The lovely state of Maine is well known for its stunning scenery, sparkling beaches, historic lighthouses, and sumptuous lobster and seafood meals. Even so, there are plenty of reasons to adore Maine in the winter.
Maine offers various straightforward to complex wintertime activities that make welcoming the snowy months easy for natives and visitors. With an average annual snowfall of 60 to 110 inches inland and 50 to 70 inches by the coast. There is more than enough snow to discover Maine’s world-class ski resorts, hundreds of miles of groomed Nordic skiing, snowshoeing paths, and other winter activities. The breathtaking natural beauty of Maine’s winter only increases due to these seasonal events and celebrations.
Visitors who ski in Maine may anticipate excellent snow conditions, picturesque trails, and pleasant lodging options. Spend the day tubing or downhill skiing before warming up with regional delicacies. Even without ever using a chairlift, you can enjoy skiing in Maine. Flow along the well-kept Nordic skiing trails in Maine. Use the miles of smooth backcountry trails that wind across Maine Winter if you’re a trekker, classical, or freestyle skier.
There are many ways to enjoy Maine in the winter, from snowy winter adventures to the warm and cultural.
Cross-Country Skiing and Snowshoeing
You can find cross-country ski trails everywhere in the state, but downhill ski resorts are only in the mountain areas. Carter’s X-C Ski Center in Bethel allows for the practice of cross-country skiing and snowshoeing on its extensive network of meticulously maintained 55 kilometres of groomed tracks. In addition to alternative equipment like fat-tire bikes, visitors may rent their ski and snowshoe equipment on-site. For parents to pull their young children along behind them, they also rent out draw sleds and chariots. You can also bring dogs on the paths.
A sledding slope and 35 kilometres of classic and skate skiing paths are available at Harris Farm near Dayton. Both cross-country and downhill skiing are open on 30 kilometres of tracks at Pineland Farms in New Gloucester, which also has a store where you may rent equipment. Smiling Hill Farm near Westbrook has more than 25 kilometres of slopes. Season pass holders at several cross-country ski locations in Maine. Such as Carter’s, Pineland Farms, Rangeley Lakes Trails Center, and Mahoosuc Pathways in Bethel Village, are eligible for reciprocal discounts at other ski slopes.
Dogsledding through Maine’s wilderness routes is a unique experience, and visitors have several fantastic alternatives. In Bethel, New England, Dogsledding operates trips at Sunday River Ski Area in Newry, in the adjacent White Mountains of New Hampshire at the Balsams and North Conway, and on local trails at the Umbagog National Wildlife Refuge with a team of Alaskan Huskies. The Oxford-based Ultimate Dog Sledding Experience also operates excursions out of Bethel, Hebron, and Casco. Full-day dogsledding excursions are available from Mahoosuc Guide Service in the Mahoosuc Mountains and along the Umbagog Lake shoreline. These excursions come with a campfire-cooked lunch and additional warm boots and clothing. For the daring, they offer two- or three-day journeys that cover the whole region by dogsled, snowshoe, and cross-country ski.
Multi-day trips include all the sports equipment, food, winter camping gear you need, and expert guides. There are offered women-only tours for a fun-filled ladies’ weekend.
Ski & Board with an Ocean View
The only ski facility on the East Coast with slopes overlooking the ocean is Camden Snow Bowl, which provides an exceptional experience. The resort offers more than 20 paths for hikers of all ability levels and is approximately five miles from Penobscot Bay. Families should consider this smaller, locally owned ski facility.
You can find more ski areas in Maine. Even if they don’t have views of the Atlantic, they still have many things to provide. Numerous boast yearly snowfall totals of over 200 inches, assuring a lengthy ski season and an abundance of new snowfall to keep the slopes blanketed in powder.
These include Sugarloaf Mountain, the second-largest ski facility on the East Coast, with 161 routes and six terrain parks. This mountain features the only slopes that begin high above the tree line, and the longest path is 3.5 miles long. Along with these sports, the resort provides cross-country skiing, skate skiing, snowshoeing, and ice skating.
