Maine blossoms with the first snowfall. Residents welcome that first dusting, breaking out the skis, snowboards, snowshoes and ice skates in anticipation of winter sporting fun. The snowmobiles come out of storage, are tuned up and gassed up, ready to head into the interior. Sled dogs become antsy, ready to start pulling their passengers across snow-packed trails.
Soon that dusting is a thick, powdery blanket. Ponds freeze over, becoming tree fringed ice rinks. Before you know it energetic youngsters are chasing hockey pucks along the surface, while others take to the ice for the sheer joy of movement. This is just the beginning. Come to snow-blessed Maine and see what winter is all about.
Cross Country Skiing Trails
Find your perfect cross country skiing trail in Acadia National Park, any number of state parks or in the White Mountain National Forest. Maine also offers 21 privately owned Nordic centers offering even more groomed trails along with additional skier amenities. It you prefer a complete ski resort package, first-rate venues such as Sugarloaf or Sunday River are just two that offer both downhill and cross-country skiing along with onsite accommodations. Head out on your own on a snow covered city park trail or join a guided ski excursion taking you deep into Maine’s wild interior. Read More >
Dog Sledding Trips
Man once relied on his team of dogs and a well made sled to make his way around the countryside. Maine dog sledding trips let you experience a bit of the state’s history and have a tail-wagging adventure at the same time. Go for a quick run behind some eager pullers and feel the cool bite of snow on your cheeks. Learn the basics of the sport and then harness the dogs and drive the sled on your own. At the end of your run you have a pack of fuzzy-faced pups, tails wagging, wanting to know if you had a good time. A good ear scratch or two would be most welcome. Read More >
Ice Skating Rinks
From iced over ponds in the wilderness to the full service MHG Arena, home to the Portland Pirates AHL Hockey Team, Maine has plenty of ice skating opportunities. Gather a few friends and some gear from Hockey Monkey for an informal game of hockey in the great outdoors, or take your significant other for a romantic spin around a frozen pond. Visit the Portland Ice Arena in the midst of summer and feel the blush of winter on your cheeks. The calendar may say it’s July but in the state of Maine it is possible to indulge in one of your winter passions almost year-round. Read More >
Skiing & Snowboarding Trails
Skiers and snowboarders are inherently drawn by the lure of fresh powder. They crave the anticipation of a downhill run or a half-pipe jump that almost defies gravity, followed by the promise of a cup of hot chocolate in front of a roaring fire. Maine’s ski resorts offer all of this, and more. The state’s 17 ski areas offer over 575 trails, some suitable for beginners, others featuring challenging vertical drops reaching 2,800 feet. Snowboarders may look forward to cleverly placed rails and half-pipes in professionally designed parks. Add to this a wealth of snow, state-of-the-art lift systems and mountain scenery that takes your breath away, in more ways than one. Read More >
Snowmobiling is a cherished Maine pastime. More than 14,000 miles of groomed trails are available for your riding pleasure, all looked after by volunteers of the various Maine snowmobile clubs. All together these trails make up the Interconnected Trail System, taking you deep into the state’s many regions. Since Maine is as far north as parts of eastern Canada, the snow is plentiful and long lasting, particularly in the Aroostook Region bordering New Brunswick and Quebec. You are welcome to bring and register your own snowmobile or rent one from a local outfitter. Go out for an hour, a day or take an extended snowmobile vacation with a Registered Maine Guide. You might even see a moose or two. Read More >
Early humans living in snow covered parts of the world came up with the ingenious idea of snowshoes. By creating “shoes” that were lightweight and had a wide stance, these people discovered they could travel farther, faster and without sinking into deep snow. Snowshoes are still used for necessary winter travel in many parts of the world, but they have also developed a following among sports enthusiasts. Maine offers a number of snowshoeing trails in Acadia National Park and throughout the state park system. Head out on your own for a morning walk in a snow covered forest or along the shore of a frozen lake. Delve even further into Maine’s wilderness on a guided tour, led by a Registered Maine Guide. Either way you’ll discover that crunching through the snow on a crisp winter day is an invigorating experience. Read More >
Sledding & Snow Tubing Parks
The sport of sledding was born out of sheer boredom. What better way to put some excitement into your day than to zoom down a snow covered hillside hanging on to a wooden sled, wondering if and when you were going to stop? Modern day sleds may not all be made of wood, and may be more maneuverable, but the thrill is still fresh. Eventually someone decided to try the same thing with an old inner tube, inventing snow tubing. Maine has a number of sledding and snow tubing parks with groomed runs offering speed and safety. Most are open from December until March, offer rentals of sleds and/or tubes and have lifts to get you up the hill. You are still on your own getting back down, one snowy bounce after another. Read More >