Monday January 09, 2012 | 04:20 PM

Lycanthropes probably wouldn't be interested in the monthly Full Moon Hikes at Mt. Abram in Greenwood. They'd be too busy growing fur and long claws capable of puncturing human skin, and taking care of all the howling and whatnot that tends to take up a good portion of a werewolf's time.

But folks who don't typically shapeshift with the appearance of the full moon will appreciate the uphill trek to Mt. Abram's peak, where music and mountain revelry await. There's a heated lodge up there as well, not that you'll need it. The 50-minute climb will raise your body temperature to such a degree that periodic disrobing will be part of the vertical journey.

The Full Moon Hikes happen every month throughout the winter and are entirely free. Hikers meet at 5 p.m. at the base of the mountain, where gear is packed into bins and hauled up for you. Then it's Mt. Abram Ale time in the temporary baselodge bar (you may recall the ski area's main lodge was lost in a fire this summer) before the offical 5:30 p.m. start time.

The gathering of nighttime hikers spreads out pretty quickly during the ascent, with some moving up with good speed while some of us, well, some of us didn't feel like rushing it. We wanted to, you know, really take in the experience, really appreciate the full moon against the black sky and the building tension in our calves. We wanted to hear every panting breath and whimper of aerobic weakness.

All 50 minutes of it.

The lively music at the summit renews everyone's vigor, and carried-in snacks and beverages are consumed outside among the pines while forehead sweat dries.

Eventually everyone heads back down the mountain in whatever way they see fit - hiking, skiing, snowboarding or a ski-tumble-slide that I find surprisingly efficient.

Future Full Moon Hike take place on Feb. 11, March 10, April 7. Check for more details.


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Shannon Bryan, content producer for MaineToday Media, likes exploring Maine - from mattress races to cardboard boats, she's into the weird stuff.

Karen Beaudoin, online editor for MaineToday Media, likes knowing the important things - like who's just opened their deck for a sunny afternoon beer and what Portland's eclectic set of street performers are up to.

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