February 8, 2017 — The Maine Office of Tourism, in collaboration with Ski Maine Association and the Maine Snowmobile Association (MSA), reports that the snow that fell yesterday, snow in the forecast for Thursday and ongoing snowmaking capabilities are producing some of the best winter recreation conditions Maine has experienced in years.
|A family enjoying snow conditions at Black Mountain of Maine. Click on the image above or the link below to access downloable Maine winter images and video.|
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) snow depth map shows that the majority of Aroostook County and Maine's lakes and mountains region has more than two feet of snow, which will likely increase with tomorrow's expected storm.
Both downhill and cross-country skiing conditions are currently and will continue to be ideal. "The snow continues to fall here in Maine, increasing the snow depth. New snow combined with ongoing snowmaking and Maine has all the ingredients for exceptional downhill and cross-country skiing as we enter the heart of winter," said Greg Sweetser, Ski Maine's executive director.
Lost Valley owners have expanded their facility in Auburn with the addition of Maine Family Tube Park, with the official opening day this Friday at 3 p.m. Shawnee Peak is also preparing for the weekend, with plans to open all five ski lifts and a full calendar of activities, including Marmot Day for kids looking to search the mountain for hidden items and redeem prizes.
For cross-country skiing enthusiasts, there are well-groomed trails in all regions of the state. The Nordic Heritage Center in Presque Isle is awaiting tomorrow's storm before fully grooming all trails in anticipation of the weekend, and Maine Huts & Trails has groomed trails from Stratton Brook Hut to Grand Falls Hut, with a base ranging from 12 to 20 inches. Side trails are being used by snowshoers and fat tire bikers, while light, fluffy snow continues to accumulate.
For snowmobilers, trail conditions are excellent and will continue to improve with the storm that is expected to sweep the east coast tomorrow. Currently, the trails in Van Buren are especially exceptional. People planning to enjoy a lengthy ride during the upcoming long weekend for President's Day will have no difficulty finding trails that are well groomed and offer incredible scenic views, such as the section of the Moosehead trail near the historic Pittston Farm. This weekend, the Lincoln Snowhounds clubhouse will host the 17th Annual Snocross Races, with all classes, including amateur. Trail conditions are updated daily.
Looking forward to the weekend, there is a range of activities throughout many regions of the state to enable people to get outside and enjoy the season. For those looking for fun and friendly competition, Camden will host the annual U.S. National Toboggan Championships. At the Schoodic Institute in Acadia National Park, the 3rd Annual Acadia Winter Festival will celebrate winter and natural resources with birding, a winter ecology hike and a lumberjack show. Stratton and Eustis' annual winter celebration, the Polar Blast, will feature a Rave X show, cribbage tournament, a bonfire and more.
For more active winter adventurers, the 7th Annual Snowshoe Festival in Norway and the Fat Tire Festival at Sugarloaf both have entertaining and packed schedules that last throughout the weekend.
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.
Maine’s leaf bearing trees will show off their array of fall colors in the upcoming weeks.