Overseen by the U.S. Green Building Council, LEED provides a nationally recognized set of industry standards for evaluation and certification of environmentally sustainable construction and design.
The new lodge building at Gorman Chairback was designed by LDa Architecture and Design. The property is off the grid, and power is supplied by solar panels. Other environmentally sensitive features include double-glazed, argon-filled windows, extensive insulation, radiant heat in floors, and use of a biomass heating system.
The opening of Gorman Chairback Lodge and Cabins is the latest milestone in AMC’s Maine Woods Initiative, an innovative approach to land conservation that combines outdoor recreation, resource protection, sustainable forestry, and community partnerships in Maine’s 100-Mile Wilderness region. The initiative supports local forest products jobs and recreation, creating new multi-day experiences for visitors and attracting new nature-based tourism to the region.
At Gorman Chairback, guests will find a new lodge with a dining room overlooking scenic Long Pond, a welcoming hearth and sitting area, a reading area, and a wood-fired sauna. Dining room tables were milled from lumber from the lodge site by Maine House Furniture in Abbot, and dining room chairs were crafted by Maine Made Furniture in Rumford
Home-cooked meals are served in the lodge dining room and accommodations are in recently refurbished, private log cabins furnished with queen beds, heated by woodstoves, and lit by gas light. Linens and other furnishings are provided courtesy of a generous donation from L.L. Bean.
Gorman Chairback is the newest stop on a 37-mile-long cross-country ski trail network that connects the camp with three other sporting camps, including two owned and operated for the public by AMC—Medawisla Wilderness Lodge and Cabins in Kokadjo and Little Lyford Lodge and Cabins in T7 R9. Also on the route is the fourth-generation family owned West Branch Pond Camps.
Skiers can travel from lodge to lodge, spending a night at each location, or, they can choose to spend several days at one location, exploring a growing network of trails for skiing and snowshoeing. AMC manages more than 70 miles of hiking trails and ski
routes on its Maine Woods property, all of which are open for use by the public. Many new trails have been built over the past eight years, and AMC welcomes area residents and visitors to enjoy these trails and explore this scenic area.
With its 37,000-acre Katahdin Iron Works property and 29,500-acre Roach Ponds tract, AMC now provides recreational opportunities for the public on more than 100 square miles of conservation and recreation land in the heart of Maine’s 100-Mile Wilderness region.
AMC is building on the Maine sporting camp tradition by maintaining a growing trail network and offering a variety of public programs. Through its Moosehead Area Schools Program, AMC has also slated Gorman Chairback as a venue for outdoor learning for Piscataquis County schoolchildren.
While at Gorman Chairback, guests can ski on an extensive network of groomed trails, including a stacked loop trail system that provides a variety of trip-length options. Snowshoeing terrain abounds as well.
In other seasons, visitors can enjoy day hikes to stunning vistas, including Chairback Ridge and Gulf Hagas; paddle a canoe; watch for moose, loons, and other wildlife; and fish for wild brook trout and land-locked salmon on Long Pond. Fly-fishing for wild brook trout is also available at more than 20 backcountry ponds on AMC’s property.
Guests can also take part in a wide variety of AMC guided programs where they can develop skills in cross-country skiing, fly-fishing, backpacking, and paddling, including a five-day Family Adventure Camp and 50+ Adventure Camp this summer.
This authentic Maine sporting camp was 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. “We’re pleased to be reopening this historic property to the public and protecting public access to a spectacular piece of the Maine Woods,” said AMC Senior Vice President Walter Graff.
More than 20 local workers, including a dozen local contractors, worked to build the new Gorman Chairback Lodge. The lodge and cabins are named in honor of longtime AMC supporters and outdoor enthusiasts, Leon and Lisa Gorman. Building of the new lodge and cabin remodeling was funded through generous contributions to AMC’s Campaign for the Maine Woods.
Overnight reservations at Gorman Chairback or other AMC Maine Wilderness Lodges can be made by calling (603) 466-2727, or visiting www.outdoors.org/mainelodges. AMC’s conservation and recreation property, programs, activities, and lodging destinations are open to all, AMC members and non-members alike.
More information on the Maine Woods Initiative can be found at www.outdoors.org/mwi.
Founded in 1876, the Appalachian Mountain Club is America’s oldest conservation and recreation organization. With more than 100,000 members, advocates, and supporters in the Northeast and beyond, the nonprofit AMC promotes the protection, enjoyment, and understanding of the mountains, forests, waters, and trails of the Appalachian region. The AMC supports natural resource conservation while encouraging responsible recreation, based on the philosophy that successful, long-term conservation depends upon first-hand enjoyment of the natural environment.