third Mountain on the Barren-Chairback Ridge.
  • Difficult: More experienced winter adventurers can start out early from Little Lyford for a full day of snowshoeing and bushwhacking up Baker Mt.
4. Cross-country skiing around Little Lyford and Gorman Chairback:

Cross-country ski routes
  • Easy: Step outside your cabin at Little Lyford and warm up your ski legs on a groomed trail that travels around lower Little Lyford Pond
  • Moderate: From Little Lyford, explore the Pleasant River Valley ski trail network. Tracing the banks of the West Branch of the Pleasant River, take a day-long, roundtrip cross-country ski tour on River Trail North up to Big Lyford Pond
  • Difficult: Head out from Little Lyford toward Horseshoe Pond along a section of groomed, backcountry trails totaling about five miles round-trip. The next day, start exploring the many miles of backcountry routes, including an extensive, unmotorized logging road network and ski trails in the AMC's designated ecological reserve. 

5. Gulf Hagas: cross-country ski and snowshoe adventure
Ice crevasses and 60-to-70-foot ice walls make Gulf Hagas, often called the "Grand Canyon of Maine," a sight to behold in winter. And as you'll have already discovered, half the fun is getting there. From Little Lyford, cross-country ski about 2.5 miles to the head of the Gulf for a combo snowshoe and cross-country ski adventure. Beginners and experienced winter sports enthusiasts alike can head out to the gorge for breathtaking views on this classic Maine snowshoe tour. Experienced snowshoers with crampons can set their sights on a long day trip to the bottom of the Gulf. Beginners can scale back on the mileage and still catch the main attraction on the Rim Trail, Stair Falls.