Family fun at Claybrook Mountain Lodge, a place cherished by Mainers

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New Portland
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                 It was a birding adventure we will never forget, and not just because we identified 98 species of birds. Claybrook Mountain Lodge in Highland Plantation offers comfort, adventure, and fabulous food, but it’s the family atmosphere created by owner/hosts Greg and Pat Drummond that keep bringing guests back year after year.

                The weekend we were there, there was a couple from Litchfield with their two grandchildren, Corey and Elise. The couple has been coming here for 25 years. On their first trips, they stayed in Greg and Pat’s home. Everyone there for the birding weekend was from Maine, and judging from the guest book, this is a place cherished by Mainers.

                When Greg and Pat Drummond built and opened the Lodge next door to their home in 1984, their first guests were deer hunters. And for many years, the November deer season was their busiest. But things have changed. “The deer herd in our area has declined to such an extent that our (deer) season is the least profitable of the year,” says Greg. So what is their busiest time of the year now, you ask? Its winter, when the lodge is full of cross country skiers and the Drummonds serve weekend lunches to traveling snowmobilers.

                A few years ago the Drummonds turned Memorial Day weekend into a birding adventure, attracting so many guests that they added a second birding weekend last year. Greg, along with his friend Ron Joseph, a retired federal wildlife biologist, lead the birding weekend adventure. We traveled throughout the area, stunning in its beauty, and stopped here and there to hike and identify the amazing array of birds.

                After our Friday night dinner, I told Pat, who does everything in the kitchen from cooking to dish washing that we were changing the column to focus on “Claybrook Mountain Restaurant.” Pat could cook for the finest restaurant in Portland. Her food, much of it made from scratch, is so good. And there is lots of it, including a bottomless cookie jar. 


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