Bethel Maine: A Sustainable Living Community

Learn about Bethel Maine, a sustainable living community. Bethel is famous for its outdoor living. Skiing, snow-shoeing, hiking, canoeing, fishing — you name the activity; they have the perfect spot for it.

| August/September 2008

A great place to live you've never heard of is Bethel Maine, a sustainable living community. Bethel is universally famous for outdoor living.

Bethel Maine: A Sustainable Living Community

If Maine brings to mind clean air, rambling moose, pristine countryside and fresh lobster, Bethel scores on three of those: The lobster has to come from the coast.

Bethel residents enjoy the outdoors that surrounds them. For summer recreation, the Appalachian Trail is not far away, but many hikers are just as excited about the hiking and backpacking trails in the White Mountain National Forest and the Grafton Loop, a scenic 42-mile backpacker’s dream. Canoe and kayak races are a familiar sight on the Androscoggin River — which is no longer one of the country’s most polluted waterways thanks to cleanup efforts by federal, state and municipal agencies — so are anglers pulling 6-pound rainbow trout out of the water.

Ski magazine called it “the greatest ski town in the universe,” because both the skiing and the village life are world-class. In the hills and valleys surrounding Bethel are 62 miles of groomed Nordic ski trails, and even dog sled teams for hire. Bethel recently celebrated its abundant snow with a world-record snowwoman (122 feet tall, 13 million pounds).

Festivals such as the Harvest Fest feature the products of locals such as John Carter. This seventh generation farmer/rancher practices rotational cattle grazing that mimics the nomadic grazing habits of bison and moose, preventing soil erosion and habitat destruction.

Bethel, Maine

Population: 2,640

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