Immerse yourself in nature for a few days to rejuvenate your body and mind, especially if you work in one of the big cities on the East Coast. Breathe in the fresh air, go hiking, mountain biking and swim in clear mountain lakes.

Maine and New Hampshire offer several beautiful spots where couples and families can go on a quick and affordable adventure vacation. These unique lodges are operated by the Appalachian Mountain Club which offers over 8,000 activities each year. See more great weekend trips: from NYC, Boston, Vermont and the Finger Lakes.

We recommend that you call the attractions and restaurants ahead of your visit to confirm current opening times.

1.Little Lyford Lodge & Cabins

Little Lyford Lodge & Cabins
© Dennis Welsh, Courtesy of AMC

Little Lyford in central Maine's Moosehead Lake region has been a favorite with outdoor enthusiasts for over 135 years. Guests are accommodated in 9 free-standing cabins which sleep one to six people, complete with a porch, woodstove, gas lamp and cold-running water during summer and fall. There is also a bunkhouse which can accommodate 12 guests. Pillows and blankets are provided, but you need to bring your own sheets and a towel. Several of the cabins are dog-friendly.

Facilities include a central bath house, toilets and sauna in the winter. The lodge has a cozy fireplace and outdoor deck, perfect for relaxing with a drink. Activities include fly-fishing on the Pleasant River, hiking on Indian Mountain and canoeing at nearby ponds. In the winter, a groomed cross-country ski trail connects Little Lyford with the Gorman Chairback Lodge. Bunkhouse rates start at $71 per person per night, cabins from $109 per person per night, including breakfast and lunch. More New England getaways.

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2.Gorman Chairback Lodge & Cabins

Gorman Chairback Lodge & Cabins
© Dennis Welsh, Courtesy of AMC

This lakeside retreat on Long Pond in Maine is surrounded by pristine wilderness, waterfalls and rivers. Guests enjoy hiking along scenic trails, fly-fishing and homemade meals. Gorman Chairback Lodge was built in 1867 as a private camp and offers 4 cabins with a private bath, 8 shoreline cabins with shared bath and a bunkhouse for ten guests. The lodge serves family-style breakfast and dinner, as well as made-to-order trail lunches. Cabins start at $134 per person per night, including breakfast, lunch and dinner.

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3.Joe Dodge Lodge

Joe Dodge Lodge
© Herb Swanson, Courtesy of AMC

Surrounded by White Mountain National Forest in New Hampshire, Joe Dodge Lodge offers easy access to some of the best hiking, wildlife watching and biking in the region. In the winter, expert skiers can ski down Tuckerman Ravine. Accommodations include bunkrooms and private rooms, starting at $56 per person per night, including breakfast.

If you are planning a family vacation, AMC Family Adventure Camps, designed for parents and kids ages 5-12, let you try new activities led by expert staff. The all-inclusive camps start at $578 per adult and from $362 per child for 5 days of lodging, meals and guided activities. Family Adventure Camps are also offered at the The Highland Center.

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4.Highland Center Lodge

Highland Center Lodge
© Jerry & Marcy Monkman, Courtesy of AMC

Located in Crawford Notch in New Hampshire's White Mountains, the Highland Center offers guest rooms with private bathrooms and bunkrooms with shared bathrooms. There are several scenic waterfalls nearby where you can take photos and relax accompanied by the sounds of water. Kids can play on the new jungle gym and improve their climbing skills. Hike along the 8.5 mile Crawford Path trail, the oldest, continuously maintained, hiking path in the U.S, built during the 1800's. In the winter, Bretton Woods' cross-country ski trails, which measure 100 km, extend to the lodge.

Bunkrooms start at $84 per person per night, including breakfast and dinner. Check for seasonal programs such as photography workshops, women's outdoor adventures, guided hiking and fly-fishing tours. Guests are served a full buffet breakfast, great before a hike to a nearby mountain peak. In the evening, have a home-cooked dinner when you return to the lodge.

