February 3, 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 popular snowmobile trails received significant snow from Monday and yesterday’s storm, creating great conditions for skiing and long-awaited snow depth needed to groom snowmobiling trails.
With the first significant storm in February now over, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) snow depth map shows that more than half the state has between 16 and 20 inches of snow, with a small pocket of more than two feet in the mountains region, and a larger pocket stretching from the Katahdin and Baxter State Park area into Aroostook County.
Skiing in Maine
The major ski resorts reaped the benefits of the recent storm, with well over a foot received at Sunday River, Sugarloaf, Saddleback and Shawnee Peak. Sugarloaf’s Mountain Report shows more than two feet of new snow has fallen over the last week, including the 17 inches that fell in the last 24 hours, creating ultimate powder and packed powder conditions. Keep in mind Wednesdays serve as Sugarloaf’s Maine Day, with big savings for residents.
The northern ski areas, including the Nordic ski centers, also saw significant snowfall and has yielded the best conditions of the season.
The Katahdin region received about one foot of snow throughout the day yesterday, and today, New England Outdoor Center is busy grooming 16-miles of cross-country trails for both classic and skate skiing. In addition to the optimal cross-country conditions, there are freshly marked snowshoe trails. After a long day of winter adventuring, warm up with a hot meal at River Driver’s Restaurant, open seven days, or rest up for the next day with comfortable overnight lodging options. Cross-country skis, snowshoes and fat bike rentals are available onsite.
Looking ahead to Presidents’ Day fun, Sunday River is offering a 20 percent discount on lodging if you book before Friday. And for those looking to enjoy the winter season in a quiet, different way, Shawnee Peak, just over an hour from Portland, offers night skiing opportunities.
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.
After disappointing snowfall in January, the storm blanketed the most popular snowmobile trail areas in the state, creating enough of a snow base to groom trails and kick off the riding season.
Final snowfall totals in The Forks area are between 10 and 12 inches, with a lot of blowing snowdrifts. The improvement of the conditions has allowed for the groomers to smooth out the trails and for the recording of the first video snow report of the season. Riders should be aware of groomers out today and tomorrow. Although weekend availability is limited this month, there are lodging options at Northern Outdoors, and the Kennebec River Pub and Brewery is now open and serving seven craft brews and a variety of pub food. Snowmobile rentals are available onsite from 201 PowerSports with 2021 Polaris Indy, offering both one- and two-seater sleds.
The Twin Pine Snowmobile Club is busy grooming trails throughout the Katahdin region. For those looking for a hassle-free winter getaway, in addition to the lodging options at New England Outdoor Center, rentals are also available.
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.
More Winter Fun
- Although Flavors of Freeport this year is different than in years past, food lovers should check out Freeport Foodie Lotto with a chance to win $1,000 by shopping and dining with local businesses.
- Portland Ovation’s Ice Dance International is taking place this Saturday, February 6, with 15-minute safe outdoor pop-up performances.
- This recent Portland Press Herald article outlines plenty of other ways to stay active this winter.
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.
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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