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.

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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