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Stories of Impact: Maine Huts & Trails

by Katie Manter

This case study is part of MANP’s Stories of Impact series highlighting the many ways Maine’s nonprofits are essential to a strong and healthy Maine. Read MANP’s full Adding Impact Report. 

Maine Huts & Trails (MH&T) is helping to bring economic prosperity to Maine’s Western Mountain region by promoting tourism and healthy outdoor recreation operating a world-class system of backcountry trails and eco-lodges benefitting the local economy, environment, and communities. Over the past ten years, MH&T has built over 80 miles of free, public, backcountry trails through forests, waterways, and mountains. Recreational opportunities include groomed hut-to-hut skiing, mountain biking, hiking, fishing, and paddling.

With mills closing, forest lands changing hands as never before in Maine’s history, and health and wellness being a critical focus in today’s world, MH&T is helping to shape a sustainable economy by providing access and experiences in the outdoors that will foster a new generation of conservationists.

Contributions to the region include:

  • Approximately $295,000 in direct local expenditures with local businesses and farms in 2017.
  • Promoting local tourism with 60,000 overnight visits since 2008, introducing visitors from 45 states, 6 Canadian provinces, and over 12 other countries.
  • Offering opportunities for environmental and experiential education, hosting 250 groups since 2013, including 4,000 students, many of whom are visiting Maine for the first time.
  • Serving family-style meals showcasing fresh, locally sourced food from area businesses and farms.
  • Stimulating environmentally sensitive economic development in western Maine by providing perpetual year-round public access to visitors of all ages and abilities.

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