Remote New England vacations
March 2, 2015 10:27 AM   Subscribe

My wife and I are looking for a week to two week vacation to take with our 5 year old daughter some time between April and August of this year. One thing we're looking at doing is renting a USFS cabin in Alaska and camping there, but I'm also considering a trip to New England. I'm wondering if there's anything there which would meet our wants.

What we're looking for is:
  • Something a bit remote -- what we're looking at in Alaska generally needs to be accessed by a chartered float plane, but it doesn't need to be that remote, as long as it has the feeling of being a million miles from nowhere.
  • It does need to be a cabin or other facility. No amenities other than a roof are necessary, but we don't feel like making a young child sleep in a tent for up to two weeks. A B&B type setup would be OK as long as it was far enough in the wilderness to not be overly crowded.
  • Outdoor activities other than hunting would be nice. Ideally there would be good hiking, mountain biking, ATVing, or similar. We could also do some fishing, although I wouldn't want to bank our meals on it, as we're not that good
  • We also want a pony.
Obviously nothing is likely to meet all this points, but the more the better. Perhaps something in the VT/NH mountains or upstate Maine might be good? I'm not too familiar with those areas and would love any pointers to possibilities. I've already searched for earlier posts, but nothing that I could find quite fits these particular snowflakes.

Thanks for any suggestions.
posted by jammer to Travel & Transportation (12 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
I wish I had more detail but back in the late 70s/early 80s my folks used to go up in the vicinity of Milo, Maine to camp almost every year. They rented a cabin and did a lot of canoeing around. Saw plenty of moose and other wildlife. They always had good things to say about their experiences. Off the beaten track, but not too far from civilization.

Whatever you choose, have fun!
posted by CincyBlues at 10:42 AM on March 2, 2015

You could also consider Upstate NY, UP of Michigan and then heck everywhere else near Canada from Wisconsin to Seattle. Can you say more about what kind of landscape is important to you? Do you need big mountains? Do you need access to a particular area for base or a lake or other type of waterway? Could help narrow it down.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 10:43 AM on March 2, 2015

Response by poster: Mountains would be nice, which is why we've been looking at Alaska, and why I'm thinking about certain parts of the northeast. We live near Chicago, and I'm looking to get away from flatlands -- we did Door County a while back, and it was nice, but I want something more rugged this time. There's no particular need for a waterway. I've also thought about the interior, something in the Rockies in Colorado or Idaho/Montana. We did Sequoia last year, though, and I thought someplace else in the US might be good.
posted by jammer at 10:49 AM on March 2, 2015

The North-interior of Maine is about as remote as you're going to get in New England. Baxter State Park might fit your bill, and has some shelters that are hike-in. I'd also recommend coastal Maine north of Arcadia National Park (which is a great park but would be too crowded for you). I took a trip during the middle of the summer a few years ago and we often had entire campgrounds to ourselves.
posted by fermezporte at 10:58 AM on March 2, 2015 [2 favorites]

Moosehead Lake and Mount Katahdin, both in Maine, are both pretty remote and may have what you're looking for.
posted by tckma at 10:58 AM on March 2, 2015

Maine and the White Mountains parts of New Hampshire/Vermont definitely have what you're looking for.

A couple cautions about Maine though. First, it can get crowded (or 'crowded'). Mount Katahdin is at the end of the AT and so you get a lot of through-hikers finishing there. It's also a popular day hike. When I did it, we probably saw people over the day. Second, it takes a long time to get to these places. I think you can fly into Moosehead Lake but Baxter is a three hour drive from Bangor (which is an hour+ flight from Boston). Baxter also has a 2 week limit on reservations with a max 7 days at each site.
posted by hydrobatidae at 11:45 AM on March 2, 2015

I searched this site for "boat-access only", found a couple likely candidates in Upstate NY. Will be a bit warmer there and less rainy in spring than New England if you ask me. Also in April or May it will be definitely less
posted by Potomac Avenue at 11:57 AM on March 2, 2015

Not sure if it's the same place CincyBlues parents went, but Nahmkanta Lake Camps is in the Moosehead region, and pretty far out there (look at the "location" link on their site, it's like 26 miles down a gravel road or something after driving through back country roads). No electricity in the cabins, but limited wifi in the lodge. Rates for children, can get meal packages for supper in the lodge, packed lunches, etc. They also have Maine Guides available, specially trained and certified, for fishing tours (but not necessary).

I wouldn't go there as early as April, I am a few hours south and betting we are still going to have snow that's not melted yet in April. So wait until late June - August.
posted by Marie Mon Dieu at 12:00 PM on March 2, 2015

In western Massachusetts (just south of Vermont, near New York State, very rural) Savoy Mountain State Forest in Florida, MA (population 752 in 2010) has rustic cabins. I've been there and it is gorgeous. Very hilly, good mountain biking, hiking, skiing, and canoeing.

It also looks like October Mountain State Forest in Lenox, MA has yurts for camping.
posted by epanalepsis at 12:01 PM on March 2, 2015 [1 favorite]

We did a long weekend in the Adirondacks this past September and stayed at these cottages. Not sure if it's remote enough for you, but the nearest phone was a mile up the road according to the little sign in the kitchen. There were 5-6 cottages and that was it for a good long way. The entire weekend basically looked like this.

One of the mornings, we canoed across the lake and hiked on a boat-access-only trail with the kiddo. Over the course of 3-4 hours, we saw one other group of people. It was amazing.
posted by tchemgrrl at 12:11 PM on March 2, 2015

We make a big New England camping road trip every September, and I'll have some recommendations tomorrow when I'm not on a tablet.
But from Chicago, you might want to say yah to the UP, eh?
Check out the pop-up camper rentals at the bottom of the page, they'll tow it to your site and set it up for you, so you don't have to sleep in a tent!
posted by Floydd at 3:21 PM on March 2, 2015

Vinalhaven, Isle Au Haut, or Matinicus islands in Maine might be worth investigating.
posted by baseballpajamas at 8:26 PM on March 2, 2015 [1 favorite]

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