January 25, 2017 — The Maine Office of Tourism, in collaboration with Ski Maine Association and the Maine Snowmobile Association (MSA), reports that yesterday's nor'easter, with a mix of snow and ice throughout much of the state, has produced great conditions for outdoor recreation this weekend
|A view from Sugarloaf during yesterday's storm. Click on the image above or the link below to access a library of recent Maine winter images and video.|
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) snow depth map shows that approximately three-quarters of the state has more than 24 inches of snow, especially toward the western lakes and mountains region and Aroostook County.
Maine's ski areas continue to reap the benefits of one of the best winters they have experienced in years. "The latest storm kicking up the surf along the east coast generated a winter wonderland in Maine's mountains," said Greg Sweetser, executive director of Ski Maine.
While the recent storm brought rain to the southern and coastal regions of the state, it also brought fresh snowfall that improved the state's cross-country and downhill ski areas. The grooming crews at Rumford's Black Mountain of Maine and Bridgton's Shawnee Peak are busy creating corduroy in preparation for the weekend. With four inches of new snow at Sunday River, the resort expanded from 500 acres of open terrain to more than 822 acres.
Yesterday's storm produced a fresh coat of snow that fell on snowmobile trails north of Route 2, and colder temperatures forecast for this weekend will help to solidify the growing base. Two trails with exceptional snow conditions are Wind Farm, a new trail in Kingsbury between Bingham and Guilford with great views of central Maine's countryside, and 85N in Greenville, heading out of town and featuring a new bridge built by the Moosehead Riders Snowmobile Club this fall. The MSA updates snowmobile trail conditions daily.
Bob Meyers, MSA's executive director, reminds snowmobile riders about moose on the trails. As the snow depth in the Maine woods increases, moose start to utilize snowmobile trails as an easier way to move around. "Remember to always give the moose a wide berth and let them decide when they'll step off the trail to let you by," said Meyers. "We want to keep both Maine's snowmobile riders and wildlife safe."
"The storm yesterday helped Maine's major ski and winter sports centers around the state build on their already great base in preparation for another busy weekend ahead," said Maine Office of Tourism's Senior Tourism Officer, Phil Savignano. "We're looking forward to another great weekend of winter outdoor recreation and exciting events happening in different regions of the state."
Looking ahead to the weekend, the Auburn Winter Festival will kick off on Friday with a full agenda throughout the weekend that includes a bonfire, sledding, a petting zoo and other family-oriented activities. For food enthusiasts, Sunday River will host the Second Annual Chef Summit that will be attended by New England's top chefs and mixologists who will serve tasty dishes and drinks. For adults looking for plans, Thompson's Point in Portland has an ice skating rink, and nearby, Cellardoor Winery, Stroudwater Distillery and Bissell Brothers brewery.
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 and video.
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