The Appalachian Mountain Club’s three backcountry lodges, along with the newer and still developing Maine Huts & Trails in the western mountains, are turning Maine into one of the country’s premier destinations for hut-to-hut cross-country skiing and snowshoeing. Come along with me and photographer Mark Fleming as we venture to Little Lyford Lodge near Greenville and make a side trip to Gulf Hagas, a four-mile canyon deep in the Maine woods. Read about Village in the Woods in the January 2014 issue of Down East magazine.
The Boston Red Sox’s first World Series win at home since 1918 buoyed a city that was still healing from the bombings at the Boston Marathon six months earlier. But when the World Series trophy was placed on the marathon finish line during the Red Sox’s victory parade in November, it was upstaged — by outfielder Jonny Gomes’ flashy red Bean Boots. Read the story behind the boots — and what would have happened to them if the Red Sox didn’t win — in the January issue of Down East magazine. See a picture of Jonny Gomes wearing his sporty footwear during the ceremony at the Boston Marathon finish line.
For more than 180 years, the Penobscot River has been a fractured river. Pollution has suffocated fish, and hydroelectric dams have blocked their spawning migrations. Now, with the removal of two dams in the Old Town area — the Great Works Dam came out in 2012 and demolition of the Veazie Dam is well under way — one of the most ambitious river restoration projects in the nation is tantalizingly close to completion. The final piece, a year or two away depending on how quickly funds are raised, is an engineered stream bypassing the soon-to-be-decommissioned Howland Dam at the confluence of the Penobscot and Piscataquis rivers. Read The River Wild, my in-depth report on this pioneering river restoration project in the October 2013 issue of Down East magazine.
Donn Fendler, as almost any Mainer knows, became lost while hiking on Katahdin with family and friends in 1939. Lost on a Mountain in Maine, the riveting story of his nine-day ordeal, is required reading for Maine fourth graders, and every year Fendler, now a hale and hearty eighty-six, makes dozens of public appearances to tell his tale of survival. His story naturally lends itself to visual interpretation, and in 2011, Fendler, with author Lynn Plourde and artist Ben Bishop, did indeed re-tell it as a graphic novel, Lost Trail: Nine Days Alone in the Wilderness (Down East Books). But there has never been a movie version. Find out why — and learn about the two young filmmakers who are determined to make it happen — in the September 2013 issue of Down East. View a trailer for of the movie and watch interviews with Donn Fendler at Lost on a Mountain in Maine: the Donn Fendler Film Project.
An entire settlement vanished when the United States Navy built its air station in east Brunswick in the 1940s. In what some regarded as a patriotic sacrifice, the inhabitants of the New Meadows neighborhood relinquished their farms to the navy and made new homes elsewhere. But they left a few family members behind. Read “The Lost Graveyard” in the August 2013 issue of Down East.
One of my favorite places is Acadia National Park. I know it well — my family spent many summer vacations there. More recently, I had the privilege of researching a book about the park for Down East Books. Ultimate Acadia: 50 Reasons to Visit Maine’s National Park is my love note to this special place. I approached the project from the perspective of creating a keepsake for those who love Acadia as I do, but the book also could serve as an idea board for anyone planning a trip. The photographs by Mark Fleming are gorgeous — after seeing them, how can you not want to visit? For a preview, check out the excerpt in the August issue of Down East magazine. (For detailed trip planning, I highly recommend Moon Handbook’s Moon Acadia National Park by my friend, Hilary Nangle, the Maine Travel Maven.)
A whisper of a village lies off the beaten path to Pemaquid Point Light in the sprawling midcoast peninsula town of Bristol. Pemaquid Beach (population: it depends on the week) occupies a tranquil point on Johns Bay. Here you’ll find one of the sweetest sandy strands in the state of Maine, a replica of a late-seventeenth-century British fort, a small collection of Victorian cottages with white picket fences, and the languid, carefree air of an old-fashioned summer vacation, which is what this hidden little hamlet means for most of the people who are here. Read A Summer Place and see Irvin Serrano’s beautiful photographs in the July 2013 issue of Down East magazine. Check out our Best of Maine picks, too!