Maine possesses all manner of picture-perfect towns to visit in winter. Whether you want to strap on the snowshoes and explore or just sit in front of the hearth with a cup of chowder, there’s peaceful beauty to be found all over.
With Sunday River just north of town and Mt. Abram to the west of town, downhill skiers have a great variety of trails to choose from, plus all the apres-ski, dining and lodging to fit anyone’s style. Prefer Nordic skiing? There are groomed and tracked trails at Carter’s Cross Country Ski Center, the Bethel Inn Resort (which also features winter sleigh rides) and the Bethel Community Trails system.
With a vertical drop of 1,150 feet and homey base lodge, Black Mountain of Maine is a great family mountain, just 40 minutes from Sunday River. Looking for a challenge? Their Nordic ski facilities have been testing competitive collegiate skiers for years.
If you prefer a more serene getaway, this little hamlet is just about five miles down the road from Shawnee Peak Ski Area, which is a good intermediate mountain for those trying to avoid bigger crowds.
What happens when you put a snowmobile parade, radar runs, snowmobile races, aerial and a host of other events together? You get the annual Snodeo celebration that attracts thousands of people each winter for everything snowmobile. Plus, check out the Rangeley Lakes Trail Center or explore the many land trust properties in the area that are open to the public.
With more skiable acres than any other Maine ski area and the only above tree-line skiing in Maine, Sugarloaf has that World-Class quality you’d expect in a ski resort. They have an extensive cross country ski network and just down the road, is Maine Huts & Trails for a back-country Nordic experience to well-appointed wilderness lodges.
Hundreds of miles of snowmobile trails connect snowmobiling hubs of Rangeley, Jackman, and Greenville. Need we say more? Rent a snowmobile and ride to the summit of Coburn Mountain, the highest groomed trail in Maine at 3,750 feet. It’s the perfect way to spend a weekend (or longer).
Call on Moosehead Lake for any and all of your favorite winter activities. As Maine’s largest lake, this winter town offers snowmobiling, ice fishing, alpine skiing and backcountry snowshoeing and cross country ski opportunities at the Appalachian Mountain Club’s new wilderness lodges. You can’t go wrong with any of them.
An extensive cross country trail network flies under the radar when people are looking for places to pull out the skinny skis. Plus, take advantage of some great snowmobiling, snowshoeing and ice fishing at the base of Katahdin, Maine’s tallest mountain.
Looking to test your cross country chops? The Nordic Heritage Center in Presque Isle is a world-class Nordic skiing facility, with 20km of groomed trails that hosted the World Cup Biathlon a couple years back. See how you fare against the best.
Perfect for families, you can enjoy more than 30km of Nordic skiing trails and the gentle slopes of Lonesome Pines Trails downhill ski area. Plus, the 30- 100- and 250-mile Annual Can-Am Crown International Dog Sled Races begin in downtown Fort Kent — a can’t-miss event in March. The 250-mile race is a qualifying race for the famous Iditarod race in Alaska and the Yukon Quest in Canada.
Sometimes you just need a quaint, quiet getaway, right? Well, this village could have come out of a snow globe. Plus, with easy access to the Camden Snow Bowl ski area, you can get views of the Atlantic Ocean from the summit unmatched throughout Maine. It’s also home to the always delightful U.S. National Toboggan Championships, a fantastic way to spend a weekend in February.
This shopping mecca is home to the LL Bean Outdoor Discovery School where you can learn to snowshoe or cross country ski. Even better, just a few miles away, Pineland Farms in New Gloucester offers an extensive cross country network to practice these newly acquired skills. And make sure not to skip the skating pond and their market and deli with locally sourced produce, meats, cheeses, drinks and baked goods. All combined, it makes for one heck of a day.