February 17, 2021 – The Maine Office of Tourism, in collaboration with Ski Maine Association and Maine’s snowmobiling community, reports the current conditions are the best conditions of the season thus far, for both skiing and snowmobiling. Yesterday’s storm continued to solidify the snow base depth on trails statewide, and with snow expected again this week, conditions are expected to be exceptional moving into March.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) snow depth map shows wide areas of the state, from the mountains in the west up through Aroostook County with more than 20 inches of snow, and several pockets with more than two feet. The majority of the immediate coast has approximately two to six inches.
Skiing in Maine
The current conditions are the most favorable conditions for ski areas, both downhill and Nordic, so far this winter season. Skiers should plan to take advantage of the stellar conditions with a day trip or overnight getaway to a ski resort or center as the days continue to get longer.
At Rumford’s Black Mountain of Maine, there are 29 trails currently open. Mid-week skiers take note of the $25 Thursday special, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., though it does exclude holiday weeks. For fun for the whole family, snow tubing is also available and tubers are encouraged to buy their tickets online in advance. Big Squaw Mountain in Greenville is closed this week.
The 16-miles of cross-country ski trails at the New England Outdoor Center received approximately five inches of fresh snow and a layer of sleet during this week’s storm. All six trails will be open by next weekend. Rentals are available onsite, and River Driver’s Restaurant is a great place to fuel up post-outdoor adventure.
Please remember before you depart for a day of 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.
Caribou Parks & Recreation Department’s most recent trail report shares that colder temperatures have allowed trails to set much harder than earlier in the year and provide better conditions for riders. With increased traffic, be mindful that groomers are out 24/7, and keep an eye out for moose, deer and turkeys. Many of the key areas throughout Aroostook, including Eagle Lake, Fort Kent and Solider Pond, are reporting excellent conditions.
New England Outdoor Center and Twin Pines Snowmobile Club have shared Katahdin Area Trails have benefited from the recent continuous snowfall. On Monday, Twin Pines Snowmobile Club groomed almost every trail and plan to again tonight. Trails worth mentioning in this region include: ITS 85/86 Stacyville Road to 112, ITS 85/86 State Road to Logan Pond, 112 Connector Logan Pond and 112 Connector Stratton Trail. Snowmobile rentals are available at New England Outdoor Center daily, with a full fleet of Ski-Doo touring machines. For more inexperienced riders looking to explore, guided tours are also available.
Similar to the Aroostook and Katahdin snowmobiling hot spots, The Forks has been elated with increased snowfall and groomers have been out nightly. A few inches every few days help maintain fresh, well-groomed trails. The storm Tuesday resulted in five inches of a snow and sleet mix, ideal for packing the trails. Neighboring clubs, from Valley Riders in Bingham to Moosehead Riders in Greenville and Coburn Summit Riders in West Forks/Parlin, are also regularly grooming throughout this February week break. View the latest trail condition report from Northern Outdoors and The Forks Area Trails Club here.
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, 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 are 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.
Heading into the End of February with the Best Winter Recreation Conditions of the Year
Inspired by a recent National Geographic story on 12 ways to travel sustainably in the New Year, we’d like to share our Maine-centric list of how to recreate sustainably in 2021.
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