Upcoming Storms and Cold Temperatures Creating Ultimate Conditions
for Holiday Weekend Outdoor Fun
January 15, 2019 — reports recent cold temperatures and regular snowfall in many areas of the state have added to the already exceptional ski and snowmobile conditions. According to WMTW, snow is expected on Friday and more than one foot is in the forecast for this weekend, with snow starting Saturday night and lasting throughout Sunday, just in time for the long holiday weekend.
Snowmobilers riding into the sunset over Rangeley Lake.
Currently, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) snow depth map shows more than half of Maine, including the majority of Aroostook County and the lakes and mountains region of the state, have at least 18 inches. Some pockets within Maine have more than two feet. Winter enthusiasts can expect these numbers to grow in next week’s report.
With snow getting deeper and the trails across the state now 100 percent open, ski centers are now measuring snow in feet. In Nordic ski areas, hundreds of miles of groomed trails await skiers, snowshoers and fat bike riders.
“The Martin Luther King Jr. holiday is shaping up to be one of the best in years,” said Greg Sweetser, executive director of Ski Maine. “Both the conditions and the weather outlook are great, and the ski areas have been able to groom trails to a wonderful texture. Snowmaking teams have also been busy adding snow to terrain parks and pipes to cater to the younger crowd.”
Skiers looking to take advantage of the long weekend with a ski getaway will still find a selection of lodging available, including 25 percent off at Sugarloaf. To celebrate the holiday weekend, Sunday River will welcome a fire dancer on Saturday, with other fun activities throughout the weekend, including a murder mystery dinner.
With ideal snowmobiling conditions, there have been a lot of riders on the trails. Remember to stay alert, keep to the right and be aware of your surroundings.
MSA Executive Director Bob Meyers reports trails not to miss include Madawaska where it has been snowing daily; Medway, with a high likelihood of seeing wildlife; Rangeley Lake to catch the sunset; Grand Falls for incredible views along ITS-86 between The Forks and Eustis, and along the Aroostook River with an ideal lunch stop at the Aroostook River Clubhouse in Castle Hill. Snowmobile trail conditions are updated daily.
This time of year is always the start of a busy snowmobile event season. Black Mountain of Maine in Rumford will host the Snowmobile Hill Climb this Friday with gates opening at 4 p.m.; races kick off at 6 p.m. On Saturday, the Snowball Run for Cancer Research will be held by the Northern Timber Cruisers in Millinocket, and looking ahead to next week is the Rangeley Snodeo.
For families looking to get outside and enjoy the season this weekend, the WinterKids Welcome to Winter Festival will take place this Saturday. Cross-country skiers and snowshoers can also take advantage of groomed trails throughout many of Maine’s state parks.
For adults looking to toast to 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 keg stacking, live music, local beer and food.
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 Maine winter images.