Stay and Play in Maine: An Insider’s Guide to the Best of Vacationland

Maine has a long tradition of hosting visitors looking for outdoor fun and adventure. With the largest coastline and the most forested land of any state in the US, choosing the best locations and activities can be challenging. So we’ve gathered a list of some of our favorite places to enjoy the natural gifts Maine has to offer.

L.L.Bean is proud to support these nonprofit partners who work to make the outdoors accessible for all and conserve wild places for generations to come, while offering outdoor activities for all ages and interests.


Maine Huts and Trails

Maine Huts & Trails (MHT) is a nonprofit organization that builds and maintains a year-round backcountry trail in the Carrabassett Valley and Flagstaff Lake region of western Maine. Visitors may reserve overnight stays at huts along the trail that offer hot meals and showers. The trail, suitable for all ages and abilities, is designed for cross-country skiing, snowshoeing and hiking, as well as biking, fishing and paddling in some sections.

Mountain biking a Carrabassett Valley trail

Mountain biking on a Carrabassett Valley trail (photo courtesy Maine Huts and Trails)

Each hut features state-of-the-art green energy systems that generate and store their own power. The remote huts are connected by 80 miles of backcountry trails that can be used year-round for a variety of recreational purposes, ranging from hiking and paddling in summer to Nordic skiing in the winter.

Fishing at Grand Falls

Fishing at Grand Falls (photo courtesy Maine Huts and Trails)

MHT offers all of the services you need to enjoy the Maine backcountry with minimal packing. Each hut serves delicious home-cooked dishes that are available to purchase for day or overnight visitors.

The great room at Stratton Brook Hut

The great room at Stratton Brook Hut (photo courtesy Maine Huts and Trails)

L.L.Bean is a founding supporter of MHT and we’re pleased to share their vision of encouraging current and future generations to enjoy this spectacular region of Maine.

For more details and to make a reservation, visit Maine Huts & Trails.


Appalachian Mountain Club

The Appalachian Mountain Club (AMC) is the nation’s oldest outdoor recreation and conservation organization. The Club owns and manages 37,000 acres of forestland in Maine’s 100-Mile Wilderness and operates traditional Maine sporting camps open to the public. Its newest sporting camp is called the Gorman Chairback Wilderness Lodge and Cabins, dedicated to L.L.Bean’s retired Chairman of the Board Leon Gorman and his wife, Lisa Gorman, recognizing their long-time support of the organization and their passion for the outdoors. It’s located near Greenville on the shore of Long Pond in the shadow of Barren Mountain-Chairback Ridge.

Gorman Chairback Wilderness Lodge

Gorman Chairback Wilderness Lodge (photo: Sean Litchfield)

The Gorman Chairback Lodge is an authentic Maine sporting camp, originally built as a private camp in 1867. It was later operated as a commercial sporting camp until 1990, when it became a private summer residence. In recent years, AMC purchased the property as part of its Maine Woods Initiative, a land conservation strategy in the 100-Mile Wilderness. The initiative addresses regional ecological and economical needs through outdoor recreation, resource protection, sustainable forestry and community partnerships.

Gorman Chairback Lodge and Cabins

Gorman Chairback Lodge and Cabins (photo: Sean Litchfield)

During your stay, you’ll be able to spend your days exploring the lakes in a canoe or kayak, skiing or hiking on the lodge-to-lodge trail, before relaxing in the evenings around a cozy fire.

Paddling on Long Pond

Paddling on Long Pond (photo: Dennis Welch)

Cabins feature L.L.Bean furnishings

Cabins feature L.L.Bean furnishings (photo: Sean Litchfield)

L.L.Bean has provided nearly $2.3 million in funding for AMC during the past 30 years. Since 1995, L.L.Bean has funded AMC’s ConservationWorks and Junior Naturalist programs. Most recently, L.L.Bean supported AMC’s Maine Woods Initiative.

For more details and to make a reservation, visit Appalachian Mountain Club.


Bicycle Coalition of Maine

Dedicated to making Maine a better place to bike, the Bicycle Coalition of Maine (BCM) organization has a full calendar of events, from casual weekly rides and bike swaps to week-long, fully supported excursions.

Taking a break from the bike trail

Taking a break from the bike trail

L.L.Bean has supported BCM since its formation in 1992. L.L.Bean sponsors the Women’s Ride for Heart Health, the Maine Bike Rally, the Lobster Ride and Roll and the BikeMaine Event Calendar.

BikeMaine 2014 is a truly special opportunity to spend a September week pedaling along rushing rivers, tranquil lakes and Maine’s coastline. Riders will average 58 miles per day with optional 15 mile loops available. Riders will see Maine – its people, places, culture and food – up close and personal.

BikeMaine map

For more information visit


The Maine Island Trail

Established by the Maine Island Trail Association, the Maine Island Trail is America’s first water trail that spans over 200 islands and coastal sites along the 375 miles of Maine’s spectacular coastline. Open to day trips and overnight camping, all sites are accessible by boat.

Kayakers on the Maine Island Trail

Kayakers on the Maine Island Trail

Moving from island to island, you’re likely to spot harbor seals, eagles, shorebirds and other wildlife. Lighthouses, secluded beaches and hiking trails and quiet coves combine to make this a unique Maine experience.

Campsites are available on a first-come basis and free of charge to MITA members

Campsites are available on a first-come basis and free of charge to MITA members

L.L.Bean is a sponsor of MITA’s Stewardship Handbook and Guidebook. In addition, product donations have helped the association raise funds to continue this model of sustainable recreation.

Check out our list of partners that offer truly unique stay-and-play lodging opportunities in Maine.

What’s your favorite outdoor place in Maine?





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