Maine Huts & Trails announced the appointment of Charlie Woodworth as the organization’s new executive director on Jan. 15, replacing Nicole Freedman, who has returned to Boston as executive director of Boston Bikes.
Woodworth, a resident of both Carrabassett Valley and Yarmouth, is an avid outdoorsman who has been a member and supported of Maine Huts & Trails since its inception. His interests include Nordic skiing, hiking, paddling and cycling. He is a multiyear participant in the annual MH&T Ski Marathon and Tour and in 2010 he was the event’s 60-kilometer race winner.
“I am thrilled for the privilege of leading this fine organization that has accomplished so much in a few short years,” Woodworth said in a press release. “I look forward to sustaining the momentum and working together with others in the area to establish western Maine as a year-round destination for those seeking adventure and renewal in the outdoors. At the end of the day we are building for future generations by providing healthy outdoor recreation, and inspiring stewardship of our natural resources.”
Maine Huts & Trails is a nonprofit organization that contributes to the economic, social and natural environment of Maine’s western mountain region. Its 80 miles of trails help people gain access to remote lakes, rivers and forestlands; and the organization’s four low-impact, energy-efficient
backcountry lodges (or “huts”) allow outdoor adventurists to spend multiple days in the wilderness while still enjoying the luxury of hot showers, homemade meals and comfortable beds.
Woodworth steps into his position at a turning point for MH&T. The organization recently has completed Phase 1 of building the hut-to-hut trail network — 80 miles of trail and four huts. At this juncture, the organization will focus on promoting educational education and outdoor recreation through youth and adult programming, said Woodworth. MH&T also will focus on improving operational efficiencies with the goal of creating best-in-class amenities.
“I was exposed to hiking and camping through an outing club in junior high,” said Woodworth in a recent email interview. “My interest and exposure grew from there. These weren’t activities that my family participated in. When we had children, my wife and I wanted to make sure that they — and their willing friends — had these opportunities. I fully understand our mission and the benefits of promoting outdoor, people-powered recreation.”
Woodworth has experience with similar hut systems throughout the United States and abroad and has more than 20 years of entrepreneurship and management experience. He is a past member of the Carrabassett Valley Outdoor Center’s Trail Committee and has worked with the Maine state government on energy efficiency and conservation issues, which are important to the Maine Huts & Trails mission. His long involvement in conservation also includes serving on the Baxter State Park advisory board and volunteering for the Royal River Conservation Trust.
For information about Maine Huts & Trails, visit www.mainehuts.org or call 265-2400.