I just came back from a fabulous weekend fat biking and staying at the Maine Huts and Trails Poplar and Stratton Brook Huts. I highly recommend checking this hut system out – the trails are extensive and well-maintained, the Huts are gorgeous, and the food is amazing.
The ‘huts’ are four off-the-grid eco lodges situated along an 80-mile trail system in western Maine. They all have a spacious great room, cozy reading areas, and a warm wood stove. Guests stay in either shared or private bunkrooms that are heated with radiant heat. Every hut is equipped with hot showers, toilets and gear drying rooms.
So yeah, they are pretty great and are one of Maine’s best-kept secrets.
The best part of the whole trip was that Regina flew to Maine just to hang out with me.
Friday – Poplar Hut
We packed up our gear and headed over to the Carrabassett Valley area.
Go there. Eat. Be happy.
After stuffing our faces, we headed to the Airport Trailhead and got on the trail. I wasn’t really sure of trail conditions after a warm spell, but they were perfect for fat biking.
For this part of the trip, we carried our gear in packs – something that we asked Maine Huts and Trails to do for us for the next few days.
It was about 3 miles up to Poplar Hut. We got up there pretty quickly, even riding with the packs.
After checking in and dumping our gear in our room, we headed back out for a walk to Poplar Falls. Things were packed enough we didn’t need snowshoes.
Getting back to the lodge, we had a beer and hung out until dinner.
Dinner was amazing – locally made pasta with a pumpkin alfredo sauce and chicken sausage, along with salad and homemade bread. Dessert was a cream pie with berries.
We spent some time hanging out in the great room talking to the other guests before heading to our room to read and head to bed.
Saturday – Stratton Brook Hut
We got up early and packed our gear bags so they could be shuttled to our next stop – Stratton Brook Hut. Regina and I both agreed within about 30 seconds of riding that not biking with the packs was a good thing.
Both of us were excited to get out and ride – we had all day to get to the next Hut and had been given some good info on lots of local single track mountain bike trails that were packed down and open to fat bikes.
I say this, and I am absolutely not a mountain biker. Yet.
Que entertainment for Regina. My body and my bike might have become separated once or twice…but there are no pictures so it didn’t happen.
We rode for about 6 hours. It was an amazing day, sunny and warm, with perfect conditions for fat biking.
Deciding it was time to head to the hut, we made our way to the trailhead. The ride up to Stratton Brook is a series of switchbacks that are totally doable on legs that are not already toast.
Our legs were toast. So we may have gotten off the bike on a few of the switchbacks.
Once the hut was in sight, we rode in like BOSSES.
After settling in, we drank a few glasses of wine, read, relaxed and waited for dinner. It was another awesome meal, but I only remember it was awesome, not exactly what it was.
We were pretty wiped after our day of riding and went to bed pretty early.
Sunday – Home
After a good nights sleep and a good breakfast we headed back on the trail. My back was feeling kind of funky so I stayed on the main trails but Regina got off trail onto some more single track.
We got back to the truck around noon, and started the trek home.
If you get the chance to check out Maine Huts and Trails, I highly recommend it. You can head up to any of their huts for lunch between 11:30-1:30 and check out the space and make your plans for your overnight visit.