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Thursday, July 23, 2015

Maine Huts & Trails Week: Day Four, Paddling to Grand Falls Hut

Every night after dinner at all four Maine Huts, you’re encouraged to take part in the energy tour. Sustainability is an important part of the Maine Huts credo and on the tour you’ll learn that the huts are completely off the grid. Solar is the primary source of energy, providing electricity and the heating of water. Propane gas is also used as a back-up to heat the water if not enough solar energy is produced. 80 cords of wood are used each winter at the huts to supply heating for all rooms, even the floors. The composting toilets are created by Clivus and use only 3 ounces of water per flush. All of this I learned from Nate at the Grand Falls Hut on our last night of the trip. 

We started the day with an easy walk back to the Flagstaff Hut trailhead, where we met our paddling guide Matt Rolfson. A University of Maine at Farmington student, Matt grew up in these parts and knows this neck of the woods intimately. We drove to the put-in and soon started our 6-mile paddle down the Dead River. The Dead River is best known for its whitewater rafting, but that’s after the Long Falls Dam release. This section of the river is a serene paddle on quietwater, where there were far more loons than other canoers. 

2 ½ hours later, we pulled the canoe out and hiked the remaining 2 miles to the Grand Falls Hut. This stretch of trail leads to one of the highlights of the MH&T’ network, the magnificent Grand Falls, where a wide ribbon of water rushes down the rocks. On the shores below, a fly-fisherman was trying his luck hooking rainbow trout. While overhead, a bald eagle was circling the falls. The scene was so majestic I could have started waving the American flag. We walked down granite steps and were soon at our last of four huts. To commemorate the achievement, I downed a maple frosted carrot cupcake. Tasty!  

Posted by Steve Jermanok on 07/23/15 at 06:00 AM
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Longtime Boston Globe travel writer, Steve Jermanok, dishes out his favorite travel locales and provides topical travel information that comes across his desk. is an Austin-Lehman Adventure's Top 125 Best Travel Blog Semi-Finalist

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