January 13, 2022- March 5, 2022
June 24, 2022 – October 15, 2022
Hearty, homemade meals, friendly staff, and cozy private cabins prepare you for hikes to Gulf Hagas and Third Mountain, a lodge-to-lodge cross-country ski, or simply a day of shoreside relaxation on Long Pond. Winter guests have access to 35 miles of groomed cross-country ski and snowshoe trails around the lodge, including a 2-to-11 mile “stacked” loop ski trail network around Long Pond. The lodge-to-lodge trail network is groomed and offers full day adventures replete with magnificent views and moose tracks. A shuttle service is available so that your car is waiting for you at the end of your trip, and a gear shuttle transports your gear to your next lodge, providing you with the freedom to ski or snowshoe with just a day pack. Complimentary snowshoes are available for use. For details on preparing for your winter stay, visit here.
Summer guests can enjoy fly-fishing for landlocked salmon or wild brook trout on a myriad of lakes, rivers, and streams, including nearby Long Pond. Guests can relax around the campfire, on the dock or out on the swim float. Swimming is fabulous in this clear water lake. Complimentary canoes, kayaks, and paddle boards are available to explore the lake. The newly renovated “green” lodge features expansive views of the sunsets, a cozy living room with wood stove, a family-style dining room, and a wood-fired sauna.
Explore the beauty of Katahdin and Moosehead Lake on the historic Katahdin Steamboat. AMC has partnered with The Moosehead Marine Museum to offer you a discount on your cruise tickets when you stay at one of our three Maine lodges.
Learn more about AMC’s cancellation policies for lodging and programs.
NOTE: Due to concerns over rising COVID-19 cases, dining room seating is closed until further notice. All meals will be served buffet-style by staff for you to enjoy back at your cabin. Insulated containers are provided. Lodge common areas will be open during the day, but no eating or drinking is allowed in those spaces.
Breakfast, trail lunch, and dinner are included in your nightly rate. Breakfast is served family-style at 8 a.m. sharp. Made-to-order trail lunches are provided after breakfast. Dinner is served at 6 p.m. sharp and includes soup or salad, entrée, and dessert. Beer and wine are available for purchase. Please notify AMC Contact Service Center if you have food allergies or other dietary needs.
The lodge is drive-in spring through fall, and accessible only by ski, snowshoe, or dogsled in winter. Gorman Chairback Lodge and Cabins are located in the KI Jo-Mary Forest which is a multi-use forest owned by a consortium of landowners. The roads are gated from May through October. Access is managed and fees collected by North Maine Woods. Access through the checkpoints (Hedgehog and Katahdin Ironworks) is limited to hours of operation (6 AM to 9 PM) and is strictly enforced. Please check the North Maine Woods website for additional information. Access fees are included in Gorman Chairback and Little Lyford lodging rates. Please bring a copy of your AMC reservation confirmation letter to show at the gatehouse.
Roads are gravel and are active logging roads. Logging vehicles have the right of way. Conditions can be rough and low clearance vehicles are not recommended. All wheel drive is recommended during wet, snowy, or icy conditions. Satellite signal and cell phone reception are typically weak and unreliable in the Maine Woods, so we recommend that you do not rely on GPS Navigation devices to direct you to the lodge. Vehicle types (RV sizes and types, motorcycles, etc.) are prohibited. Click here for KI Jo-Mary Rules and Regulations. Find driving directions here.
Access to Gorman Chairback Lodge and Cabins in winter is by ski, snowshoe, or dogsled only, starting at the AMC winter parking lot. Please print or download driving directions prior to arrival due to greatly limited cell reception. GPS is unreliable north of Greenville, Maine. It is recommended that mileage is tracked on your odometer. Note that when “roads” are referenced, these are not plowed and are used as trails in winter.
Drivers should be prepared with four wheel drive or studded winter snow tires and excellent clearance. Be sure to pack a full-size snow shovel to leave in your car in case you need to shovel out after fresh snowfall. Drive cautiously and note that logging trucks are active and have the right of way.
