Claybrook Mountain Lodge is the place for birds, trout, and more

For the third year in a row, Linda and I spent a May weekend at Claybrook Mountain Lodge in Lexington, Plantation, where owners Greg and Pat Drummond offer birding weekends.

Greg and our mutual friend Ron Joseph are our birding guides and do a superb job, identifying 100 species this particular weekend including 20 species of warblers, 5 species of swallows, and a singing Philadelphia Vireo. Many of the guests return each year, as we do, so it’s a real reunion for us.

The lodge has 8 very comfortable rooms, plus a living and dining room. While I do enjoy birding, I’d go to Claybrook just to enjoy Pat’s fantastic food. Boy, can she cook!

Ron is a retired state and federal wildlife biologist and a superb guide, and Greg and Pat worked for years at Cobb’s Pierce Pond Camps before building their own lodge.

I got particularly excited when we saw a huge bear track. I really wanted to see that bear!

We spent the weekend driving here and there and walking through beautiful terrain. Pat puts up lunches for us so we can don’t have to return to the lodge for lunch. On Sunday, while lunching on a bridge over a small meandering stream in a very remote location, we spotted rising trout.

In a flash, Greg had his fly rod out, casting to those fish, and he caught a small one. We had very little time for fishing, but I did get a photo of Greg and the fish, joking that I was going to advertise: “If you’d like to catch some whopper brook trout like these, fishing guide Greg Drummond is your choice!”

Truthfully, I had to promise not to tell all the stories Greg told me about the great trout and other fish he and his customers and friends had caught in the various places we were birding. We also saw wild turkeys, so I suggested that next year they expand these weekends into “birding, turkey hunting, and fishing” adventures.


George Smith

About George Smith

George stepped down at the end of 2010 after 18 years as the executive director of the Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine to write full time. He writes a weekly editorial page column in the Kennebec Journal and Waterville Morning Sentinel, a weekly travel column in those same newspapers (with his wife Linda), monthly columns in The Maine Sportsman magazine, two outdoor news blogs (one on his website,, and one on the website of the Bangor Daily News), and special columns for many publications and newsletters. Islandport Press published a book of George's favorite columns, "A Life Lived Outdoors" in 2014. In 2014, George also won a Maine Press Association award for writing the state's bet sports blog. In 2016, Down East Books published George's book, Maine Sporting Camps, and Islandport Press published George and his wife Linda's travel book, Take It From ME, about their favorite Maine inns and restaurants.