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Environment and Outdoors

Construction Has Begun On New Eco-Friendly Saddleback Mountain Ski Lodge

saddleback mountain resort lodge.jpg
Courtesy of Saddleback
via Bangor Daily News
The Saddleback Mountain Resort lodge, shown at night.

Since its reopening last winter, the Saddleback Ski area's revival in Rangeley is continuing on pace. Construction has recently begun on a mid-mountain lodge not far below the Appalachian Trail. New owners are adding snowmaking capacity, mountain bike trails, and housing units.

And the new 2700-foot lodge is intended to be a showcase for eco-sensitive design.

"This is a remarkable example of a boreal forest," says CEO Andy Shepard. He says he worked closely with Maine Audubon to ensure that bird habitat - including for the rare Bicknell's thrush, isn't disturbed.

"It's a robust animal and bird habitat, and we want people to be immersed in that natural environment. We want that to be the experience that people have when they are up there," Shepard says.

The lodge will have a lot of windows, he says, and will be built on pedestals, to avoid digging into the water table. It will have a sod roof that integrates with the hillside. And it will be open outside of ski season, Shepard adds, providing a potential way-station for Appalachian Trail hikers.