Winter Lodge Smackdown
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Hut is a misnomer when it comes to this cozy, wood-paneled outpost. Opening this month as the second in a series of 12 lodges connecting 180 miles of ski and hiking trails in western Maine, Flagstaff better resembles a swanky retreat than a backwoods shack. Picture a main lodge with an atrium ceiling, a woodstove, and a library off to the side. The whole compoundincluding guest bunkhouses and a 90-foot wind turbineis perched on a peninsula jutting into 31-square-mile Flagstaff Lake. Around the shores lie miles of looped trails, where you can almost get lost before returning for dinner, which includes Italian sausage and
The Half-Baked Plan: Walleye World
Your ice-fishing instructions: Head to Sportsman's Lodge, on Minnesota's Lake of the Woods, "the walleye capital of the world" (sportsmanslodgelow.com). Accept guided ride to your ice shack. Do not enter foreign huts. Place bait in predrilled hole after dropping two cans of Miller High Life in hole for good luck. Wait. Whiskey. Wait. Walleye (average: 15 inches). Whiskey.