Maine Snowmobile Trails and Tours
Hundreds of snowmobilers flock to Maine each winter to enjoy its pristine trails. Whether you bring your own snowmobile, rent one from a local outfitter, or take a guided snowmobiling tour, you will love the opportunity to experience wintery Maine from a fresh perspective.
The Maine snowmobiling season generally runs from mid-December through April, although conditions vary from year to year. Most lakes are frozen and safe for snowmobiles by New Year’s Day. Areas in southern and central Maine often get 60 to 80 inches of snowfall per year. Aroostook County in northern Maine averages 95.5 inches of snow, making it an excellent place to snowmobile throughout the winter. The Maine Snowmobile Association compiles trail conditions reports from various regions in Maine.
No special permit is required to operate a snowmobile in Maine, but all residents must register their snowmobiles. Only snowmobiles registered in Maine may be operated on state land. The state no longer has reciprocity with New Hampshire or Canada. However, snowmobiles on certain trails shared between Maine and New Hampshire or Maine and New Brunswick may be registered in the neighboring state or province. Additionally, the state governments of Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont sometimes set aside special reciprocity weekends in which snowmobilers can explore neighboring states without re-registering their snowmobiles. Children under 10 years of age must be accompanied by an adult to ride a snowmobile in Maine.
When snowmobiling in Maine, avoid public roads and stay off private land unless given permission by the landowner. Although you may snowmobile during the day and at night, ensure that you have effective snowmobile lights to prevent accidents. Wearing a helmet is required when snowmobiling on many trails in state parks and other public land. Make sure you have a snowmobile jacket, snow pants, snow goggles, and other warm weather gear to prevent windburn and frostbite.
Where to Go Snowmobiling
The Interconnected Trail System (ITS) is one of Maine’s premier snowmobiling resources. Since the 1960s, snowmobile club volunteers have groomed over 14,000 miles of trails that criss-cross the state. From the New Brunswick state line to the Canadian border, this trail network spreads across all of Maine; view an interactive ITS map to find a trail near you. For regional and local maps, contact a snowmobile club or local chamber of commerce. The New England Snowmobile Trail Network and certain trails on the Canadian border connect Maine to its neighbors.
The Rangeley Lakes in western Maine is a popular area for snowmobiling enthusiasts. The Black Fly Loop connects approximately 300 miles of trails in the Rangeley Lakes region and features exciting, well-groomed mountain trails. Other popular snowmobiling destinations include the Jackman and Moose River region near the Quebec border, the Sugarloaf region in western Maine, and the Moosehead Lake region. Another remote snowmobiling destination is Aroostook County, the northernmost county in the state. With its rolling hills, open fields, and fascinating wildlife, Snogoer Magazine named Aroostock County one of the top 10 places to snowmobile in North America.
In addition to snowmobiling Maine’s dense trail network, consider attending a local snowmobiling event. The SNODEO event in Rangeley features a chili cook-off, snowmobile demonstrations, races, a parade, and other family-friendly activities. Flagstaff’s annual Polar Blast is another fun event that includes races, sledding, fireworks, and cash prizes. Gray’s Winterfest celebration also includes family fun rides, snowmobile races, and an ice fishing contest. Many other local snowmobile clubs offer annual winter celebrations with snowmobile runs and family-friendly activities.
Maine Snowmobiling and Trail Resources
There are over 100 snowmobile clubs in Maine, many of which are in small towns spread out across the state. These clubs vary in size but can be a great resource to learn more about snowmobiling opportunities and trail conditions. Many clubs groom and maintain trails in their area, create trail maps, and work to preserve snowmobiling opportunities in Maine. Visit Sled Maine for a list of snowmobile clubs in the state.
If you do not own a snowmobile, consider renting one from a local outfitter. An hour-long rental typically starts at $50, while a full day of snowmobiling will cost over $200 per person. Rates vary by region and are often higher on Saturdays, which are more popular than weekdays. Many outfitters offer discounts on snowmobile rentals for multiple days or for group rentals, giving you the opportunity to go on a longer excursion without breaking the bank. Gear rental is typically an additional $40 to $50 per person, although most outfitters provide a helmet for free.
If you would prefer a guided snowmobile tour, find a Registered Maine Guide or qualified outfitter to lead your group. In general, a two-day guided tour for two people may cost between $1,000 and $1,200, including lodging, snowmobile rentals, gear, and the guide. Shorter half-day trips may cost $150 to $250 per person.