JP Internship: Grand Falls Hut

Grand Falls – a short 0.2 mile detour from the main ski trail

An eight-mile ski in followed the meandering Dead River north, deep into the Maine woods. With each passing river bend, civilization drifted farther behind and a peaceful mind settled more deeply upon me. The trail wound through spacious groves of leafless Poplar trees silhouetted by the piercing blue afternoon sky, overlooking shimmering crystal cold water. Occasionally, thick swaths of pine engulfed the trail allowing needles of sun to pierce through the canopy lighting the woody tunnels. Just two miles from the hut, Grand Falls cascaded 40 feet into a pool below, billowing mist above the sun-kissed treetops into the evening sky. The stunning hydraulic display perforated the otherwise serene landscape.

The entrance to Grand Falls Hut backlit by the morning light

Grand Falls Hut felt like a shrine erected to honor the impressive and remote natural landscape around. Its grand southern wall filled with windows capitalized on heat from solar gain and views of the pine-covered hills across the river valley. After the long ski in, I graciously devoured the meal that Adam and Erin, the hut crew working at Grand Falls, served.

From left to right: Eli, Adam, and Erin

Longtime workers at MH&T, Adam and Erin had the operation at the hut wired and were passionate about continuing to provide and improve the educational and rejuvenating experience for guests. Adam gave me an impressively comprehensive sustainability tour of the hut, and Erin detailed her work on various Maine farms. In particularly, she described a CSA farm that MH&T recently partnered with to provide winter root vegetables at the huts. The mutually beneficial relationship gave the farmer additional income during what had been a below average year for CSA members, and stocked the huts with locally grown, in-season food. Both Adam and Erin believed that local food sourcing was one of the most important and impactful practices of MH&T and advocated for its further development. This could mean increasing the amount of food purchased from local sources as well as increasing guest/public awareness and education of these practices.