This summer I was able to visit a state that I’ve never been to before, Maine! My friend Tamara and I met up for a girl’s hiking trip to Moosehead Lake, Maine. It was a trip filled with beautiful nature, some hard hikes, and even a moose safari! Here’s a look at the cabins we rented and the adventures we discovered during our momcation.
Our Moosehead Lake Cabins
Loon Lodge Cabin (Moosehead Hills Cabins)
Our first cabin was located about 10-15 minutes east of Greenville on Lower Wilson Pond. Loon Lodge is a beautiful cabin located in somewhat of a residential neighborhood, however, the homes are all separated by large sections of trees. The only people you’ll see are the ones you pass on the gravel road as you come and go from your cabin.
Loon Lodge is an ideal cabin for a larger family or for two families who would like to vacation together. You enter on the upstairs main level, which has a living room, kitchen, full and half bathrooms, washer & dryer, and a queen bedroom.
Cabin Tour of Loon Lodge:
The basement holds two more bedrooms, one with a queen bed and the other with two-twin bunk beds and another full bathroom. The bedrooms offer sliders out onto the ground level that faces the lake.
Games, dishes, linens, and toiletries are provided for guests. The kitchen even had some basic staple ingredients in the cupboards that had been left by previous guests. We went grocery shopping in Greenville and enjoyed a couple of delicious dinners along with a few glasses of wine as we listened to the loons sing to us at night.
You can access the lake easily, however, there isn’t a shore or dock that allows you to relax or hang out at the side of the lake. There are kayaks on the shore so you can take a paddle around Lower Wilson Pond. I highly recommend standing in the water to enjoy the sunsets in the evenings!
Gorman Chairback Cabin Appalachian Mountain Club
Our second cabin stay was a very different experience from our previous one. We had a private cabin at the Gorman Chairback AMC location. The AMC (Appalachian Mountain Club) has a few lodges and cabins around the Appalachian Trail that offer hikers affordable accommodations along with meals.
Our single room cabin was cozy with a double bed and a twin bunk bed, as well as a double futon couch. We did not have water or electricity in the cabin, so this stay was more rustic. Gas lanterns were provided in the cabin, but they did give off heat so we didn’t use them at night due to the hot weather. There are cabins at Gorman Chairback that have private bathrooms inside the cabin — great for families.
The main lodge had communal bathrooms and showers, as well as being home to the kitchen and dining room. Each day would start with a communal breakfast at 8 am, we’d then grab sack lunches (ordered the night before) to head out on our daily activities. In the evening at 6 pm, we’d all come together for a family-style dinner.
At the lodge, there are plenty of books and games to keep families entertained. There’s also a lake on-site with paddleboard and kayaks so you can go explore the lake. You can swim in the lake, but there are leeches. However, we still saw plenty of kids and adults jumping in to cool off.
Gorman Chairback offers you an opportunity to have an unplugged (there is no cell service or wifi) vacation without needing to manage your own meals. The cabins offer you a cozy retreat without distractions so you can relax and enjoy nature.
Moosehead Lake Hiking
One of the reasons we went to the interior of Maine was to escape to nature and do some hiking. We went on two moderate hikes during our stay in Moosehead Lake, I definitely recommend both.
Little Kineo Mountain
This was the first hike we did in the area and it gave us a beautiful mountain overlook view of Moosehead Lake. The most difficult part about this hike was probably the drive to find it! You’ll want to know the trailhead directions in advance and not rely on GPS since there isn’t a signal in the woods out there.
The Little Kineo Mountain hike is moderate and is more about scrambling and handling incline than much else. The trail is marked fairly well with blue blazes on trees along the way, and with rock cairns when you get towards the summit.
Along the hike, you’ll be scrambling up towards the summit. The path is fairly wooded initially but more open and rocky as you reach the top. You’ll see a few outlook spots during the climb that offer you different facing views of the surrounding landscape.
I actually preferred the small outlook view of Moosehead Lake near the top better than the view at the summit. The summit is fairly anti-climatic, but overall the hike offers some great views and one of the few easy/moderate hikes around Moosehead Lake.
Gulf Hagas Trail
Our most epic hike was one that’s probably one of the most popular. The Gulf Hagas Trail actually connects and runs along part of the Appalachian Trail. It’s also a trail that has waterfalls and swimming holes, a huge draw for visitors and locals.
This trail is considered moderate and it does have some difficult and perhaps dangerous sections because it runs along the rim of a river gorge. There are sections that involve climbing near a steep edge. However, as long as you take it slow and easy and don’t get too close to the edge, you’ll be in for a gorgeous hike.
If you want to see Screw Auger Falls and take a dip I recommend you start at the Lower Gulf Hagas trailhead. You’ll want to pack some water shoes though because this access requires you to ford across a shallow river. The water depth and current depends on the season.
The full trail is close to 12 miles long, but it is a loop. You can stop and cross over to the other side of the loop at a few junction points, or you can just turn around whenever you want. I think the highlight is Screw Auger Falls for its beauty and to take a dip in a waterfall swimming hole.
We hiked up to Buttermilk Falls before crossing over to return back to the Lower Gulf Hagas trailhead. The hike was probably about 6.5 miles in length and took us about four hours with viewing stops along the way.
Both of these hikes were challenging for us as novice hikers, but we completed them both with smiles and feelings of accomplishment. I highly recommend plenty of water — I wished I had a Camelbak vs a water bottle. Also, try to pack/bring at least one hiking pole, and don’t forget good traction hiking shoes along with some water shoes for fording the river if you do Lower Gulf Hagas. And, definitely pack some mosquito repellant!
I truly loved my time in Maine. It’s a beautiful area of the world with a surprising number of ponds and lakes. Those lead to the other big draw for our trip to Maine, a moose safari! But I’ll save that story for another time. :)