Driving Distances & Approximate Winter Drive Times
From Greenville, Maine to AMC Winter Parking Lot–11 miles, 35 minutes
From Greenville, Maine to West Branch Pond Camps–28 miles, 1 hour 10 minutes
From Greenville, Maine to Medawisla–27 miles, 1 hour
From AMC Winter Parking Lot to West Branch Pond Camps – 39 miles, 1 hour 45 minutes AMC Winter Parking Lot to Medawisla – 37 miles, 1 hour 45 minutes
Ski/Snowshoe Distances from AMC Winter Parking Lot to Gorman Chairback Lodge & Cabins
Trail conditions are also posted at the trailhead and free paper maps are available. All trails include hills and corners and include varied terrain and conditions and are labeled on the maps as Easy, Intermediate, or Difficult.
KI Road to Trout Brook Trail to Long Pond Trail–8.3 miles
KI Road to Gorman Lodge Trail–7.3 miles
KI Road to Trout Brook Trail to Long Pond–across ice–6 miles
Ski/Snowshoe Distances between Lodges
Medawisla to West Branch Pond Camps: Lake Trail to Long Ridge Road–8.8 miles; Emmit Brook Trail to Long Ridge Rd–8.2 miles
Medawisla to Little Lyford Pond Lodge & Cabins: Long Ridge Rd to East Side Trail–17.2 miles
A People Shuttle is available ($) part way for those wanting to ski 8-11 miles to Little Lyford Pond Lodge & Cabins but not have to ski the full 17 miles. Call AMC Contact Service Center. Reservations required.
West Branch Pond Camps to Little Lyford Pond Lodge & Cabins: Pleasant River Trail–8.5 miles; East Side Trail–11 miles
From Little Lyford Pond Lodge & Cabins to Gorman Chairback Lodge & Cabins: Lodge to Lodge Trail–6.5 miles; Upper Valley Rd to Deadwater Trail (by warming yurt) to Long Pond Road to Gorman Lodge Trail–7 miles; Upper Valley Rd to KI Road to Gorman Lodge Trail–7.5 miles
Gorman Chairback offers an ADA accessible cabin with electricity, private bathroom with shower, and propane heat. The main lodge is also ADA accessible with hardened gravel paths throughout camp that are snow covered in the winter.
Hermit Point and Long Pond Trail (Easy to Moderate): This relatively flat hike is perfect to explore the surroundings of Gorman Chairback with kids. For a short hike, head out to Hermit Pint, just 0.3 mile from the cabins, for scenic views of Long Pond. For a longer trek, continue on Long Pond Trail out and back—the trail ends at Long Pond campsite, 5.1 miles from Gorman Chairback, so keep in mind however far you hike out you will need to hike back.
Gorman Loop Trail (Moderate): This hike has a little bit of everything: scenic overlooks, beaver bogs, and hard and softwood forests. Start at Gorman Chairback and follow the Gorman Loop Trail for 3.5 miles over some rocky terrain. Once you reach the intersection with the Third Mountain Trail, turn right onto the trail and continue for another 1.1 miles until you link up with the Long Pond Trail. Turn right again to loop back to Gorman Chairback. (Alternatively, you can turn left on Third Mountain Trail to link up with the Appalachian Trail and summit a few peaks.)
Gulf Hagas/The Hermitage (Strenuous): Often dubbed the “Grand Canyon of Maine,” Gulf Hagas features a rugged and remote trail network along a deep river gorge with many scenic waterfalls. From Gorman Chairback, start at the trailhead for Henderson Brook Trail—at 0.9 mile you will link up with the Appalachian Trail—turn left to continue the Hermitage. From there, you can follow the Rim Trail along the Gulf Hagas for 3.9 miles. You can return to Gorman Chairback via the Lodge-to-Lodge trail, or return the way you came.
Site and Trail Maps
The right clothing and gear are essential in the unpredictable weather of the Northeast’s mountains. Even if it feels like summer in the valleys, it can be cold and winter-like on the high peaks. Be prepared for severe weather regardless of season, dress in layers (including synthetic or wool base and insulating layers, and a windproof/waterproof outer shell), eat high energy foods, and stay hydrated.
Our Commitment to Sustainable Operations
AMC has a long-standing commitment to using its huts, lodges, and sporting camps as models for sustainable operations and environmental stewardship. At Gorman Chairback, we have a solar array with a backup diesel generator, composting toilets and offer a green tour to teach our guest about these practices. Our food is locally sourced and we compost food waste as well.