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The 1924 Appalachian Mountain Club Pro trail crew takes a break between projects. Appalachian Mountain Club Pros and volunteers care for more than 1,800 miles of trails throughout the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic, including nearly 350 miles of the Appalachian Trail in five states. In 2019 AMC celebrated 100 years.

The year was 1876. The United States of America celebrated its 100th birthday. Ulysses S. Grant was the President of that republic. The Adventures of Tom Sawyer was published. Alexander Graham Bell received a patent for an instrument he called the “telephone.” And the Appalachian Mountain Club was founded by Edward Pickering and 33 other outdoor enthusiasts.

Throughout its distinguished history, AMC has been a leader in conservation and recreation in America. They built their first hiking trail in 1879. In 1911, their advocacy resulted in in passage of Weeks Act, authorizing creation of national forests across the eastern US. Throughout the 20th century, AMC established itself as a primary advocate for wild places in America’s northeast and created destinations for the people who love them. But AMC was never content to rest on what they had done, they were always focused on the future.

Appalachian Mountain Club lodges in Maine are part of some great trout waters.

More recently, AMC hoped to capitalize on that long-term success and develop their own model for landscape scale conservation. The Maine Woods Initiative (MWI) is their strategy for land conservation in the 100-Mile Wilderness region. It’s an innovative approach to conservation that combines outdoor recreation, resource protection, responsible forestry, and community partnerships. To date, AMC has purchased and permanently conserved 75,000 acres of forest land, created over 130 miles of recreational trails, established an FSC®-certified responsible forestry operation, developed a partnership with local Piscataquis County schools and opened three historic sporting camps to the public.

The camps – Gorman Chairback, Little Lyford and Medawisla – were established long before AMC came to the Maine woods

They are owned by AMC and situated on the MWI lands. They’ve been  updated and are linked by a 130 mile system of trails accessible throughout the year. They offer a host of lodging options and activities like fly fishing, mountain biking, trail running, paddle sports, groomed cross country skiing, and more. For an authentic Maine experience, it’s hard to beat the Maine Wilderness Lodges.

Medawisla (the Abenaki word for loon) is the newest destination in our Maine Wilderness Lodges network, and an ideal spot for exploring the famed 100-Mile Wilderness. Built on AMC conservation land and located at the confluence of Second Roach Pond and the Roach River, seven miles from Kokadjo and northeast of Greenville, Medawisla offers opportunities for hiking, paddling, fly fishing, canoe camping, snowshoeing and cross-country skiing, steps away from your private cabin or bunkhouse accommodations.

My friend Steve Tatko is the Director of Maine Conservation and Land Management. He says:

“When you visit the 100 Mile Wilderness region of Maine you are setting foot on the leading edge of the largest intact forest east of the Mississippi River. It’s a 10.4 million acre ecological treasure trove for recreation and conservation opportunities. We have the largest remaining stronghold of eastern native brook trout in the US. It’s by far the best place to catch a wild brook trout anywhere in the northeast.”

We’re grateful for AMC’s commitment to ensure the continued success of native fish like brook trout and Atlantic salmon. The Maine Woods Initiative combines landscape scale conservation with permanent public access and ecological restoration. Like Steve says, “We’re restoring a fully functioning ecosystem here. And what’s more, we’re instilling a deep sense of environmental stewardship for generations to come.”

Arriving at Long Pond.

Come be a part of that stewardship solution and visit the 100 Mile Wilderness Region from AMC’s Maine Lodges. They’re a proud TU Business member!

Join – Appalachian Mountain Club Maine Wilderness Lodges                                  

Jenny Ward

Greenville, ME 04441

(207) 695-3085  

jward@outdoors.org

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