Medawisla Lodge and Cabins
Last month I attended a nature photography workshop organized by the Appalachian Mountain Club & Allagash Brewing Company at Medawisla Lodge and Cabins in Greenville, Maine. It was an incredible weekend of seasonally inspired food, Allagash beer tastings and nature photography instruction by photographers Cait Bourgeault and Chris Shane. I started following Cait on Instagram a few months ago and love her photography so much. She seems to always be in the mountains hiking with her dogs, so I had a hunch we'd get along. Chris was completely new to me but I enjoyed getting to know him during the workshop in Maine. When he introduced himself as an "adventure photographer" I knew I had much to learn from him. I feel like I've only scraped the smallest surface of what I know about photography so I was really excited to attend this workshop and learn as much as I could.
This was my first time visiting this part of Northern Maine and it was absolutely stunning. The area is part of the 100 mile wilderness and as the name suggests, it's pretty remote. I was a little concerned about making the drive from Boston on my own, so I carpooled with my friend Mat and his wife from Allagash and met them in Portland, Maine before heading up. The drive went by quicker than it would have if I'd driven alone and we saw some beautiful scenery and quirky general stores along the way.
Once we arrived we loaded our things into wheelbarrows and made our way to our cabin. I was supposed to stay in the bunkhouse but got a last minute upgrade to a cabin with my own room. I spent two-nights at the newly constructed Medawilsa Lodge in waterfront cabin number 4. Our two-bedroom cabin was super cozy with a wood burning stove, kitchenette and porch where we could gaze out at the the water.
There are wheelbarrows available to load in/out of your cabin or bunkhouse which made schlepping all of my gear to and from the car pretty easy!
My super cute room in Waterfront Cabin 4. The other room in our cabin has a queen sized bed but I didn't want to intrude on friends staying there for a pic. 🤣 I loved the LL Bean flannel bedding and the buffalo check blankets were perfect to tote around for a chilly canoe ride.
Our kitchenette was fully stocked with enamelware, pots and pans and a mini fridge but we didn't really need to use it as breakfast and dinner are provided by the lodge and our lunches were also prepared for us. I would recommend bringing some fresh coffee and coffee making equipment to enjoy in your cabin. They have organic coffee at the lodge but it would have been nice to make some in our cabin if we'd thought of it.
Our first night was all about getting acquainted with the group and the instructors. After a delicious meal in the lodge we set up our tripods in a field for some night photography. I don't do much night photography (zero actually) so I decided to leave my comfort zone and join the instructors outside to capture the starlit sky. There's very little light pollution in Greenville, Maine and this made for top-notch star gazing opportunities. We saw several shooting stars and it felt so good to be under the stars.
The next morning we were up bright and early to capture the sunrise. The lodge is a short walk from Second Roach Pond where I shot this sunrise. You can see Mount Katahdin and much more from the dock and part of the all-inclusive experience here includes canoes, kayaks, paddle boards and life vests for easy access to water activities. Isn't this place unreal? So beautiful.
After our morning shoot we went to the lodge to enjoy a hot breakfast. We had the option of doing a 1/2 day hike or a full day hike as our afternoon activity and we opted for the 1/2 day. Our trail lunches were packed and waiting for us at breakfast too. Every need was covered. I could get used to this all-inclusive kind of travel!
We hiked about 8 miles that day through the woods and up a brand new trail to Shaw Mountain. We had the most beautiful, mild fall weather. Not too cold, not too hot. It was perfect.
After the hike I went back to my room to relax before beer hour and another round of sunset photography before dinner.
More & Co. - Maine Tote Bag
I was really impressed with the family-style meals that we were served at the Medawisla Lodge. On our first night we were served roasted salmon (yum!) with vegetables and rice and on our second night they served a traditional Thanksgiving dinner which was awesome. The food was prepared really well and for lunch, they made us sandwiches in our trail lunch. Each night after dinner we wrote on a brown paper bag what kind of sandwich we wanted and in the morning we picked them up after breakfast.
We enjoyed a lake side bonfire on our second night. The staff started the fire, maintained it and pointed out several different constellations with a laser pointer in the sky. It's amazing how knowledgable they are! We bundled under our buffalo check blankets from our cabins and enjoyed another incredible night in the most beautiful, remote location keeping warm by the fire.
I slept so well that night! I went to bed with the smell of campfire in my hair happy and exhausted. On our final morning we had just enough time to paddle around the pond before packing up to head back to civilization. It was an action packed weekend of making new friends, practicing photography and experiencing everything there was to do and see at the beautiful Medawisla Lodge. If you're the outdoorsy type, I can't recommend this place enough! It's a drive from Boston but you're rewarded with a gorgeous landscape, an abundance of outdoor activities and great food. I need to spend more time in the woods. It's so good for the soul.
Have you been to an AMC lodge before? I've heard great things about the others and can't wait to take Adam and Elsie to one. They're gonna love it!