Little Lyford Pond Camps - Ski Trails

4/2/2008

I just returned from a trip up to AMC's Little Lyford Pond Camps (LLPC) in northern Maine. This is my last get-away before the summer really picks up. Sara DeLucia and I went up there together for the last two days that LLPC was open for the winter season. We had such a great time skiing that I thought I would share our ski trail experiences with the AMC Trails Community.

We made arrangements to meet Chuck, one of the LLPC Camp
Managers at North Woods Outfitters in Greenville, ME. It took just under 4 hours to drive from Gorham, NH to Greenville, ME. From Greenville, we followed Chuck on dirt... well, snow-covered roads for 10 miles east to the winter parking lot. From there Chuck took our gear in on a snow machine and Sara and I skied in the 6.5 miles to the camps.

Since I was last there in the winter, just about 5 years ago, the new Hedgehog Gate Trail had been constructed. This is the primary ski trail in and out of the camps and is worlds better than skiing in the road. The Hedgehog Gate Trail was full of twists and turds through the mixed forest with a good mix of ups and fun down hills. Along the way, we even ran into a moose. He seemed to really be struggling in the deep snow, so we moved on trying not to bother him too much.

After settling into our cabin, Grey Ghost (many of the cabins are named after flys used for fly-fishing) we took a walk around to see the new additions and updates to the camp. The most notable addition is the new heated bath house and sauna. There was a sauna there in the past, but now the sauna is much larger and attached to the bathrooms and shower building.

Our full day there we skied as much as we could. After a great breakfast we headed down the Pleasant River Trail to link up with the Head of the Gulf Trail all the way to Gulf Hagas. Once we arrived at Gulf Hagas, we dropped our skis and walked the Rim Trail and dared to peer over the edge in several places.











Turning back and following the Head of the Gulf trail we then skied back on the Upper Valley Road to access the Indian Mountain Circuit Trail. This ski trail leaves the Upper Valley Road very close to LLPC's access road and head up and around Indian Mountain. The Indian Mountain Circuit Trail was a great ski trail with great terrain and with a bit of new snow falling the skiing just got better and better.


We followed the Indian Mountain Circuit Trail to a major road crossing then followed the roads north towards Pleasant River Trail-North. This trail took us along the east side of both of the Lyford Ponds as we skied south back to camp. We walked into our cabin just after 3:30pm and took a well deserved nap before dinner.

Before we knew it we were on our way out and leaving LLPC and the great ski trails behind. If you have not yet been up to Little Lyford Pond Camps or the Maine Woods yet, what are you waiting for. This has been a great winter and although we are all looking forward to spring, we will be talking about the snow we have had for years to come.
We want to say thanks to Chuck and Rose, the LLPC Camp Managers, to Brian and Katie, Camp Crew, and to Kevin, Staff Carpenter, for all of their help, hospitality, and great food. I look forward to a return visit to LLPC some time soon.

Until then, the summer Volunteer Trails Programs in the Whites are just about to get going!

See you on the trails,

-Alex
North Country Trails Volunteer Programs Supervisor