The property, in the heart of Maine’s great North Woods, consists of dozens of rustic cabins, small private homes, and a hunting lodge all clustered on the edge of Moosehead Lake. Over 11,000 acres of wilderness zigzagged with trails surround the log cabins, There’s a restaurant in the lodge, a hot tub, and a small equipment center. It’s a snowmobiler’s paradise, but for the past seven or eight years since my friends and I have been coming, we make it – for one weekend at least – into a cross-country skiers’ paradise as well.
Calling the Birches a “resort” has always seemed a bit of a stretch to me. Take a look at this link and you will see photos of our cabin, named “Irish Eyes are Smiling.” Resort? In the old Maine sense, perhaps – but not in the spa-speak of this era.
The first year we came, our cabin had a coffee pot that was so jaggedly broken it could have dispatched an entire family, and my mattress had a crater the size of a young moose. Since then, things have improved… a little.
And yet we come back, because this is a kind of place that is frozen in time, a throwback to the 1930’s when flabby prime rib was considered good for you and the word “spa” was someone trying to say “spot” and failing. The other draw? Moosehead Lake, and magnificent Kineo rising out of it.
If you haven’t ever visited this part of Maine, you need to get up there while places like the Birches still exist. You need to ski across the vast frozen expanse of the lake and then snowshoe up the Kineo to the water tower at the top. Trust me on this: you won’t be sorry.