JP Internship: Flagstaff Lake Hut

An evening view of frozen Flagstaff Lake and the Bigelow Range from near the hut

Interested in an easily accessible off-the-grid hut experience in a beautiful and historically fascinating location? Flagstaff Hut is the perfect place to go. A gentle two-mile trail winds from the trailhead along the eastern shore of Flagstaff Lake to the hut, nestled overlooking the pristine water. Flagstaff Lake is Maine’s largest manmade lake, enlarged by the damning of the Dead River in 1950 for the purpose of regulating water flow for hydroelectric power. At the hut, stunning evenings gift the visitors as the sun sets over the water and behind the Bigelow Range. During summer, the area can be readily explored using canoes and kayaks available at the hut, but this time of year cross country skis and snowshoes provide the best form of adventure on the frozen lake.

From left to right: Colby student Eli, hut staff Phil, Jada, Conor, and Megan, and Colby student Lena

Like all of the other Maine Huts & Trails employees, the hut crew at Flagstaff provided enthusiastic company and welcoming service during my overnight. They served a hearty meal of homemade pizza crisped to perfection, a refreshing winter kale salad, and moist chocolate cupcakes. Over the meal, we chatted about the food sourcing at the huts and all agreed about its importance as an educational subject. The hut crew was enthusiastic about guest interest in the topic and encouraged the idea as the focus area for my internship. Here’s a little more info:

Lena enjoying the breakfast of local scrambled eggs, vegetarian sausage, and blueberry pancakes

MH&T’s local and sustainable food sourcing helps build a sustainable community in Maine and enhances the dining experience at the huts. Buying food from local, typically smaller, farm operations means greatly reducing the carbon footprint associated with distribution of food since it travels less distance from farm to table. Sourcing from these sorts of farms also supports local business and stimulates the economy in the area. Additionally,  well-run organic farming operations have huge environmental benefits including sustainable soil management, lack of pesticide and fertilizer use, and erosion control, compared to traditional industrial style farming. Eating locally grown, organic food also tastes so much better! From sweet winter carrots to tender grass-fed beef, MH&T provides an amazing eating experience for their guests by sourcing as much local and organic food as possible.