With more than 50 miles of linear, groomed cross-country ski trails, Maine Huts & Trails offers one of the most unforgettable Nordic and backcountry skiing experiences in the northeast. In fact, the original vision of the founders was based on skiing hut to hut. The huts are the perfect destination for a day trip, or for an ambitious multi-hut expedition. While the trails are groomed regularly, you should be prepared for true backcountry conditions.
Guided Ski Trips
To add to your experience, consider skiing with a guide. Maine Huts & Trails works with several guides to offer a variety of guided ski trips throughout the winter.
Most Maine Huts & Trails ski routes have a variety of elevation changes that require some descending skill. The trails from the airport trailhead to Poplar Hut and Route 27 trailhead to Stratton Brook Hut feature a significant climb for the last mile that inexperienced skiers may find challenging. Before embarking on your trip, be sure to look at the elevation changes on the map, and choose a route that matches your ability.
Stratton Brook Hut to Poplar Stream Hut (7.6 miles, approx. 2-4 hours)
Carefully descend from Stratton Brook and take a sharp right onto Newton’s Revenge. When the trail intersects with the Maine Huts Trail/Crommet’s Overlook trail, turn left and follow sloping downhill for 3.1 miles until intersection with the Narrow Gauge Pathway. After .8 miles you will come to a 4-way intersection near a bridge. There are two trails ahead; the Narrow Gauge Trail (along the river) and the Maine Hut Trail (into the woods). You'll be taking the Maine Hut Trail into the woods. The trail starts out flat and then increases to rolling terrain with a small uphill climb. After a quick downhill, the trail crosses the Carriage Road, and continues to a footbridge over Poplar Stream. Continue across the footbridge over Poplar Stream, then turn left. The trail starts out flat and begins to climb after the intersection with Larry’s Trail. In the winter, be on the watch for descending skiers. The trail levels off for the last mile, exposing nice views of Little Bigelow. Continue over a foot bridge and you’ll come to a Maine Huts & Trails sign. Take a right to the hut.
Poplar Stream to Flagstaff Lake Hut (11.8 miles, approx. 4-6 hours):
Exit the Poplar Hut via the Hut cut-off and make a right on the Maine Hut Trail. After 0.6 miles, bear right to continue on the MHT and follow for 3.1 miles until you reach the clearing just before the Carriage Road. Stay right and cross the Carriage Road 500 yards further. The trail continues along the power line and emerges to cross East Flagstaff Rd less than half a mile past the power line. Note: this portion of trail between the power line and East Flagstaff Road is shared with snowmobiles. Cross East Flagstaff Road directly and continue. Use caution after this crossing as there is a steep section. Continue 1.5 miles to Long Falls Dam Road, cross the road and bear slightly to the right. The trail climbs several hundred feet to the Halfway Yurt before descending back to cross Long Falls Dam Road again. The section on the east side of the road is approximately 2.5 miles long. After crossing back to the west side of the road, continue 3.8 miles to Flagstaff Lake Hut.
Flagstaff Lake Hut to Poplar Stream Hut: (11.8 miles, approx. 4-6 hours)
Exit Flagstaff Hut and go right onto the Maine Hut Trail. After 0.2 miles, stay right on the Maine Hut Trail at the intersection. The trail follows along the Dead River and crosses Long Falls Dam Road at 4 miles, then gradually climbs for another 1.6 miles to the Halfway Yurt. After a snack break and sit by the fire, descend from the Yurt for 1.0 miles for the next Long Falls Dam Road crossing. After another 1.3 miles cross East Flagstaff Road. NOTE: This 0.2 miles section between East Flagstaff Road and Carriage Road is shared with snowmobiles. Use caution! From the Carriage Road Xing to Poplar Hut is another 3.2 miles of level terrain. At the trail intersection, turn left and you will reach the hut in another 0.1 miles.
Poplar Stream Hut to Stratton Brook Hut (7.6 miles, approx. 2-4 hours):
Exit the Poplar Hut via the Hut cut-off and make a left onto the Maine Hut Trail. You will cross a foot bridge and continue downhill on the sloping and scenic Maine Hut Trail for 1.3 miles. You will pass Larry’s Trail, and after another 0.5 miles turn right onto the footbridge that crosses Poplar Stream. After the bridge, cross over the Carriage Road for a quick climb uphill. After 1.2 miles the Maine Hut Trail intersects with the Narrow Gauge Trail. At this intersection, continue on the Narrow Gauge for 0.8 miles, then veer right onto the Maine Hut Trail/Crommet’s Overlook Trail. Continue on this trail for 3.1 miles, but make sure to stop at Crommet’s Overlook for a scenic break. The trail ends at Newton’s Revenge, where you will take a right for a steep uphill ski for 0.7 miles to the Stratton Brook Hut.
Cross-country ski equipment and snowshoes are available for rent at the Sugarloaf Outdoor Center. The Outdoor Center is a great resource for area trail information; ski tuning, waxing, supplies; lessons and more.