Get back in time with a cross-country ski trip around the Cumberland Mountains

A 50-mile cross-country ski tour through dense forests, through graceful waterfalls and soaring peaks.

Journey back in time with a cross-country ski trip around the precipitous coast of Maine’s Cumberland Mountains.

Pitstop: Emerald, a small community of artists, where you can stop in for some beer and a sandwich.

A ride on a classic snowcat will take you to the last ski trail, up to Spittal Brook. All you have to do is hop on one of the trails that are open and set up for you, or snowshoe in if conditions are suitable.

By night you’ll graze over the rest of the forests, checking out the pastures of hemlock swans and red loon. It can sometimes be tricky to spot eagles, as the eagles don’t always stick to the trail, but if you see one, at least you’ll be doing it for fun.

After hiking it out from the base of the mountain, you’ll end up in the Hood Canal National Recreation Area. At Lowman’s Museum, browse historic lighthouse documents that reveal how colonial residents thought of their new surroundings. The Point Standish Hotel is right on the water and is great for bar-hopping during the day and cocktail-serving at night.

The trail that takes you to Emerald has a series of impressive waterfalls that we think our eyes are going to get tired of looking at, but it’s still a heck of a hiking experience. Later on you’ll have the option to hike back up Emerald Ridge. Emerald is still hilly, but in a friendly, gentle way, and the views are spectacular all the way up. You’ll catch glimpses of Mount Desert Island, which is like a Long Island away. You’ll also be able to catch glimpses of ferries docking from New London, which is just over an hour away.

Driving back to the trailhead, use the One-Way Shuttle buses or enjoy the view of the tide of skiers. Stay in one of the lodges in the area if you’re not sure you want to try this hike out. But you should definitely try the Hood Canal loop, which is just a good old-fashioned slog through the woods. It makes you feel like you’re heading back in time.

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