Posts Tagged ‘Maine Huts and Trails’

A spring hike into Poplar Stream Falls

April 24, 2010

April’s a great month to hike in Maine: No bugs, cooler weather, raging waterfalls, and few other folks along the trail. Today we hiked into Poplar Stream Falls, a relatively easy, roughly 5 mile round trip, from the trailhead in  Carrabassett Valley.

We parked in the Maine Huts & Trails parking lot (signed off Route 27), then began on the Maine Huts trail, but opting for the side loops, first along the stream and then to the falls. Yes, the trail’s wet and muddy in places, but nothing that forced us to stop, no long stretches or deep, wide puddles.

The reward? Poplar Stream Falls, site of actually two lovely torrents, and rated a 4.5 out of 5 by Greg Parsons and Kate Watson in New England Waterfalls. South Brook fall drops 24 feet; Poplar Stream Falls plunges a far more impressive 51 feet. A fallen tree, just out of the reach of Poplar Stream Falls’ spray, provided a perfect perch for scarfing down our picnic lunch.

Maine Huts’ Poplar Stream Hut is closed for mud season, but will open again in a few weeks (check with the organization for the date), and after a few weeks of self-serve operation, it will be serving meals again, so that’s a fine alternative for lunch in season. But go now, and have the trail practically to yourselves. On a bluebird Saturday, we ran into only two other people, and both were on the Maine Huts trail, on which we closed the loop back to the parking lot.


Pining to work in the Pine Tree State?

January 26, 2010

If you love the outdoors and are sales oriented and outgoing, Maine Huts and Trails is looking for full-time, year-round sales and guest services manager. Details here.

Maine Huts & Trails goes luxe, a bit

January 7, 2010

No more having to schlep wine or beer in from the trail head to the Poplar Stream Hut on the Maine Huts & Trails system. And, no more having to schlep gear between huts, at least on weekends. Beer and wine are now served at Poplar Stream Falls, and for $20, your gear will be shuttled between huts.

Staycations

August 4, 2008

Are you trying to control costs this summer yet yearning for a vacation? Consider a staycation–the trendy term for vacationing at home and doing all the things you tell visiting friends and relatives to do. Millions of folks travel to Maine ever summer because there’s so much here, yet few of us play in our backyards.

Let’s start with the freebies. Here are a few ideas to get your brain cooking:

• Preserves and sanctuaries are tucked in all corners of the state. Search for Maine Audubon and Nature Conservancy properties, local land trusts and town parks. Go hiking, mountain biking, paddling, swimming, walking, picnicking. Many often have free educational programs, too, such as guided walks or talks. Another plus: Getting the kids outside is a cure for nature-deficit disorder.

Bike a rail trail or join an organized ride. (yes, that means go into the cellar, barn or garage and find the bike, clean it up, pump up the tires, maybe get it checked at a local shop…)

• Find out what’s in the community’s attic. Local historical society museums or small, quirky museums are often free or nearly so, and they’re usually staffed by volunteers who are passionate about the collections. Maine Museums has links to most.

• Many towns and L.L. Bean sponsor free weekly concert series. Check the Maine Arts Commission calendar for other free concerts and arts-related events

Enter here to visit the newly renovated Bowdoin College Museum of Art. Afterward, visit the Peary-Macmillan Museum in Hubbard Hall. Both are free.

Enter here to visit the newly renovated Bowdoin College Museum of Art. Afterward, visit the Peary-Macmillan Museum in Hubbard Hall. Both are free.

• Maine college campuses are home to free museums and activities. At Bowdoin, visit the Museum of Art and Peary MacMillan Arctic Museum; at Colby, visit the Art Museum; at UMO, visit the Hudson Museum and Page Farm.

• The Farnsworth Museum, in Rockland, is free on Sundays from 10 a.m.¬1 p.m.

• The Portland Museum of Art is free on Friday nights.

• Bangor’s free, three-day American Folk Festival is jam-packed with entertainment and exhibits; Aug. 22-24.

Poland Spring Preservation Park is free: tour the museum in the original bottling plant, the Maine State Building and the All Souls Chapel

• Try rock hounding in the Oxford Hills or panning for gold in Coos Canyon.

• Visit a farm or farmers’ market.

• Explore a rail trail.

• Maine residents have free daytime use of Baxter State Park.

• Walk the Rockland breakwater or walk through history in Castine or an art walk

Willing to spend a few bucks?

Eagle Island

Eagle Island

• It’s fair and festival season in Maine. Check the state and agriculture events calendars.

• Take advantage of Maine’s state parks. (fees $2 to $5 pp; $60 pass covers a carload).

• Go to Acadia National Park ($20 per vehicle for a week-long pass) for the Mount Desert Island section of the park. The Schoodic section does’t require a pass.

• Take an L.L. Bean Walk-On Discovery course for $15 or go sea-kayaking in Portland Harbor with Bean’s on a 90-minute tour ($29).

• Hop a ferry to an offshore island: Both Peaks in Casco Bay and Vinalhaven in Penobscot Bay are easy to explore on foot, and Eagle Island has the bonus of being a historic site.

Ready for a cost-controlled splurge?

• Sail for three-days or longer on a Maine windjammer

• Spend a few days at a traditional, lakefront Maine sporting camp, such as Libby’s or Bradford Camps, which include meals in the daily rate.

• Hike into Poplar Falls for an overnight, with dinner and breakfast, at the first hut on the new Maine Huts and Trails system.

Okay, that should be enough to get you started… Now share your ideas.