January 5, 2022

Carnaval Maine

Carnaval-MaineThe second annual Carnaval Maine promises to be a festival of ice sculptures, light shows and igloos on Portland’s Eastern Promenade, the 78-acre, Frederick Law Olmsted-designed green space overlooking Casco Bay. Modeled after Quebec City’s annual Carnaval, the Maine event will run from February 17-26, 2022, and have light shows, art displays, ice sculptures, bonfires, and a rail jam, constructed by Sunday River resort. There will be a giant inflatable igloo to house the Bites & Brews events, showcasing Maine’s nationally recognized restaurants and artisan breweries. A Fire & Ice Gala will take place on February 17 and The Snow Stage will feature local bands. For more info, go to carnavalme.com.

Maine Ski Resort News

Maine SkiingThanks to some early season snowmaking and some recent winter storms, both Sunday River in Newry and Sugarloaf in the Carabassett Valley are open for the season. Boyne Resorts owns both resorts and has recently acquired Shawnee Peak in Bridgton, which has six lifts that service 19 trails and three terrain parks. Boyne has announced that current ski passes and lift tickets will remain valid at Shawnee, which is also open for the season. The Michigan-based Boyne has 11 resorts across North America, including Big Sky in Montana, Brighton in Utah and Loon Mountain in New Hampshire.

Exploring Maine in Winter with Registered Maine Guides

Registered Maine Guides have a long and colorful history in the state, recognized around the world for skills that are the gold standard in outdoor skills and knowledge. In winter, Registered Maine Guides take travelers snowmobiling, snowshoeing in the back country, dogsledding and ice fishing, often on day-long excursions that might be a guest’s first taste of the Maine woods in winter. They also accompany guests on multi-night trips that feature winter hiking and camping. Go to Visit Maine for more information.

Maine State Parks in Winter

Mt. Blue State ParkJanuary is an ideal months to venture out into Maine’s State Parks for hiking, cross country skiing, ice skating, sledding and snowshoeing. The parks can be found all over the state, from Aroostook County State Park in Presque Isle to Bradbury Mountain State park in Pownal. At Lily Bay State Park on Moosehead Lake, winter camping is permitted. Mount Blue State Park in Weld offers 15 miles of cross country ski trails and ice staking. For those who really want to an in-depth experience of the state parks in winter, Baxter State Park is ideal for backcountry multi-day cross country and snowshoe trips, with winter camping at its finest. Go to Visit Maine for details.

Snowmobile Season

Maine SnowmobilingMaine is the premier snowmobiling destinations in New England, home to 280 local snowmobile clubs that help to maintain more than 14,000 miles of marked snowmobile trails. Some of the best riding in the state lies in the Rangeley Lakes region, the Millinocket and Katahdin area and the far north of Aroostook County. The Jackman-Moose River area and Moosehead Lake are also prime sledding areas. The state has dozens of outfitters, sporting camps and resorts that offer rentals, overnight stays and guided sled tours. Go to Visit Maine for details.

Cross-Country Skiing

January in Maine is the kick-off for the cross country skiing season. In Bethel, not far from Sunday River, both Carter’s X-C Ski Center and Bethel Village Trails offers miles of groomed trails for skiers of all abilities. At Sugarloaf, The Outdoor Center is the largest Nordic center in Maine, with 90 km of groomed trail loops. The Nordic Heritage Center has 20 km of trails and a warming lodge near Presque Isle while Pineland Farms in New Gloucester has 30 km of groomed trails and rental equipment. Go to Visit Maine for more details.

Dogsledding in Maine

Maine DogsleddingDogsledding is one of the most exciting winter sports in Maine is. Competitions can be thrilling and the state is hosting two major events this season, the Wilderness Sled Dog Race , which will be held in Greenville on February 5, 2022, and the Can Am Crown International Sled Dog Races  on March 5, 2022 in Fort Kent. Racing aside, a handful of Maine outfitters can get you into the wilds on a sled dog adventure. In the Maine Lakes and Mountains region, there’s Dogsled MaineMahoosuc Guide Service and Ultimate Dog Sledding Experience. In the Maine Highlands region, dogsledding adventures are offered by Lone Wolf Guiding Service and Maine Dogsledding Adventures. Go to Visit Maine for more information.