January 12, 2022 — Today is the official start of the Maine Office of Tourism’s biweekly snow reports, sent in collaboration with Ski Maine Association and Maine’s snowmobiling community. The cold temperatures this week will aid in snowmaking at ski resorts and provide a solid base for snowmobiling trails in regions of the state with adequate snowfall. There will be plenty of fun lined up for Martin Luther King Jr. Day’s holiday weekend.
It has been a slow start to the season in terms of snowfall, but with January and February’s historic figures showing significant snow, many of Maine’s regions will reap the benefits of the weather that could be as soon as next week, shown in Monday and Wednesday’s forecast. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) snow depth map shows little snow along the coast with increasing depth moving north, with pockets in Aroostook County totaling more than one foot.
“While many of us aren’t seeing significant snow in our own backyards, it’s important to remember there is snow in other regions in the state, including at the ski resorts where they’ve been making snow for several months,” said Maine Office of Tourism Director Steve Lyons. “With Maine’s long list of outdoor recreation opportunities, winter is the ideal time to experience skiing, snowmobiling, or one of the other many great ways to safely get outside and enjoy the season.”
Skiing in Maine
Conditions at most of Maine’s ski resorts and centers are favorable and will continue to improve as the snow base deepens. The below average temperatures this week will aid in snowmaking at many of the ski centers.
Sunday River is reporting freshly groomed terrain with an average base depth of 26 inches and 81 trails open. Currently celebrating Kids’ Week through Friday, this week offers ski families deals on lodging, lift tickets, lessons and fun events like fireworks, a magic show and Après Aglow.
With 34 trails groomed overnight and 43 open, Sugarloaf is reporting temperatures are returning to more seasonal levels and snowmaking conditions are ideal. Enjoy the recent effort put into the Stomping Ground Park as it reopens today after much pushing, grooming and setting rails. Be sure to check January deals before making plans.
In Rangeley, Saddleback has 22 trails open today with top-to-bottom grooming and temperatures reaching about 16 degrees, a significant warm-up from subzero temperatures earlier this week.
Currently at Black Mountain of Maine in Rumford, there are nine open trails with ideal conditions heading into the holiday weekend with extended hours and live music. For families, look into free season passes for kids in second grade and under.
At the New England Outdoor Center (NEOC) in Millinocket, the Hammond Ridge Trail System has been fully groomed with fresh corduroy, offering more than 10 miles of flat and fast trails. The center asks snowshoers remain on the edge of the trails. Rentals for cross-country skis and snowshoes are available on-site at the front desk at River Drivers Restaurant.
With the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic continuing this winter season, please visit individual websites of ski lodges and centers to find the most updated guidance, restrictions, base offerings and hours before visiting.
Learn more about the downhill and Nordic centers at www.skimaine.com.
Maine’s 14,000 miles of snowmobile trails provide a great way to enjoy fresh air and wide-open spaces during the winter months. As you prepare for a snowmobiling outing, please remember the following:
- Operating a snowmobile under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol is illegal and one of the leading causes of fatal crashes. Ride safely and within your abilities and never ride under the influence.
- In advance of the ride, check the rest stops along the route for hours and to verify the location is open. If stops are closed, consider going for a shorter ride or plan accordingly.
- Maine’s groomed trail system are in thanks to the generosity of private landowners and the efforts of volunteers from snowmobile clubs across the state. Please be courteous to others and respect private landowners by always staying on marked trails.
Many of the state’s most popular snowmobiling areas are awaiting additional snow before trail conditions are ready for snowmobiling traffic. With the hope of more snow, the upcoming snow report should include more detailed trail information.
Aroostook County is reporting great conditions in Caribou along the rail beds and ITS 85 North to Portage is in good condition. Most of the snowmobile clubs throughout the region have started to put up the trail marker signs and setting up trails and are awaiting more snow.
In Millinocket, Twin Pines Snowmobile Club has sent two groomers out and are reporting trails conditions are good for a year lacking a significant amount of snowfall. Riding through Baxter State Park now is flat and enjoyable. While always riding with caution is a must, pay special attention to a one mile stretch of Logan Pond Trail, the wooden section of Penobscot Pond and a small section of Hurd Pond Trail. The River Driver’s Restaurant at NEOC is open seven days a week, 11 a.m.-9 p.m. with food, full bar, gas and lodging.
Snowmobile trail conditions are updated regularly, so be sure to check in advance of your trip.
More Maine Winter Fun
For more relaxed winter weekend plans, wait for temperatures to climb to lace up your skates for an afternoon ice skating at The Rink at Thompson’s Point. Or, keep the kids and adults alike entertained with snow tubing over the long weekend.
The snow reports, released biweekly on Wednesdays, will include snow conditions for the ski resorts and snowmobile trails, highlight safe activities and remind winter enthusiasts about guidelines 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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