For generations, people have escaped to the Maine woods. Way back, they came on steamboats and on railroads, fleeing the clang and squalor of big cities. Today, they come by plane and car, dragging themselves away from the tap of keyboards, the yammer of cell phones and the 24/7 chatter of the digital age.
But just as they did a century ago, smart escapees drop their bags and plop down on the porches of Maine’s sporting camps and wilderness lodges. Deep in Maine’s woods, these historic Maine lodges allow people to disconnect and nestle into nature. They paddle canoes, cast flies, eat way too much homecooked food, and, just maybe, nap in the afternoons. It’s hard to worry about deadlines if you don’t have any.
Many camps and lodges are deliberately low tech. Some have fancy pants features like Wi-Fi, but others have cabins without electricity (you’ll have propane for lights). Remember, you’ve come to the wilds to digitally detox, not search for a signal.
Camps and lodges often offer different outdoor experiences. Some offer hiking and boating and ski adventures while others lean more towards guided fishing and hunting. Many have on-site Registered Maine Guides, state-sanctioned experts on all things outdoors. A few properties have float-plane flights, both for scenic tours and for trips to special fishing spots.
Camps and lodges are spread throughout the Maine woods. For example, Red River Camps, Libby Camps and The Bradford Camps are tucked into far-northern Maine. Bald Mountain Camps, Grant's Kennebago Camps and Tea Pond Lodge & Cabins are in Maine’s western mountains. Weatherby's Fishing and Hunting Lodge is in the DownEast and Acadia region.
If you’d like to hike, ski or mountain bike to your lodging, the Appalachian Mountain Club and Maine Huts & Trails have just the place. In north-central Maine, AMC has three historic wildland camps: Little Lyford Lodge & Cabins, Gorman Chairback Lodge & Cabins and Medawisla Lodge & Cabins. They offer lots of hiking, paddling, fishing and trails for skis and mountain bikes. In summer, all lodges have car access. In winter, you’ll have to bring your xc skis, snowshoes or fat bike to get to Little Lyford and Gorman Chairback (but boy, what fun).