Maine’s North Woods covers more than 3.5 million acres of forestland, largely owned by large timber corporations with the occasional wealthy out-of-stater buying up a few thousand acres here and there. Billionaire John Malone bought part of Maine’s North Woods and recently claimed to have a “survival retreat” along the Quebec border. I wonder what this “retreat” entails, but I can tell you this:
Media billionaire John Malone purchased the 53,524-acre “Frontier Forest” near Jackman, Maine for $14 million, or just over $261 an acre, pushing his Maine land holdings to almost 70,000 acres. The land owned by Great Eastern Timber Co. LLC (whose parent is John Hancock Insurance) was marketed by LandVest at $17,750,000. It has an estimated timber capital value of $28 million, according to LandVest. The tract contains almost a dozen sizeable ponds, three major streams and mountainous terrain that are valued by recreationists.
(2003 news source)
Everyone seems to have their own idea on what constitutes the “North Woods.” Some of you big time city slickers reading this site might think all of Maine is the North Woods, which probably differs from someone living on Maine’s coast, which probably differs from what I think. I highlighted in green this map of Maine to outline what I consider to be the North Woods.
Note the red star – that’s Jackman, where Malone owns land along the border. I’ve been in and around Jackman numerous times and I can tell you – despite what this Jackman site might imply – there ain’t much there! Websites have the ability to make anything look fancy. (Just look at what SHTF Blog does for me!)
Jackman has a border patrol building, cabin rentals, some loggers/truckers, and a handful of small restaurants that cater to ATV riders, hunters and snowmobilers. It’s a very cash poor town. There is one “hospital” that looks more like a rural town office. Its services are very limited. If John Malone thinks he’s just going to fly in there with his float plane WTSHTF and mingle with the Jackman locals to survive, he’ll want to reconsider that plan. In a SHTF situation they won’t take kindly to flatlanders flocking in. If his plan is to just cross the border into Canada, something tells me the few Canadians just on the other side won’t be much different.
The Maine North Woods is, with the exception of a few very small towns and the occasional hunting camp, virtually uninhabited. It’s just miles upon miles upon miles of dirt roads, lakes, streams and a whole lot of trees. Four wheel drive is a virtual requirement if you’re visiting the North Woods during spring mud season or late fall when there’s a chance of snow, and make sure you pull over for logging trucks, because they cruise at high speed down the middle of the road and won’t make room for anyone. The roads are subject to washing out in a flash and many are closed completely during winter, which makes for some of the best snowmobiling country anywhere. Snowmobiles, boats and float planes are very common means of getting into or out of the North Woods. Wildlife includes whitetail deer, moose, rabbit, black bears, bobcats, coyotes, fox, fishers, weasels, porcupine, lynx, partridge and black flies – lots of black flies.
Here are a few pics from some of my North Woods deer hunting trips.
I daydream about owning a small cabin in “God’s Land” (as we like to call it) and stocking it with SHTF supplies, but the North Woods has both good and bad shits hits the fan survival retreat attributes. The single best thing about the North Woods is that – there is no one around. In an extended SHTF situation, you might see someone driving through on a truck in search of game, but they’d be using very valuable gas to do that. I’m not kidding when I say the land is vast.
The worst worst thing about the North Woods is that – there is no one around. If you hide out deep in the North Woods WTSHTF, you’ll only have whatever you’ve stocked, save the periodic moose, deer or other critter. Plenty of firewood on hand, but no medical care, bartering options or basic social interaction. If you go to the North Woods for long-term survival, you’ll become a deranged hermit.
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