Saddleback Mountain near Rangeley, Maine, another ski resort in the mega-snyearlyverages 225 inches of snow yearly. Due to the lack of beginner and intermediate slopes, this ski resort is popular among advanced skiers.
From the coziness of a horse-drawn sleigh, there is no better way to appreciate the splendour of the snow-covered north. Romantic one-horse sleigh rides with room for up to four riders are available at Goranson Farm near Dresden, as are team-pulled trips with enough for up to a dozen individuals. During the fifty-minute ride, you’ll get warm blankets, hear ringing bells, and enjoy songs led by the driver. A two-hour “ultimate comfort” sleigh ride sightseeing tour of Winterberry Farm is available in Belgrade. The farm’s working horses draw it, including hot chocolate, tea, and soup. Ice skating is also open there. High View Farm in Harrison and Carousel Horse Farm in Casco provide sleigh rides and winter equestrian riding. High View Farm provides 40-minute private rides with hot chocolate and marshmallows and an optional stop at a bonfire.
While it might be challenging for outdoor enthusiasts to find the Snow that incorporate their four-legged pals. Maine has a solution that will please everyone. Combining dog harnesses with cross-country skiing. The unusual sport of skijoring has given a fantastic alternative for medium-sized and big dogs that love to exercise and work with their people. Many ski outfitters now sell and rent skijoring gear due to its growing popularity, and Skijor Skowhegan specializes in equipment and information for dog and horse-pulled skiing.
New England Dogsledding in Bethel offers instruction and trained dogs for beginners, but those with prior expertise have various tracks and rental equipment available. You can skijoring on all the trails at Carter’s X-C Ski Center. The Harris Farm X-C Ski Center near Dayton has 25 miles of trails for skijoring. You can find six-mile routes at Sugarloaf Outdoor Center in Carrabassett Valley if you have a dog. More skijoring trails exist at Five Fields Farm in Bridgton and Quarry Road Recreation Area in Waterville.
There is nothing quite like skating in the open air, and winter in New England is complete with at least one trip to the skating rink. The Rink at Thompson’s Point is the ideal location in Portland, where skaters may rent equipment and find lots of hot chocolate to drink while relaxing in the warming huts.
The whole pond-skating experience is available at Mill Creek Park in South Portland, while Riverside Golf Course also has an outdoor rink. You can also enjoy pond skating at Goddard’s Pond in Bath. The town takes care of it, and it’s free for everyone. They have food and a place to warm up. The Waterhouse Pavilion is in a good spot at the center of Kennebunk. A Zamboni periodically maintains this covered outdoor rink to guarantee safe skating. This rink is available daily from noon to nine in the winter and is free to use.
If you like smooth ice, the Sugarloaf Outdoor Rink at Sugarloaf Ski Resort is great for skating. Here, visitors may hire skates, and the ski lodge serves concessions.
Tobogganing and Tubing
Tobogganing has an obvious allure for nostalgia, but finding a suitable location to attempt it may take a lot of work. Visitors can now chute down a 400-foot slope made just for that purpose, thanks to the staff at Camden Snow Bowl. Every February, the ski resort hosts the U.S. National Toboggan Championships, with a whole winter carnival for the entire family.
Additionally, the state is home to several tubing hills for visitors. A tow lift services the 600-foot tubing lanes at Lost Valley Ski Area near Auburn. While Windham’s Seacoast Adventure boasts a dozen open day and night lanes.
On weekends and during school breaks, Rumford’s Black Mountain of Maine provides tubing. You can also go tubing on a different slope at Sunday River Resort near Newry.
The Saltair Inn in Bar Harbour offers visitors the ideal setting to cuddle up with a nice ‘cuppa’ and enjoy the snowfall on the Atlantic. Guest suites with ocean views have sitting areas with enormous windows, gas fireplaces and all the conveniences of home. With so much to do at the inn, good cuisine, and drinks available, including a coffee shop and activity-filled common rooms, even the worst storm won’t upset visitors.
The majority of the businesses and restaurants in Bar Harbour, on Mount Desert Island, remain open after the summer visitors have departed, unlike many other holiday spots in the northeast.