Moose Ridge Gathering Information
We are located in Upton, Maine, not far from the New Hampshire border. We are lucky to be surrounded by beautiful mountains and forests.
Most of you will be driving through scenic Grafton Notch State Park just before arrival at Moose Ridge, passing Screw Auger and Mother Walker Falls, and crossing the Appalachian Trail. Moose Ridge is within a few miles of Lake Umbagog Wildlife Refuge, several rivers, many brooks and waterfalls, Grafton Notch, the Appalachian Trail, and many other amazing hiking trails. For more information, click on the 'Location' tab above.
If you are travelling from a distance, or if you would like to spend some time enjoying the area, you are welcome to camp at Moose Ridge for a day or two before or after the gathering. (Please let us know ahead of time if you plan to arrive early)
How to get here:
Please be aware that there is no cell service in the Grafton Notch area, so make sure you write down or download directions ahead of time! Also, there is no gas station in Upton. The last place to stop for gas is Bethel, ME to the south, or Mexico/Rumford to the east. The closest gas station to Moose Ridge is in Errol, NH, 10 miles north of us.
Moose Ridge is located at 176 Back Street, Upton Maine.
When driving on Route 26 through Grafton Notch, Back Street is the first left turn (onto a dirt road) after reaching Upton.
If you are arriving via route 120/Andover, you will take Upton Road, which becomes East B Hill Road. At the end of East B Hill Road, you will take a left, followed by an almost immediate right onto Back Street.
There will be a Moose Ridge sign at the beginning of Back Street. You will drive up a big hill, then Moose Ridge will be on the left. There will be another Moose Ridge sign at the end of our driveway.
Drive up to our parking area, where you can sign in and unload your gear. Because we are expecting more people than our parking area can handle, we will then have you move your car a short distance away to park along our property on Back Street. If you have special parking circumstances, or would like a ride back to the campus, please let us know! We will then show you to our camping area, and you can set up camp for the weekend.
Campsites range from ‘close to the center of activity’, to farther into the woods and very private.
Phone and Wi-fi:
While the Moose Ridge Gathering is a time to leave technology behind and enjoy being in the wilderness, we certainly understand the need to occasionally check in with family, or other obligations. There is no reliable cell signal on the main campus (although we can usually get a signal on top of the ridge at the end of the View Trail).
We do have Wi-fi available at the main cabin, and a land line if you need to make a call, or if someone needs to contact you in an emergency. The number is (207)533-2147. We have an electrical outlet outside the main cabin for emergency phone charging.
What to Bring:
Flashlight or headlamp
Water bottle (we have an artesian well with a hand pump for drinking water)
Plate/bowl/cup/utensils (we will provide water and soap for washing your dishes)
Clothing for chilly or rainy weather (hopefully the weather will cooperate!)
Food/snacks/cooler (we have an outdoor cooking area, and will also be offering food for purchase). There is a small general store about 1.5 miles from us in Upton, which sells ice and other necessities.
Insect repellent (if desired, though the mosquitos are usually gone by August!)
Any medications or first-aid items you may need.
Items for the trade blanket (see below for description!)
Food to share at the potluck if participating
Notebook if you would like to take notes during classes
Picnic blanket (we have limited picnic table space)
Cash for any classes that require a materials fee, to shop for hand-made items, or to enter our raffles!
Musical instruments, if you play!
Anything else you need to be comfortable for the weekend!
Rules and Safety:
Our goal is for everyone to have an amazing time while staying safe and uninjured!
Here are some rules to help make sure that happens:
Please keep fire in the designated areas. Our forest is largely (very flammable) balsam, and it can be dry in August, making even a small spark spread very quickly.
Our property was logged in the past before we acquired it, and there are many overgrown small roads and skid trails still visible which criss-cross and go in all directions. This can make wandering in the woods very confusing (even for us!), and it’s entirely possible to end up walking for 30 miles or more without coming to a road or house. Please stay on our marked trail system unless you are with an instructor, and always tell someone where you are going.
Children are very welcome, but please make sure they are attended by an adult at all times. We don’t want any lost or injured kids!
At any primitive or bush-craft gathering, there will be sharp objects, such as knives, hatchets and arrows. Please be aware of your surroundings and keep an eye on the kids!
We will have basic first aid supplies on site, and we have an EMT on staff.
We are a family friendly event, so please no illegal drugs, and alcohol at your own campsite only.
Service animals only.
We will ask everyone to sign a liability waiver when registering, as is required by our insurance.
Need something or forgot something while you’re at Moose Ridge? Just ask and we’ll do our best to help.
Although in the near future we hope to have a more permanent system in place, our only option to host a large group of people at this point is to rent port-a-potties. They will be centrally but discretely located near the registration area.
On Saturday and Sunday mornings, will we gather briefly after breakfast for announcements. Instructors may want to tell people about their classes that day, and there may be sign-ups for classes that can only take a limited number of students.
The Trade Blanket is a fun tradition that has its origins with the French trappers, who used this method to trade with the Native Americans, even when language was a barrier.
Here is how it works. The first participant puts an item in the center of the blanket, and the other participants then have an opportunity to put down an item they’d like to trade for it. The first participant can then either choose one of the items in trade, refuse all trades and take their item off the blanket, or ask someone to “sweeten the deal” (add something to make a trade more enticing). No mention of monetary value is made. The process continues at least until everyone has had an opportunity to offer something for trade.
Almost anything can be traded! In the past items have included: knives, jars of jam, animal pelts, hand-crafted items, jewelry, and even small appliances 😊
Meals are not included in the $45 entrance fee. Please bring your own food, or you may choose to purchase food at the event. As the event nears, we will be asking registrants how many meals they plan to purchase, so that we can plan for approximate amounts. All of our food is organic and/or local.
We will be selling: (exact items and prices subject to change as we figure out costs and availability)
Breakfast: breakfast sandwiches ($4)
Lunch: sandwiches, hotdogs ($5, $3)
Dinner: rice bowl bar ($10)
There will be at least two areas for communal campfire cooking. We have cooking grates and cast-iron pans that everyone is free to use.
Not sure how to cook over a campfire? There will be plenty of people around who will be glad to give you some tips and maybe even a lesson or two!
On Saturday we will have a buffet-style community potluck dinner. Moose Ridge will be serving hand-harvested wild rice (and perhaps a few other dishes!). If you would like to participate in this event, bring a dish to share. It can be made ahead, or something that is cooked or warmed up just before the meal. We had some amazing food last year...
Makers Sale and Barter Tent:
This year we will have a space for instructors and participants to offer their hand-made goods for sale or barter.
If you wish to put your goods on offer, please clearly label items with your name and the asking price. Any goods or raw materials you have collected or crafted yourself are eligible for the Makers Tent.
Although we will have someone attending the tent while it is open, Moose Ridge cannot be responsible for lost or damaged items, so please take any valuable items back to your car or campsite at the end of the day.
Teach it - Learn it Stations
New this year! Have a skill? Teach someone! Want to learn? Ask someone! After all, this is what our gathering is all about: sharing skills and ideas within a diverse community. We will have materials out for people to try their hand at. You may just go home with a new hobby! Planning is still in progress, but stations may include: primitive fire, cordage making, fiber spinning, archery, rabbit sticks, knot tying, and more!
Door Prizes and Raffle Items
New this year! We thought it would be fun to have door prizes this year, so everyone will receive a numbered ticket when they sign in. Who knows, you could go home with a new Morakniv or a foraging basket! We will also be raffling a few larger items, with tickets to be drawn at the Saturday potluck.
Other questions not covered here?
Ask us at: firstname.lastname@example.org