What makes this natural paradise so perfect to visit in winter? There are the sprawling, wild landscapes of course, from snow-covered forests to the raw terrain of the coast. But that is only the beginning. Then come all the ways to enjoy the outdoors – downhill skiing, Nordic skiing, backcountry skiing, dog sledding, hiking, snowshoeing, fat biking, booth-to-booth tours, and more. Now add the state’s rich culture and welcoming small towns, and you have the perfect destination for all kinds of winter adventures. Start with these three tours, then go here to find even more.
Lonesome pines ski
Head north for a skiing experience that mixes a laidback community vibe with high performance athleticism. Lonesome Pines hosts family-friendly youth ski programs as well as terrain that even experienced skiers will enjoy, all accessible at an old-school T-bar. And everyone will love the view: from the top of Lonesome Pines, see the St. John’s River, Fort Kent, and the sweeping farmland of Quebec. Just down the hill, find Fort Kent Outdoor Center, a nationally renowned biathlon center and Nordic ski center that hosted the most watched live event in Maine history – the Biathlon World Cup. Events are regularly scheduled every winter, and the Nordic trails here are open well into the spring, when snow has melted elsewhere. Learn more.
Hike Mount Blue State Park
Mount Blue State Park encompasses a huge area, about 8,000 acres, and with that comes many winter activities. One of the most exciting? The mountain summit is the name of the park. If you’re an intermediate hiker, the 3.2 mile round trip is a great introduction to summit peaks in winter. The track is quite steep, although a good snow pack helps to achieve rough footing. The rocky summit is partially shielded by evergreen scrub and a fire tower offers spectacular views of all of Western Maine. The winter winds are strong, so layer up, and be sure to hit the warming hut back at headquarters. Learn more.
Check out the USA Toboggan Championships
The annual United States Toboggan Championships are held on the second weekend of February each year, and it’s sure to be a one-of-a-kind event in Maine. The festival isn’t exactly a professional sports showcase with boisterous crowds of costumes (think lumberjacks, sheep heads, and lots of neon), but an opportunity to celebrate winter. The centerpiece of the event is the frozen toboggan chute, which launches competitors on a quarter-mile long run down frozen Hosmer Pond. The competition is fierce – the toboggans can reach 40 plus miles per hour and the winners are usually separated by hundreds of seconds. The entire event is a classic Maine experience. Learn more.