January 11, 2017 — The Maine Office of Tourism, in collaboration with Ski Maine Association and the Maine Snowmobile Association (MSA), reports plenty of snow in much of the state providing an opportunity for people to get outside and enjoy winter recreation.
|Snowmaking at Sunday River. 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 almost or more than two feet of snow.
Maine's ski areas are fully open, with the majority of the mountains having received new snow in the past week, and many making their own snow. Recent colder temperatures have allowed Sunday River snowmakers to pump up to 7,000 gallons of water per minute continuously for several days. The result has enabled the resort to resurface and open a total of five trails and two new terrain parks.
With the earliest opening day recorded in many years on December 17, Camden Snow Bowl is also making snow, and their solid base of snow created earlier in the season has allowed the snow conditions to remain strong even as warmer temperatures approach and as they prepare for the U.S. National Toboggan Championships opening in February.
Snowmobile trail conditions are updated daily, and the trails continue to provide some of the best riding in recent years. Groomed by the Four Winds Snowmobile Club in Guilford, the ITS-85 along the Piscataquis River in Abbot recently offered a club ride to showcase the excellent trail conditions.
With fresh snow and panoramic views, winter adventurers who stock up on extra fuel can explore on their own or hire a guide to visit backcountry locations like Round Pond along the Allagash Wilderness Waterway or the east branch of the Penobscot from the legendary Whetstone Bridge between East Millinocket and Mount Chase.
"Winter conditions this January are off to one of the best starts in years," said Maine Office of Tourism's Senior Tourism Officer, Phil Savignano. "We're expecting these conditions will continue, and the warmer temperatures are perfect for venturing outside for a winter activity or taking in an event over the long weekend."
For weekend plans, Presque Isle's Nordic Heritage Center's trail conditions are excellent, with a 24-inch base that will not be affected by the warmer weather. In Waterville, the Quarry Road Trails for cross country skiing and snowshoeing are open and fast. On Saturday, the NENSA Eastern Cup will take place on the trails, welcoming top Nordic racers from across New England to compete. With one mile of trail now lit for night skiing until 9 p.m. daily, there is a Full Moon Sip & Ski event this Thursday that includes group skiing with instruction and ski waxing demonstrations, with hot beverages and snacks available.
This Sunday, for those setting out on their snowmobiles in the Downeast region, stop in for a hot breakfast at the Pine Tree Snowmobile Clubhouse in Milford.
For adults looking to celebrate the season, Samoset's Glacier Ice Bar and sculptures are being displayed beginning at 5 p.m. this Friday and the Bar Harbor Winter Beer Fest will take place this Saturday with live music, games and local food, complete with warming stations.
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.
Maine’s leaf bearing trees will show off their array of fall colors in the upcoming weeks.