January 20, 2021 – The Maine Office of Tourism, in collaboration with Ski Maine Association and Maine’s snowmobiling community, reports that the majority of the ski centers and resorts received mostly snow during this past weekend and though many regions of the state are looking forward to a big storm to prompt trail grooming, there are a few areas with adequate snow for snowmobiling.
It continues to be a slower season for snowfall totals with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) snow depth map showing most of the immediate coast with only trace amounts to two inches of snow, and with most areas in Aroostook County with eight to 10 inches. However, the northernmost pocket of the Lakes and Mountains region benefited most from the weekend’s weather, showing a range of 12 to 18 inches of snow.
“For Mainers looking to get outside and safely enjoy the winter season, keep in mind that even with little snow in your yard, you can find plenty of fun in the mountains or in northern areas of the state,” said Maine Office of Tourism Director Steve Lyons. “Even still, we’re eager to see more snow and temperatures drop to solidify the base for skiers and snowmobilers with seasons that typically continue into March.”
Skiing in Maine
Many of the state’s ski areas received primarily snow from the weather this past weekend. A small amount of rain fell on the northern ski areas, while the southern areas had mostly rain which has resulted in difficult conditions for some downhill and cross-country centers.
At Sunday River, 96 trails with 39 miles are open, with an average snow base depth of two feet. Be sure to purchase lift tickets in advance online and remember there are a limited number of tickets sold daily.
Saddleback’s daily update is reporting a chilly day in the low teens in western Maine, with the next hope of snow tomorrow evening. Trail conditions started off with corduroy earlier this morning and will be followed by great runs into the afternoon.
For a smaller ski center experience, Bigrock Mountain in Mars Hill, open Thursday through Sunday, is reporting a 12-to-18-inch snow base depth and six trails open.
At New England Outdoor Center in Millinocket, the cross-country ski trails are in excellent shape, with groomed Twin Pines, Saddle Loop and Katahdin View Trails. Cross-country skis, snowshoes and fat tire rentals are available onsite. There is no track set currently on the trails, but there is fresh cord to enjoy.
Please remember before you depart for a day a skiing to call ahead or go online for the resort or center’s current COVID-19 guidelines and restrictions. Do a self-health screen, wear a mask and practice social distancing, and use your vehicle as the lodge.
Learn more about the downhill and Nordic centers at www.skimaine.com.
Many of Maine’s popular snowmobile areas are awaiting additional snow to grow the snow base on the trails and groom them in preparation for snowmobiling traffic.
During Saturday’s storm, The Forks received four to five inches of heavy new snow ideal for the snow base, though not yet enough to groom and riders are encouraged to wait until there is more snow and less of a chance to damage snowmobiles. Farther north in the Coburn Summit Riders area, there is relatively good early season conditions. Check out ITS 87 from West Forks north to Parlin and Rockwood where volunteers were able to groom. Kennebec River Pub & Brewery at Northern Outdoors plans to open Thursday, January 28.
Similar to The Forks, the Katahdin region saw three to four inches of fresh snow and some sleet fell during the recent storm, and while it helps the base on the trails, it was not enough to groom.
Snowmobilers should plan ahead as typical rest stops may be closed or have limited capacity due to current guidelines. Dress warm, pack supplies, always ride responsibly and to the right of the trail and be cautious of early season trail hazards. Please be respectful of private landowners by always staying on marked trails.
As snowmobile trail conditions become available, they are regularly updated.
The snow reports, released biweekly on Wednesdays, will include snow conditions for the ski reports and snowmobile trails, highlight safe activities and remind winter enthusiasts about various safety precautions and considerations before leaving the house. The reports will be posted on VisitMaine.com where visitors can also find information on other winter activities. Residents enjoying winter in Maine 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 of Maine winter images.
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