January 8, 2020—Today is the official start of the Maine Office of Tourism’s weekly snow reports, sent in collaboration with Ski Maine Association and the Maine Snowmobile Association (MSA).

Despite a slower start to the season compared to last winter’s early heavy snowfall, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) snow depth map shows much of northern Maine is blanketed with about one foot of snow and much of Downeast has up to six inches. As in years past, the outlook for Maine’s 2020 skiing and snowmobiling season is strong and positive.

Skiing in Maine

Skis up at Shawnee Peak in Bridgton.
Skis up at Shawnee Peak in Bridgton.

The new year has brought several snowstorms and ideal conditions in Maine’s ski centers, including the first major snowfall of January dropping more than one foot.

“The fresh foot of snow has been important for Maine skiing,” said Ski Maine Executive Director Greg Sweetser. “The number of photos being shared, and stories being told about conditions will push people off their couches and onto the slopes. The beauty of winter in the mountains is majestic.”

Advances in snowmaking technology has increased the amount ski areas produce each hour resulting in a solid base layer across the majority of the skiing terrain. This week’s focus has been on snowmaking in the terrain parks, providing snowboarders and skiers a full range of activity.

This Sunday, Mt. Abram in Greenwood will host the Vertical Challenge with free ski and snowboard races and fun for the whole family.

The conditions at Nordic centers, dependent on natural snowfall, are solid throughout most areas of the state, especially in iconic northern Maine locations like Fort Kent, Madawaska and Presque Isle, where skiers have been enjoying groomed trails since as early as November.

Learn more about the downhill and Nordic centers at www.skimaine.com.

Maine Snowmobiling

Snowmobilers are eager for more snow to create a solid base on the more than 14,000 miles of interconnected trails throughout the state, but trails are starting to open. Clubs in many regions are busy grooming, and though it’s early in the season, conditions are okay in many areas including Caribou, Madawaska, Turner and the Katahdin region.

MSA Executive Director Bob Meyers said, “Have fun, be safe and please thank the volunteer snowmobile clubs that make the groomed trails happen and treat the private land that our trails are on as if it’s your own.”

Meyers reminds snowmobilers for a long and happy winter to follow these safety rules:

  • Never drink and ride
  • Avoid riding alone
  • Keep to the right at all times
  • Operate at a reasonable speed—there are a lot of other riders

On Saturday, the Quad County Snowmobile Club in Springfield will host a lobster stew dinner, and on Sunday, the Lexington Highland Snowmobile Club will offer a public breakfast.

Snowmobile trail conditions are updated regularly, so be sure to check before you head out.

More Maine Winter Fun

For more laid-back winter weekend plans, lace up your skates for an afternoon ice skating at The Rink at Thompson’s Point, and for adults, warm up after at the nearby distillery, brewery or winery. Or, avoid chilly weather with a visit to one of the state’s indoor farmers’ markets. Both Brunswick and Portland offer Saturday hours and are great places to pick up ingredients for a fresh dinner.

The snow reports, released each Wednesday throughout the season, will be posted on VisitMaine.com, where visitors can also find information on 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 this link to access a Dropbox of Maine winter images.