Our professional photo guides, all well known for their photographic images of the region, will be leading you to their favorite – but not easy to find –locations; the magnificent and often remote waterways and trails, large and small, which are in the shadows of the majestic High Peaks of Western Maine. The breathtaking colors of fall foliage will be everywhere: maples, birch, poplar, oak will display brilliant yellow, orange and red foliage, against the dark greens of Maine pine, spruce, hemlock and fir forests. Majestic rocks edges, water mist, early morning fog – as only can been seen in the back country and mountain ranges of the great northern Maine woods – will provide a stunning palette that we will discover and photograph together. Our guides will share their experience and technical knowledge while you capture the beauty of these locations by camera.
Our travels will take us to the tranquility of Flagstaff Lake with its birch-lined shores, coves of weathered drift wood, and rocky edges, the meandering Dead River with its wonderful reflections, the rapid filled Carrabassett River plus other special locations while observing eagle, loon and waterfowl in flight, surrounded by the brilliance of fall foliage. Although no guaranteed sightings, it will be obvious from the tracks at your feet that these locations are in the heart of moose country, as well as many other upland mammals.
The historic village of Kingfield will be our home, while we stay in the beautifully restored Inn on Winter’s Hill, overlooking the Carrabassett River. A three-minute walk from our Inn, the village center is home to galleries, restaurants and curio shops.
This year discover the sublime landscape of secluded, undeveloped Richardson Lake, known as the jewel of the Rangeley Lakes, with a two-day (two nights) optional extension. Led by a life-long Richardson Lake camp owner and photographer, this trip will feature hiking and boating adventures bringing us to miles of wild beaches, secret cranberry bogs, and hidden coves. We will stay at Lakewood Camps, which borders historic Middle Dam and the famed Rapid River, the backdrop for Louise Richardson Rich’s classic novel We Took to the Woods. As a special treat we will spend part of a day at the privately owned Deer Park Lodge, photographing the three turn-of-the-century boathouses, replete with classic fishing gear, traditional Rangeley boats, and classic wood canvas canoes.
Join us for this rare opportunity to discover, and photograph, the allure and beauty of the northern Maine woods in full autumn splendor.
- Professional tour guides (photographic and paddling) throughout the program
- Gear transport into the huts
On The Tour
- All activities according to the itinerary
- All trail, paddling and lodging fees, including a $50 donation to the non-profit Maine Huts & Trails
Accommodations & Meals
- All accommodation
- All breakfasts, lunches, and dinners
- Daily photography during peak New England fall foliage
- Hiking through dense, secluded natural forests, lake and river edges
- An inspiring hike along Flagstaff Lake’s famous shore front Birch Trail
- A guided canoe trip on Flagstaff Lake
- Vistas of the Bigelow Mountains, a 26-mile long mountain range with two of Maine’s High Peaks (above 4,000 feet)
- Introductory presentation of photography in the Maine Wilderness by local professional nature photographers
- Daily presentations and discussions of photographic techniques, composition, local knowledge and critiques of participant’s work
- An optional extension to Richardson Lake, including a day exploring an historic hunting camp
- Healthy meals featuring local food, the fall harvest and Maine’s famous craft beers
- Three overnight stays in the recently renovated, historic Inn on Winter’s Hill in the village of Kingfield
- Optional extension includes two overnights at Maine’s legendary Lakewood Camps at Middle Dam
Day by Day
Day 1 – Kingfield and the Carrabassett River
Arrive at your home for three nights: the gracious and recently completely renovated historic Inn at Winter’s Hill and get settled. Walk down the hill to the 1874 Kingfield Primary Schoolhouse Gallery by noon for lunch and introductions. Tour the gallery and listen to a short orientation. A late afternoon photo session at nearby locations, such as Ira Mountain (to see an amazing panorama of the entire Carrabassett Valley) and Rapid Stream, followed by a group dinner and photo discussion.
