"Death Hikes" at the Gulf Hagas & Elsewhere

We love reading the entries our guests have left behind, not only to assure that their experiences here fulfilled and surpassed their expectations, but also because many of them find things to do in the north woods that we've somehow managed to miss, despite years and years exploring the place.

You'll find in our guestbook the highlights of previous guests' vacations: a young mother experiencing the wonder of Borestone Mountain through her toddler's eyes; a 74-year-ld grandmother managing the hike to Upper Little Wilson Falls; a moose safari; a white water adventure; and many, many more.

We confess we're contended to loll around right here at the cabin, taking in the sound of the waterfalls, or take a dip in the swimming hole. Usually. But this time, thanks to a visit by a friend whose idea of fun is a three-day "Death Hike" up as many 4,000-foot peaks as he can climb in a weekend, it was necessary to find an outing or two that would content his wondering feet.

We found ourselves twice on the Appalachian Trail - one segment right nearby, running from Upper Little Wilson Falls to the crossing of Big Wilson Stream, then completing the loop back to the old campground at lower Little Wilson Falls. It was a great, six-hour trek, with views of Little Wilson gorge from Wilson Cliffs and varied terrain from a moose bog to a forest caked with thick layers of moss.

The day prior, we hiked the rim trail of the Gulf Hagas - Maine's answer to the Grand Canyon. It's something I've meant to do for years, but thought it was a little too far of a drive to make it worth it. Wrong! This is a must see, must do experience. Three magnificent waterfalls on one hike, sheer cliffs. Amazing scenery! Billings Falls and Screw Auger Falls were our favorites. We started on the northwest (upstream) end of the canyon and made it to the southeast end in about four hours, finishing the loop (eight miles) by dusk. It's a whole day commitment. The drive from Greenville is about 30 minutes on gravel roads, but they're in good repair.

Our other adventure was a climb up Squaw Mountain (aka Moose Mountain), earlier in the week. We didn't use the marked trails, deciding instead to walk up the ski trails on the other side of the mountain, under the chair lift. What looked from the bottom of the mountain to be a dusting of snow on the top was actually about six inches of October snow. It was a little foolhardy of us to make the climb without much in the way of emergency supplies (don't do this at home, boys & girls), but we made it up & down without major incident (except for a few tailbone bruises). That old ski hill has to have the most outstanding views in New England - Moosehead Lake from end-to-end.

Eric & Tricia Schult
Bettendorf, IA
October 22, 2009

Playing Games (in the Closet)

Man, this weekend went by fast. It started out as a gift for my uncle, as a 50th birthday present. I'm pretty sure, we all agree, this place is amazing! The foliage is beautiful, and so vivid. It puts the leaves in Massachusetts to shame. The rocks at the river were cool, too. We were mesmerized by the geometrical patterns. Here's what we did:

Friday: Got here, and were all very excited. Played Apples to Apples (in the closet). We recommend it to a large group. It's great!

Saturday: Hiked to Upper Wilson Falls. Also great, but a bit scary. We were so high at some points! Later, we made use of the outdoor firepit and got a good look at the AMAZING night sky.

Sunday: Drove to Moosehead Lake, but it was windy and cold. Ate at the Stress-Free pub (very good). We waited for moose at the D.O.T. (Saw none.)

Monday: Had to leave. :(

Thanks for having us! This place is great! We plan to come back next year.

Zach, Ryan, Tyler, Puggie, Jim,
Brian, Shelley & Michael
Pembroke & Rockland, MA
October 12, 2009

(Owners' note: How did you all fit in the closet? Was it hard to read the game directions in there?) ;^)