Mt. Chase LodgeSpring, Summer & Fall
Late spring to early fall are our busiest times of year. Enjoy hanging out by the lake and exploring the natural beauty and unique ecosystems our corner of the world has to offer. Take a trip up to Mount Chase to hike, bike, swim or paddle! Enjoy time away from your phone and Wi-Fi and see what you find.
We are a family-friendly lodge. We have a swing set and playground for kids to enjoy. They can swim off our dock and bike around the property with little traffic. We have two small kids of our own and they enjoy meeting new friends and playing outside.
Another great kid-friendly activity is taking a picnic to the Public Beach on Lower Shin Pond. There is plenty of sand to play in and room to swim.
The trails nearby are less traveled and in remote areas. It is not unusual not to see anyone else on a hike, whether it is in Baxter, KWW, or on private land. There is very limited cell service on most of the trails. We ask that you plan ahead and take risks accordingly. Always bring a map, water, snacks, and appropriate layers. Let us know where you are headed before you go so we can keep an eye if you are out for longer than expected. Happy Trails!
Shin Brook Falls: Take a right out of our driveway onto route 159. Go 4 miles then take a left onto a dirt road. There will be a wooden white sign on a tree that says “Shin Brook Falls”. Continue less than a mile until the road turns to the right, where there will be a big parking area and the trailhead. The hike is about 1 mile and fairly flat until the end. The falls is an excellent fishing spot as well.
Sawtelle Falls/Deadwater: Take a right from the driveway and go 5.7 miles. This will take you over the Seboeis river. Take your first right after the river onto Scraggly Lake Road. Go 1.5 miles. The trailhead is just past the bridge on the right.
Seboeis River Trail: Take a right out of the driveway and continue 5 miles. The trail parking lot will be on the right before a bridge. This trail is a newly graveled path that follows the river upstream. It is not a loop, so note your start time and plan accordingly.
Mount Chase: Take a left out of the driveway. Continue to the Owls Nest Restaurant and take a left on the Owlsboro road (dirt road). Drive to the end of the road where it will connect to Rt 11. Take a left and head north on Rt 11 for 2 miles and turn left onto Mountain Road (dirt road). Continue for 2 miles until the road hooks left and there is a small clearing. There will be a grassy area with a picnic table. The trailhead is to the right past a culvert at the end of the field. The hike is 3.4 miles on a moderate incline. It begins as an ATV trail and then turns into a rocky hiking trail. Plan for at least 1.5 hours round trip.
Sugarloaf: Take a left out of our driveway. Drive 5 miles then take a right on to the Grondin Road. It is a dirt road a little bit past the Mount Chase Town Office. If you pass Libby Camps you have gone too far. Stay on the Grondin road for 6.7 miles. Bear right at the 5.5 mile mark. At 5.9 miles, stay left. Park on the right after a wooden bridge at 6.7 miles. The road continues but it is in rough shape and needs to be walked. Continue straight through the T on foot for 0.6 miles until you reach another T. Go left and continue for 0.2 miles to the trailhead which will be on your right with a small clearing. From the trailhead the summit is 1 mile.
Lower Shin Pond Public Beach: Take a left out of our driveway. Continue over the bridge and take the first right after the Wilderness Variety Store (Beachshore Drive). Then take the second right. The beach is 300 feet down this road.
Upper Shin Pond: Depart from the lawn at the lodge! Feel free to borrow our boats and explore Upper Shin Pond. Head left (north) to view the larger part of the pond and get spectacular views of Mt Chase.
Grand Lake Matagamon: Take a right out of our driveway towards Baxter State Park. Continue for 15.5 miles. You will pass the Matagamon Wilderness Store and the road will turn to dirt. Once on the dirt, you are almost there! Continue for 1.3 miles. There will be a parking area and boat launch on your right. Grand Lake Matagamon is a large lake with many islands and coves to explore. It does get windy in the afternoons, so we recommend getting an early start.
Sightseeing & Star Gazing
Looking for a beautiful drive to see the scenery? Take a ride on the newly designated Katahdin Woods and Waters Scenic Byway from Millinocket to the North Gate of Baxter State Park. https://www.exploremaine.org/byways/highlands/katahdinwoods.shtml
Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument has a long dirt loop road through the middle of the park featuring gorgeous views of Katahdin and the East Branch of the Penobscot as well as many trailheads. Be cautious on this road as it is an old logging road and some spots are a little rough. We recommend taking a truck or car with more clearance. Bring plenty of snacks and water, this trip takes roughly 2.5 to 3 hours.
Have you ever seen the milky way? Experience the stars on another level in the Katahdin Region. Our rural area with little light pollution makes you feel like you’re closer to space. On occasion, you can even see the northern lights. The KWW Monument was recently designated as a Dark Sky Sanctuary, testifying to the quality of our night sky.
Ash Hill: It’s likely that you drove over Ash Hill on your way to MCL. Just off Rt 11 it has an incredible view of Katahdin and is a quick place to go stargazing at night. Head back towards Patten and take a left once you reach town on Rt. 11 (going south). There is a turnout with plenty of space to pull over at the crest of the second hill on your right.
Matagamon Boat Launch: Look out at the night sky over Grand Lake Matagamon. Head 15 miles past our driveway towards Baxter State Park. Just after the Matagamon Wilderness Store and the East Branch, the road will turn to dirt. Continue 1.2 miles and the boat launch will be on your right overlooking the lake.
Upper Shin Pond: Not looking to go far? You’re welcome to launch one of our canoes from the lawn and gaze from Upper Shin Pond.
The best times to spot moose are around dawn and dusk. They are often seen in swampy areas with slow moving water and on the side of the road. Near the lodge, Scraggle Lake Road near the Sawtelle Deadwater (Directions link here) is a good road to drive as well as the Huber Road (directions here).
The Katahdin region offers a unique blend of Boreal Forest, Mixed Pine and alpine environments attracting many species of birds not typically found in the United States. Loons and Black Ducks are commonly seen on Shin Pond, right out our dining room window! In addition, Boreal habitat with many spruce stands and higher elevation can be found a short drive away in Baxter State Park (link directions). Baxter sports some boreal spruce stands near
Trout Brook Farm in addition, there is some open field edge habitat near Nesowadnehunk field. Species of interest to keep an eye out for include the Boreal Chickadee, Bicknell’s Thrush, Spruce Grouse, and the Black-Backed Woodpecker.
The North gate to Baxter is located just 15 miles from Mt. Chase Lodge. There are over 40 peaks and ridges besides Katahdin in the Park. The trail system features over 215 miles of trails popular with hikers, mountain climbers and naturalists. The park also consists of many spectacular Rivers, Streams, Ponds and Lakes for canoeing, fishing and swimming.
Spread across a wild landscape offering spectacular views of Mount Katahdin, Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument invites discovery of its rivers, streams, woods, flora, fauna, geology, and the night skies. All of the monument lands border the eastern side of Baxter State Park and the North Entrance is located just down the road from us here at Mt Chase Lodge.
Penobscot River Trails are a newly-developed trail system alongside the East Branch of the Penobscot River. They have 15 miles of biking trails surfaced with crushed gravel. They also offer mountain bike, snowshoe, and x-country ski rentals, with two warming huts and visitor’s center. In the winter, trails are groomed for classic and skate skiing with designated snowshoe trails.