Day 2 – The Bigelow Mountains and Flagstaff Lake
We begin the second day of our travel photography tour with an early morning visit to catch the rising sun on one of Maine’s tallest peaks, Mt. Abrahams. After a hearty breakfast at the Inn we travel north, stopping along the way to photograph the many moods of the Carrabassett River. Most of the day will be spent hiking along Flagstaff Lake and the Dead River, always in view of the magnificent Bigelow Mountain Range—one of New England’s most distinct ridgelines. We will explore photographing mountain landscapes, reflections, spectacular fall foliage and, hopefully, some wildlife! The day ends with a gourmet dinner at one of the region’s fine restaurants.
Day 3 – Flagstaff Lake Hut
After an early breakfast, we travel to the eastern end of Flagstaff Lake for a hike along the famous Shore Trail, surrounded by a dense white birch forest in full fall color. A hearty lunch awaits us at the eco-lodge Flagstaff Hut. The afternoon will be spent canoeing or kayaking on Flagstaff Lake to discover shoreline opportunities from a water perspective or hiking in search of driftwood, foliage, or dense pine forests. Back in Kingfield, we end our day of photography with a celebration dinner and photo critique in one of the Inn’s historic parlor rooms.
Day 4 – Kingfield and Goodbye or Enjoy optional Rangley Lakes Camp Tour Extension
We begin with an early morning trip to the Carrabassett River to photograph fast water, lined with colorful foliage, making us hungry for our last robust Inn breakfast. After packing we head back down to the Schoolhouse Gallery for a debriefing and time for saying goodbye to all our new friends.
We’ll enjoy lunch at the Schoolhouse Gallery in Kingfield, Maine, then drive west to South Arm, stopping for photographic opportunities along the way, including overlooks of Mt. Abrahams, Rangeley and Mooselookmeguntic Lakes.
Day 5 – Rangley Lakes Camp Tour Extension: Richardson Lake
This will be a day of amazing exploration, our Guide taking us to places only he knows about, after spending years paddling on Richardson Lake. Following a sunrise photo shoot and breakfast at Lakewood, we will travel by boat along the incredible 12 miles of undeveloped shoreline to wild cranberry bogs, waterfalls, and undisturbed sand shorelines, ending at Deer Park Lodge, a family-owned hunting camp built in 1904, overlooking the Narrows of Richardson Lake.
Day 6 – Rangley Lakes Camp Tour Extension: Rapid River and Goodbye!
Our final sunrise photo shoot will be followed by breakfast, then a morning exploring the Rapid River and Pond in the River – places made famous by Louise Dickenson Rich in her book We Took to the Woods (pre-trip suggested reading!). A short hike along the Rapid will bring us to her recently restored Writing Cabin. Following lunch, we pack up; say our goodbyes and head back down lake to retrieve our cars at South Arm.
Ben Pearson – co-leader of the Rangeley Lakes Camp tour:
Ben’s love of the outdoors drew him to L.L.Bean right out of college. He had a 30-year career there as Director & Senior Product Manager of Sporting Goods. He also was a Registered Maine Guide, outfitting and leading fun-filled wilderness canoe trips down Maine’s fabled rivers such as the Allagash, West Branch of the Penobscot, and the St John. An accomplished paddler, Ben has been U.S. National White Water Canoe Champion and has sea-kayaked the approximately 2,000 miles of coastline that connect Portsmouth NH to Quebec City and beyond.
“It was the desire to truly capture the beauty and magic of Richardson Lake, as well as the stunning scenes I often see in my many outdoor explorations, that motivated me to take up fine art photography. Luckily, I had John and Cindy Orcutt as mentors to help me get started and teach me the fundamentals of good composition. I would lead them on adventures to some of my favorites spots and then watch and learn as they worked to capture great photographs of these places I treasured. We have been adventuring and having fun together for over twenty years now, somehow it just keeps getting better. I look forward to sharing the magic of my favorite places with you.”