The year was 1876. The United States of America celebrated its 100th birthday. Ulysses S. Grant was the President of that republic. The Adventures of Tom Sawyer was published. Alexander Graham Bell received a patent for an instrument he called the “telephone”. And the Appalachian Mountain Club was founded by Edward Pickering and 33 other outdoor enthusiasts.
Throughout its distinguished history, AMC has been a leader in conservation and recreation in America. They built their first hiking trail in 1879. In 1911, their advocacy resulted in in passage of Weeks Act, authorizing creation of national forests across the eastern US. Throughout the 20th century, AMC established itself as a primary advocate for wild places in America’s northeast and created destinations for the people who love them. But AMC was never content to rest on what they had done, they were always focused on the future.
More recently, AMC hoped to capitalize on that long-term success and develop their own model for landscape scale conservation. The Maine Woods Initiative (MWI) is their strategy for land conservation in the 100-Mile Wilderness region. It’s an innovative approach to conservation that combines outdoor recreation, resource protection, responsible forestry, and community partnerships. To date, AMC has purchased and permanently conserved 75,000 acres of forest land, created over 130 miles of recreational trails, established an FSC®-certified responsible forestry operation, developed a partnership with local Piscataquis County schools and opened three historic sporting camps to the public.
Those camps – Gorman Chairback, Little Lyford and Medawisla – were established long before AMC came to the Maine woods. They are owned by AMC and situated on the MWI lands. They’ve been updated and are linked by a 130 mile system of trails accessible throughout the year. They offer a host of lodging options and activities like fly fishing, mountain biking, trail running, paddle sports, groomed cross country skiing, and more. For an authentic Maine experience, it’s hard to beat the Maine Wilderness Lodges.
My friend Steve Tatko is the Director of Maine Conservation and Land Management. He says, “When you visit the 100 Mile Wilderness region of Maine you are setting foot on the leading edge of the largest intact forest east of the Mississippi River. It’s a 10.4 million acre ecological treasure trove for recreation and conservation opportunities. We have the largest remaining stronghold of eastern native brook trout in the US. It’s by far the best place to catch a wild brook trout anywhere in the northeast.”
We’re grateful for AMC’s commitment to ensure the continued success of native fish like brook trout and Atlantic salmon. The Maine Woods Initiative combines landscape scale conservation with permanent public access and ecological restoration. Like Steve says, “We’re restoring a fully functioning ecosystem here. And what’s more, we’re instilling a deep sense of environmental stewardship for generations to come.”
Come be a part of that stewardship solution and visit the 100 Mile Wilderness Region from AMC’s Maine Lodges. They’re a proud TU Business member!
Appalachian Mountain Club Maine Wilderness Lodges
Greenville, ME 04441