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Snowmobiling in Aroostook County
Activities: Snowmobiling, guides, wildlife.
Region: Aroostook County
Aroostook County’s vast landscape (as in, larger than the states of Rhode Island and Connecticut combined) covers nearly 7,000 square miles of woods, waters and farmland. Come winter, these expansive, quiet lands are transformed into a panorama of pristine, sparkling white. With an annual average snowfall of 94 inches, there’s no shortage of the good stuff. That hearty snowfall, paired with the vastness of the landscape, makes it an ideal place for dashing through the miles of white on a snowmobile. The setup is a sledder’s dream, with over 2,000 miles of groomed and mapped snowmobile trails. Whether you are a beginner with no snowmobile equipment or a seasoned trailblazer, Aroostook County has the resources for an excellent snowmobiling trip.
If hopping aboard a motor-powered vehicle and taking off into the powder feels a bit overwhelming, consider taking advantage of one of Aroostook County’s many guided snowmobile services. Snowmobile outfitters not only lend you the equipment you need but pass along knowledge and expertise that will get you feeling more comfortable. To find a guide, head to the Maine Professional Guides Association website or connect with those in the know, like rental shop owners and area hotel staff (more on that below), who can help make recommendations.
Call ahead to plan your trip and get the latest on inventory and what you’ll need to hit the trail.
The Sled Shop, Inc. (Presque Isle)
The staff at this veteran sled shop knows their stuff — and they tout a great inventory.
St. John Valley Rentals, owned by Mike & Son’s (Fort Kent)
This family-owned-and-operated shop is a hot spot for snowmobile rentals in the valley.
Birch Point Inn (Island Falls)
With cottage rentals along Pleasant Lake, Birch Point offers a variety of sled rental options.
Houlton Powersports (Houlton)
A wide range of snowmobile models and brands are available for your choosing.
Have a snowmobile?
Perhaps it is worth mentioning again: There are over 2,000 miles of groomed and mapped snowmobile trails for your choosing! You can see a map of the county’s snowmobile trails here. We couldn’t possibly go into all of them, but here are a few highlights:
Aroostook Valley Trail
This 28-mile groomed surface trail connects the towns of Presque Isle, Caribou, Washburn, Woodland and New Sweden. Riders will enjoy open fields and deep woods and will pass frozen streams and the sparkling Aroostook River.
The Border Trail
Cruise along this trail of woods and farmland that skirts the Canadian border — granite markers separate the U.S. and Canada on part of this extensive trail. Stop in Limestone for a bit of history at the deactivated Loring Air Force Base, where you can see the 1947 control tower.
Following the banks of the beautiful Aroostook River, this 50-mile route meanders between Fort Fairfield and Ashland. If you’re lucky and it’s a clear morning, heading toward Ashland you can see Maine’s tallest mountain in the distance, Katahdin.
St. John Valley
Ride through vast, rolling hills of countryside between Allagash and Madawaska, with opportunities to stop for scenic overlooks such as the Long Lake Overlook in St. Agatha. Witnessing a glorious sunset against the snow is a dazzling sight.
Deboullie Public Reserved Land
Experienced sledders will appreciate the rural quiet of this 22,000-acre land spanning forests, ponds and the 2,000-foot Deboullie Mountain. Be on the lookout for moose and bald eagles on your journey.
Snowmobiling is a fun and memorable way to explore Maine in the winter, but make sure you’re prepared before you head out.
- Stick together: With so much land, you are not guaranteed to run into another rider for long periods of time, so bring company!
- Never drink and ride.
- Watch your speed: While there is no Maine speed limit for snowmobiles, you should rely on your guide, rental agent or local snowmobile club representative to recommend speeds based on conditions. Be prepared to encounter others on the trail, from volunteer trail-groomers to plenty of wildlife.
- Stay stocked: Ahead of your trip, consult your guide or rental shop for a checklist of must-bring items, from the staples like maps and flashlights to mylar blankets and more.
- Stick to the trail: Snowmobilers and local landowners work hard to maintain the trails, and off-roading puts you in danger of encountering buried obstacles or ditches.
- Be sure to familiarize yourself with Maine’s ATV and snowmobile laws.
Spots To Rest and Refuel
Many of the area’s restaurants and inns are geared toward those who spend their day dashing through the snow. At some, you can park your snowmobile in front, hang up your helmet and head into the warmth for some well-deserved R&R.
Teresa’s Corner Cafe and Bakery (Presque Isle)
A great place to start your day before heading to the nearby Sled Shop for renting equipment, this cafe and bakery offers hot breakfasts and baked goods.
Eureka Hall Restaurant and Tavern (Stockholm)
At this rustic tavern, you can enjoy Asian-fusion plates like Thai crunch salads, as well as traditional tavern fare. This county favorite also offers in-house entertainment on select evenings.
Grammy’s Country Inn (Linneus)
The portions are no joke at this family diner that specializes in all things comfort food, from potpies to whoopie pies.
Frederick’s Southside Restaurant (Caribou)
Stop in for creative pizzas, seafood sandwiches and more.
Places to Stay
The Northeastland Hotel (Presque Isle)
Located in the heart of downtown Presque Isle, this historic, renovated hotel offers spacious rooms with character.
The Homestead Lodge (Oxbow)
The lodge’s homestyle cooking, comfortable beds and hot showers will keep you cozy, while the Buffalo Ride-In restaurant offers an easy way to enjoy a satisfying meal before you continue on your adventure.
Hewes Brook Lodge (Portage)
On the banks of a pristine river, this lodge is located conveniently close to hundreds of miles of backcountry trails.
Crossroad Cabins (Fort Kent)
These charming cabins have access to a large network of snowmobile trails, with the added benefit of being close to downtown Fort Kent.
Eagle Lake Inn (Eagle Lake)
This modern inn also includes a lodge, hotel, motel, cabins, and a bed and breakfast, offering snowmobile packages and direct access to trails.
From Portland: 281 miles
From Lewiston/Auburn: 258 miles
From Augusta: 227 miles
From Ellsworth: 181 miles
From Bangor: 152 miles