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5.Cardigan Lodge

Cardigan Lodge
© Herb Swanson, Courtesy of AMC

Located on a 1,200-acre reservation in New Hampshire, Cardigan Lodge offers vacationers access to 50 miles of backcountry ski trails trails, paddling on Newfound Lake, and beautiful waterfalls. Accommodations include 2 Private Lodge Rooms, 13 Lodge Bunkrooms with Shared Bath which can be reserved as private rooms, and affordable campsites. Bunkrooms start at $72 per person per night, including breakfast and dinner. Campsites start at $27 per night. See more great weekend trips: from NYC, Boston, Vermont and the Finger Lakes.

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5 Affordable New England Wilderness Lodges

More Ideas: Shacksbury Cider

There are lots of things we take for granted each and every day, and a big reason for this is that we get used to these elements being a part of our daily lives. They seem so normal and common that people find it hard to see them in a special light or truly appreciate how important and interesting they are.

Apples are a great example. One of the most common fruits around, apples seem pretty simple and standard compared to more exotic alternatives, but they’re actually a truly miraculous fruit that we should never ever take for granted. Apples can be used in a million different ways, from being baked into cakes and pies to be smashed up into sauce or used to make cider.

Plus, there are countless varieties of apples out there, each with its own color, flavor, and merits. When it comes to cider production, there are lots of different varieties that really work well to make delicious, top quality ciders, but many of these varieties aren't actually grown at any big scale on American soil.

Fortunately, some American cider companies are daring to think outside the box. Making use of whatever they can find, experimenting with different varieties from New England and international locations like Spain and England, and even adding new elements like grape skins to create revolutionary cider-wine fusions, Shacksbury is one of those companies.

Shacksbury - a New England Cidery

Shacksbury is an innovative cider based out of Vermont. Founded on the belief that cider can have the same complexities and varieties as other alcoholic drinks, Shacksbury works with lots of different apple varieties from around the world to craft truly unique ciders, adding new and fresh products to the market and showing a different side to cider.

- Quality Cider - Shacksbury specializes in producing high quality ciders with a mixture of apples grown in New England, as well as apples sourced internationally from locations like England and Spain. The core trio of ciders offered by Shacksbury are Rosé, Arlo, and Dry. Rosé, as the name implies, is made to resemble a rosé wine and actually features Syrah and Zinfandel grape skins which help to add structure and flavor to the finished product. Dry is a light, crisp cider that can work just as well on a summer day as it does on a cool and frosty evening, being made with a mixture of New England and English apples. Finally, Arlo is a Basque-style cider produced in conjunction with a Spanish orchard and making use of exclusive European varieties.

- Tastings - If you're looking for quality cider tastings in Vermont, you can stop off at the Shacksbury Cidery and Tasting Room in Vergennes. The tasting room is located at 11 Main Street and is very easy to access, being open from Wednesdays through to Saturdays from 12pm to 6pm and Sundays from 12pm to 4pm for most of the year (please confirm the hours before you go). In winter (January to April), the tasting room is only open on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays. There's also a secondary tasting room for Shacksbury Cider which is shared with Zafa Wines and located at 266 Pine Street, Burlington, Vermont. This tasting room opens up at 2pm and stays open until the evening from Wednesdays through to Sundays of each week.

- The Cider Club - Shacksbury ciders can be ordered online and purchased direct from the tasting room, but one of the best ways to enjoy these amazing New England ciders is to sign up with the Cider Club. Just like with other clubs, the Shacksbury Cider Club provides regular shipments of quality cider right to your door for a quarterly fee. All members of the club also get additional benefits like a 10% discount on all other ciders, custom recipes, exclusive invitations to special events, and early access to the Cellar Sale, in which vintage ciders are released for public consumption.

- The Lost Apples Project - Fully committed to bringing something new to the cider scene and making use of different apple varieties in bold new ways and combinations, Shacksbury Cider also organizes the Lost Apple Project. Since 2013, workers from this cidery have been setting out all around Vermont to try and find rare and unique apple trees and varieties that were believed to have been lost over the years. By finding these apples, planting the seeds, and bringing them back to life, Shacksbury Cider is honoring the history and heritage of New England apples and preserving treasured varieties for generations to come.

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