A New Path for Maine Huts & Trails

A recreation nonprofit looks for a new path.

Maine Huts & Trails backcountry skiing
Courtesy of Maine Huts & Trails
By Will Grunewald

Maine Huts & Trails opened its first backcountry lodge in 2008, and the outdoorsy nonprofit has since added three more to its trail network that winds from the Carrabassett Valley, past Flagstaff Lake, and along the Dead River, to West Forks. But this fall, the group announced a budget shortfall. Hospitality revenue couldn’t keep pace with costs, and some early donors dropped out. Short-term, the leadership said, Maine Huts & Trails would need $500,000 just to stay open through the winter and, long-term, more than $1 million to restructure. As the organization recalculates for the future, executive director Wolfe Tone crunched some numbers on the group’s work to date.


80

Cords of wood burned to heat the huts annually, give or take depending on the bitterness of the winter.

97,365

Steps, approximately, to walk the trail system from end to end, 48.4 miles.

5

Hours to ski from Poplar Hut to Flagstaff Hut, moving at a steady clip. An average adult would burn about 2,500 calories in the process.

16

Ounces in a can of Baxter Brewing Co.’s MHT India Pale Lager. Proceeds from sales benefit hut and trail maintenance.

400,000

Dollars the organization spends with local vendors, suppliers, and landowners each year

138

Nightly rate, in dollars, for a peak-season overnight in a Flagstaff Hut bunkroom, which includes three meals prepared by staff.