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Active Travels: AMC Guides in Maine

Paddling on Long Pond at AMC’s Gorman Chairback Lodge & Cabins, Maine.

By Steve Jermanok

On the first morning after breakfast at Gorman Chairback, we met up with our guide, Katie. Katie leads day trips for the AMC’s guests at the three lodges in Maine’s North Woods, Gorman Chairback, Little Lyford, and the recently reopened Medawisla. Not only is she an AMC guide, but she’s a Registered Maine Guide who can take people out in the summer to bag a peak, paddle, or fly-fish, and in winter to cross-country ski and snowshoe. We chose to canoe across 4-mile Long Pond with Katie and it was a wise choice. She shared the Old Town with Lisa, while my son, Jake, and I grabbed the second canoe. We had hopes of seeing a moose but that never panned out. Instead we followed a family of loons, mergansers, and even spotted a bald eagle atop a dead hemlock tree. The waters of Long Pond were like glass that morning, reflecting the surrounding mountains atop the surface. All you could hear was that mesmerizing call of the loon as there no other traffic on the pond. No boats, no canoes, nothing.

Katie was a wealth of information regarding Maine’s North Woods, telling us about the timber industry, people she lives with in nearby Greenville, and the surrounding mountains and lakes which she pointed out on a great map. We stopped for lunch on a deserted beach as she planned the following day for us, a hike to the peak of Third Mountain. The next day we were having lunch atop Third Mountain all by our lonesome looking out at that same body of water we had just paddled. The AMC offers custom-guided adventures in the White Mountains and Maine’s North Woods and it’s a wonderful way to learn far more about these two regions of the Northeast. AMC guides can take groups out for a half day or a full day tour, providing natural history insights and points of interest along the way. The itinerary is based on the ability and desire of the group.
Steve Jermanok Working as a columnist for National Geographic Adventure, contributing editor at Budget Travel, and regular contributor for The Boston Globe, Men’s Journal, and Yankee Magazine, Steve Jermanok has written more than 1500 articles on 80 countries. He’s also authored or co-authored 11 books, including Outside Magazine’s Adventure Guide to New England and Men’s Journal’s The Great Life. With his wife, Lisa Leavitt, Steve launched a boutique travel agency, ActiveTravels.com, in May 2012. His clientele includes many people in the travel business, including Steve Kaufer, founder of TripAdvisor (designed his honeymoon to Turkey), and Mark Snider, owner of The Winnetu Resort on Martha’s Vineyard and The Nantucket Hotel on Nantucket. You can follow him @ActiveTravels
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