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Cross-country skiing + cozy cabins on Moosehead Lake at The Birches Resort in Rockwood

Cross-country skiing + cozy cabins on Moosehead Lake at The Birches Resort in Rockwood

Maybe it’s waking up to views of the wide white expanse of frozen Moosehead Lake. Maybe it’s the perfectly groomed cross-country skiing trails that wind through the quiet woods. Maybe it’s coming in from the snow for a hot drink or a cold beer in front of the fireplace at the lodge, where you can recline back in the couch and feel your cheeks rush with warmth.

I suspect it’s a combination of these things that makes The Birches Resort in Rockwood such a treat of a getaway – with a rustic cabin, a hot tub, and the friendly conversation of fellow guests thrown in for good measure.

Good morning from cabin No. 6 – aka “Feeling Groovy” – at The Birches Resort in Rockwood. Shannon Bryan photo
Looking out onto frozen Moosehead Lake from the deck of our cabin. Shannon Bryan photo
Snowmobiles parked by the lodge at The Birches Resort in Rockwood. Shannon Bryan photo

Thanks to an invitation from my friend Melanie, I got to enjoy a short little getaway to The Birches recently – a place I’d never been. This lakeside resort is popular with snowmobilers (from here, you can sled to Mt. Katahdin and Millinocket to the east, to Jackman and The Forks to the west, and around the Moosehead Lake Trail, a more than 100-mile loop around the lake). They even have snowmobiles to rent.

But for us fans of cross-country skiing (and frozen lakes and trail solitude in spectacular parts of Maine), this is a sweet spot for us, too.

Angie, Melanie and dog Mason skiing the trails at The Birches Resort. Shannon Bryan photo
That grooming! Shannon Bryan photo
We did a little skiing on Moosehead Lake, too. Shannon Bryan photo

There are 40 miles of groomed trails branching out from the main lodge, from novice trails to more challenging terrain, where you can spend an hour or two or the whole day.

Tail passes cost $11 adults/$8 kids for a half day (half day begins at noon) or $14 adults/$10 kids for a full day (the full day rate includes use of the hot tub and sauna. Heyooo).

Also cool: the trails are dog friendly (as is The Birches Resort generally).

Purty trees and superb trail conditions during our recent visit to The Birches Resort. Shannon Bryan photo
Angie having a grand time (and taking some really nice photos) on the trails. Shannon Bryan photo
Skiing on Moosehead Lake. That’s Mount Kineo in the distance. Shannon Bryan photo

The main lodge is a fine place to warm up, too. The restaurant serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and there’s a bar where you can pull up a tree-trunk stool and order whatever suits your fancy. Or tuck yourself into a couch in front of the fireplace and feel free to doze. No one here will mind.

Cross-country skiing up to the main lodge at The Birches Resort in Rockwood. Shannon Bryan photo
Down time at the main lodge at The Birches Resort. Shannon Bryan photo
Nightlife. Lively conversation at the bar and a cozy fireplace and couch (and lots of board games) inside the main lodge. Shannon Bryan photos
The hot tub and the main lodge during the day. Shannon Bryan photos

There are multiple lodging options at The Birches – rent a room at the lodge or a rustic cabin on Moosehead Lake. There are also modern vacation homes for larger groups and Kozy Kabins and Wilderness Yurts.

We stayed in one of the lakeside cabins, which had one private bedroom (as in, it had a door) and a loft with three twin beds. We stayed warm with the help of a wood stove and it was awesome to wake up in the morning and look out onto the lake as we made breakfast. (Okay, Angie and Melanie made breakfast and I mostly just sipped coffee and talked.)

I even put on snowshoes and charged out onto the lake first thing in the morning, just because.

In the warmer months, you can return here for fun on the lake, fishing, hiking, and even seaplane rides. But winter at The Birches is a nice blend of wilderness solitude while still being close to things like groomed trails, a hot tub, and a bar. So a thumbs up from me!

This way to The Birches Resort. Shannon Bryan photo

The Birches Resort

281 The Birches Road, Rockwood
Over 40 miles of marked, groomed trails, ranging in difficulty from novice to high intermediate.
Nordic skiing tail passes cost $11 adults/$8 kids for a half day (half day begins at noon) or $14 adults/$10 kids for a full day (the full day rate includes use of the hot tub and sauna)!
Make it a multi-day getaway and stay at a rustic lakefront cabin or private home. See the accommodations.
The Birches Resort is also dog friendly!
FMI: www.birches.com

Shannon Bryan

Shannon Bryan

I don't like "exercise" any more than you do. But you know what I do like? Paddleboarding with a friend all afternoon (and then sitting in the grass to drink chardonnay). Bike rides and nachos, hikes, yoga classes held in breweries, group paddles to Fort Gorges, you get the idea. Because Maine is my gym.