January 18, 2017 — The Maine Office of Tourism, in collaboration with the Ski Maine Association and the Maine Snowmobile Association (MSA), reports that new snow falling throughout the day today in most regions of the state will help build upon some of the snow lost last week during the rain and warmer temperatures.
|2016 Snodeo event in Rangeley. Click on the image above or the link below to access a library of recent Maine winter images.|
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) snow depth map shows that more than half of Maine has at least 12 to 14 inches of snow, with most of Aroostook County still averaging more than two feet. Snow falling early today has primarily accumulated in the Midcoast region and, later this afternoon, more snow is forecasted to fall in Aroostook.
Maine's ski areas continue to thrive. In Greenville, Big Squaw Mountain Ski Resort's mid-January conditions are the best they have experienced in years. In addition to skiing, there are 5K and 10K groomed Nordic loops and a full-service base lodge with a bar. Lift service to the resort's 29 trails is Thursday from noon to 4 p.m., and Friday through Sunday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
With snowmakers having refreshed the lower mountain this past weekend, Shawnee Peak is also reporting outstanding skiing conditions. The resort plans to open more natural trails as soon as there is enough snow accumulation, and this weekend, they will host their annual Moonlight Challenge ski race, supporting the Maine Children's Cancer Program.
While last week's rain and warmer temperatures have postponed snowmobiling on some southern Maine trails, there is still great riding throughout most of the state. The return of the colder temperatures throughout this week has helped solidify the snow base, and new snow today will only enhance the riding. The MSA updates snowmobile trail conditions daily.
Currently, the snowmobile trails in Aroostook are exceptional, and a town of particular interest is Madawaska, with many options for riders starting or ending on ITS Trails 81 and 83. In western Maine, Grand Falls, Maine's largest waterfall on the Dead River, is located between Eustis and The Forks on ITS-86, and provides a scenic picnic lunch spot along the easy trail.
"We're excited to be receiving a fresh coat of new snow today," said Maine Office of Tourism's Senior Tourism Officer, Phil Savignano. "The cold temperatures are helping to improve the already great conditions of Maine's ski and snowmobile trails. While ice skating couldn't be better, cross-country skiing and snowshoeing continue to be exceptional, too."
For people looking to make weekend plans, Rangeley's Snowmobile Snodeo kicks off this Thursday with events throughout the weekend. In addition to XC races, radar runs and a snowmobile parade, there will also be a chili chowder cook-off, a family marshmallow roast and fireworks.
On Saturday in Portland, WinterKids will host a Welcome to Winter Festival for families looking to enjoy sledding, snowshoeing, ice skating and other outdoor activities.
The snow reports, released each Wednesday throughout the season, will be posted on VisitMaine.com, where visitors can also find information about other winter activities and events. People enjoying the Maine winter are encouraged to share their photos on social media using #MaineWinter.
Editor's Note: Click on the image above or the link below to access a Dropbox folder of downloadable Maine winter images.
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