Outdoors + Nature

Far Away, Close to Home: Remote U.S. Resorts

by Sarah Tuff

Flagstaff Lake Hut, Maine

Hide and seek: Embark on a quest for your inner Thoreau in the western Maine wilderness.

Shallow waters and an undeveloped shoreline make 20,000-acre Flagstaff Lake a favorite among canoeists and kayakers. The eponymous hut is actually a handsome ten-room lodge opened in 2009 as part of a new system of backcountry hut-to-hut trails for hikers, skiers, and paddlers alike. The Bigelow Mountain Range, with summits topping 4,000 feet, sits just out the back door; the Québec border lies just 30 miles away. Moose and landlocked salmon swim in the lake's cool waters; boats and personal flotation devices are free to borrow for members of Maine Huts & Trails (membership, which also gets you discounts on lodging, is $35). By backcountry standards, this lodge is the Ritz: radiant heat, hot showers with shampoo dispensers, Maine wild blueberry pie. But still, hair dryers are verboten in the shared bunkrooms (the hut produces its own limited electricity), and you'll need to stuff your backpack with a pillowcase, towel, and sleeping bag along with your fleece and fishing gear. Plus, of course, a journal.

Find your way: The trailhead is about a three-hour drive from Portland. From there, it's a two-mile hike to Flagstaff Lake Hut. Ambitious types can continue on a 30-mile hut-to-hut journey.

Flagstaff Lake Hut
Maine Huts & Trails
Eastern Shore of Flagstaff Lake
Carring Place Township, Maine
Tel: 877 634 8824
Shared bunkrooms from $69 per night ($59 for members), including dinner and breakfast

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Information may have changed since date of publication. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.

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