Winter Magic in Maine's State Parks
For family fun and adventure, there's no season like snow season in Maine.
From season to season, Maine's State Parks welcome visitors with open arms. In winter, the arms open even wider, to accommodate the winter jackets, and so visitors can fully embrace all there is to do, explore and love at Maine’s State Parks. From skiing, snowshoeing and sledding to snowmobiling, ice fishing and winter camping, all roads and trails lead to family fun and adventure.
There’s no season like snow season in Maine. And no better place to enjoy it than Maine’s State Parks. All of Maine’s State Parks are open to the public during the winter. Here’s a partial list to get your planning started.
Mount Blue State Park
As the name suggests, Mount Blue State Park takes winter activities to another level. The Mt. Blue Trail is a perfect example. A 3.2-mile roundtrip with a steep climb to vista views that go on forever. There are other similarly inspiring trails of varying difficulty. On the easy end, there’s the 0.5-mile Center Hill Nature Trail, with an interpretive brochure so you can educate while you elevate. Cross-country skiing options also abound. Snowmobilers can enjoy two scenic loops. Winter camping is available, as well as an ice skating rink, sliding hill and warming hut.
Wolfe's Neck Woods State Park
In 1969, Mr. and Mrs. Lawrence M.C. Smith gifted 200 acres of multi-habitat land to the State of Maine. Today, as Wolfe's Neck Woods State Park, the Smith’s vision is truly the gift that keeps on giving. Visitors can explore this natural wonder on the southern Maine Coast with hiking, snowshoeing and cross-country skiing. Another thing that's a natural is a visit to nearby Freeport and their famous shopping district, including L.L.Bean's flagship store. L.L.Bean also offers snowshoeing and cross-country skiing lessons at their Outdoor Discovery School at Pineland Farms in neighboring New Gloucester.
Cobscook Bay State Park
What's the first thing that distinguishes Cobscook Bay State Park? The park's 888 acres are surrounded on three sides by the Atlantic Ocean. The location makes it a great destination not only for people but for 200 species of birds. While most birds migrate, a quarter of Maine's wintering black ducks make the park's inner bays their seasonal home. The park is also home to the state's highest concentration of bald eagles. For wingless visitors, there's a 1-mile Nature Trail and .75-mile Shore Trail. Winter camping is available by reservation.
Aroostook State Park
Maine's northernmost county, Aroostook County, is known as the "Crown of Maine." In winter, especially, the jewel in the crown is Aroostook State Park. The 800-acre park has a crown of its own – twin-peaked Quoggy Jo Mountain, and its own sparkling jewel, Echo Lake. Echo Lake. Did you hear that too? Snowshoeing trails offer a range of levels, from the easy Novice Snowshoe Trail to the advanced South Peak Trail and strenuous North Peak Trail. There's excellent cross-country skiing, a sliding hill, ice skating and winter camping.
Camden Hills State Park
Even the most enthusiastic outdoor enthusiasts get extra pumped for Camden Hills State Park. Located a mile north of Camden in MidCoast Maine, the park's panoramic view of Penobscot Bay from Mount Megunticook and Mount Battie is breathtaking. The cool, crisp air is a perfect mix of pine and sea, so take in all you need. Great snowshoeing goes without saying, and the cross-country skiing is as great as the views that come with it. There's even a restored cabin from the 1930s available for overnight stays. In a winter wonderland like this, it's no wonder the National Toboggan Championships are held at nearby Camden Snow Bowl. It’s also the only place on the East Coast where you ski and see ocean views at the same time.
Range Pond State Park
Where there's a winter pond in Maine, chances are there's ice fishing to be had. At Range Pond State Park, winter anglers can drop a line and, at special events, learn from pros. That’s the pond part. There’s also a 4.1-mile network of trails offering groomed snowshoe, cross-country and winter biking opportunities. For skiers, the 2-mile Old Camp Trail loop is a beauty. Snowshoers can traverse the 1.5-mile Old Fields Trail. Bikers, fatten up the tires and get ready to rumble.