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CC’s Outdoor Journal; Stratton Brook Hut is open
CARRABASSETT VALLEY- Cozy sleeping accommodations for 44 outdoor enthusiasts, as well as a hot shower, a hot meal, a warm room to dry your clothing and miles upon miles of trails to ski, snowshoe, bike and hike.
I am so excited to be able to tell you that the fourth hut in the Maine Huts & Trails system is finally open. The Stratton Brook Hut officially opened on December 12 with a ribbon cutting ceremony, at which, more than 75 people from all over the state turned out to celebrate.
Now, if you don’t know about the MH&T system yet, it is a planned 180-mile trail system that will connect 12 year-round huts from Bethel to Moosehead Lake by way of people-powered activities like snowshoeing, hiking, cross-country skiing, biking and paddling.
Each hut will be a full day of activity away from the next and currently, there are four huts; Poplar Stream, Flagstaff, Grand Falls and now, Stratton Brook, which are all separated by more than 30 miles of beautifully groomed trails.
In 2010, Laurieann Milligan and I visited the Flagstaff Hut and snowshoed the twelve miles to the Poplar Stream Hut. It was an amazing adventure and we couldn’t wait to make another trip in 2011, but schedules didn’t allow for us to make that happen. So, this year, we have planned a trip to the newest Stratton Brook Hut.
In January there will be six of us going on a two night, two day excursion to experience the new hut and all it has to offer. The views are amazing of Sugarloaf and the nearby Mount Bigelow range.
The huts are located approximately 2.5 to 3.5 miles into the woods by trail from the trailheads where you can park your vehicle. The trails are well-marked and maintained, so there is no fear of getting lost.
When Laurieann and I went up for the ribbon cutting in December there was about eight inches of snow on the ground to ski and snowshoe, but now, with all of the additional precipitation, reports are saying they have more than two feet of snow for us to play in.
Are you interested in adventuring at one of the huts, or maybe you’re interested in going hut-to-hut. You can contact Maine Huts & Trails by logging on to www.mainehuts.org or calling them a 265-2400. They offer special winter rates and even better rates for members of the Maine Huts & Trails. Be sure to tell them you heard about them in the Rumford Falls Times.
I hope you’ll get out and experience at least one of these beautiful places and then let me know all about your adventure. And, be sure to watch your weekly issue of our paper, as I’ll be sharing my adventure story with you upon my return.
May you all have a safe, happy and healthy beginning to 2013!