July 15, 2012

Worth the Trip: Shawnee yurt provides right amount of comfort

By JOSH CHRISTIE

(Continued from page 1)

I only got to see the Tuckerman's Cabin, which is perhaps a hundred vertical feet below the summit, from the outside. Rachael Wilkinson, Shawnee Peak's director of marketing, assured me that its amenities are nearly identical to the yurt's. The cabin does sleep two more thanks to a fold-out futon.

Our late afternoon ascent left us plenty of time to enjoy the empty ski area. The yurt is only a few minutes from the top terminals of the Summit and Sunnyside lifts, and the peak has panoramic views of western Maine and New Hampshire. From here, you can easily reach the North Ridge trail, and from there the Loon Echo Land Trust trails. LELT's 10-mile trail network offers a variety of moderately challenging day hikes, including the summits of Big Bald and Pleasant.

We also encountered some wildlife -- a fawn near the base, and a porcupine and porcupette near the yurt.

As we packed up our gear and headed down Pine Slope, we were already planning our next trip. Wilkinson noted a few benefits we didn't have the fortune to enjoy -- summer access to a private dock on adjacent Moose Pond, and early access to the slopes for winter visitors.

Though only an hour away from Portland, the slopeside accommodations felt like a different world. For a unique experience in the mountains of Western Maine, I can't recommend the Pleasant Mountain Cabins highly enough.

For more information on the Pleasant Mountain Cabins, contact Shawnee Peak at 647-8444.

 

Josh Christie is a freelance writer and lifetime outdoors enthusiast. He shares column space in Outdoors with his father, John Christie. Josh can be reached at:

joshua.j.christie@gmail.com

 

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