Winter fun in Maine

Winter view from Manor Woods, Rangeley

Welcome to Rangeley and the Rangeley WinterPalooza!

littlesweetheart

Photo courtesy of goRANGELEY!

Mountains are the beginning
and the end of all natural scenery.
John Ruskin.

Surrounded by beautiful lakes and with 10 of Maine’s highest peaks with in reach, this world class 4 season town comes alive with winter events.

RANGELEY WINTERPALOOZA!
This year, why not visit Rangeley for their first Annual WinterPaloozah! on Haley Pond in the town’s most complete winter sports village. The main event will be held on Saturday, February 13, beginning at 11:00am and continues throughout the day; winding up with Valentine’s Eve horse drawn hay wagon rides from 5-7 pm.  A campfire, marshmallows and a hot cocoa bar will keep our attendees warm while taking part in this winter scene out of a Norman Rockwell painting.

goRANGELEY!

Photo courtesy of goRANGELEY!

WinterPaloozah! includes ice skating, pond hockey, kick-sledding, snowshoeing, Nordic skiing, a snowman building competition, ice golf, ice curling, demonstrations on ice safety, fat tire bike demos, Nordic skating, snow-kiting and kite winging demonstrations and instruction, dog sled rides an other games and activities for all ages.

Many ice games and activities will be available for public use throughout President’s Week including additional campfires and marshmallow roasts.

Rangeley is a winter wonderland and outdoor recreation mecca.  This year we have organized our first ever WinterPaloozah! to share our passion for outdoor family fun.

Best of all, WinterPaloozah! is free!!

Winterpalooza! is a joint effort of local businesses, the Rangeley Skating Club, the Rangeley Lakes Heritage Trust and the Rangeley Lakes Regional School Parent Teachers Association.

At Rangeley’s Moose Loop Cafe, Bakery & Rentals on Main Street, you can rent snowmobiles, plus the gear to go with them, including gloves, jackets, pants and boots. Even if you don’t hit the trails, dine on breakfast or lunch at the General Store and enjoy the view overlooking Haley Pond.

Also located on Haley Pond is Ecopelagicon, a nature store. Purchase books about the Maine outdoors, maps and camping supplies, as well as crafts, cards and jewelry. Right outside their door is the town cleared ice rink on Haley Pond. Need skates? Free skates are available at Ecopelagicon. The 10th Annual New England Pond Hockey Festival will take place on February 6th & 7th. This weekend of outdoor games on Haley Pond celebrates a time-honored New England tradition.

Snow-kiting at Rangeley

Photo courtesy of Brian Dexter.

Strap on your skinny skis, grab some poles and head out on the 55 kilometers of groomed trails at the Rangeley Lakes Trail Center. The Center will host the 20th annual legendary Rangeley Lakes Loppet on March 5th. Ski and snowshoe rentals are available in the rustic yurt lodge at the center.

At the end of the day, get some rest at either the newly updated Rangeley Inn or stay lakeside at the Town and Lake Motel and Cottages. Come experience the revival of a landmark, the Rangeley Inn offers a perfect combination of location, ambiance, and comfort. Their Rangeley Tavern that offers refined rustic cuisine by the fire. The Town and Lake Motel and Cottages are open year round and located on Rangeley Lake.

Lyons Lakeside Cabins offer reasonably priced Rangeley vacation rentals on the shore of Rangeley Lake.  The cabins offer direct snowmobile access to Rangeley Lake and are just 10 minutes drive from Saddleback and 4 minutes from the quaint village of Rangeley.

Whatever type of outdoor enthusiast you are, this four-season vacation destination is sure to pull you back again and again. Ready to help you call this place home is Caryn Dreyfus of City Cove Realty. From building lots to condos, and lakefront homes to mountain camps, they’ve got something that will tickle your fancy. Come to Rangeley and embrace this winter wonderland. Be sure to bring your camera!


Dog lover's guide to Maine slopes

Dog Lover’s Guide to Maine Slopes

Text Anna Burke.

More and more skiers head for the slopes these days with dogs in tow, leaving the rest of us wondering how they do it. Their secret is simple: careful planning. Here at Activity Maine, we have discovered the formula for a successful, dog inclusive ski vacation.

Step One: Choose a Ski Resort

Maine is brimming with ski resorts. If you are a Mainer, you probably already have a few favorites. Out-of-staters get to choose from some of the best slopes on the East Coast. Here are a few of Maine’s most popular (and dog-friendly) mountains.

The Bethel area boasts two alpine ski resorts: Sunday River and Mt Abram. Sunday River maintains 135 trails and nearby Mt. Abram 44. If this is not enough incentive, Bethel is also home to Maine’s skijoring scene. Skijoring is the perfect sport for avid skiers and their dogs. With the help of a special harness and a pair of cross-country skis, you and your dog can ski together. Check out New England Dog Sledding and the Down East Sled Dog Club for skijoring lessons and events while you are in the Bethel area.

Sugarloaf USA, the East Coast’s largest single ski mountain, offers skiers and snowboarders over 154 trails, plus snowfields and glades. With 1,056 skiable acres, not to mention a few truly delicious dining options, it is no wonder the resort ranks among Maine’s top ski destinations. The mountain also maintains a Dog Trail just for pets and their owners.

Saddleback Ski Area’s claim to fame is the mountain’s base elevation, which is higher than any other ski area in New England. The breathtaking views and the resort’s 66 trails provide skiers with a classic skiing experience and exciting backcountry opportunities in their Casablanca Glades and Chutes. Nearby Rangeley Lakes and Trails Center offers Nordic skiing, with a designated skijoring trail and a dog loop.

Skiers who want to enjoy both snow and the Maine coast can ‘ski the sea’ at the Camden Snow Bowl. The resort’s 12 trails, plus the pet-friendly Hosmer Trail, offer an affordable family friendly skiing experience. While there, families also enjoy sledding down the resort’s 400′ toboggan chute, snow tubing, and ice skating on the pond.

Dog Lover's Guide to Maine Slopes. Photo: Craig Angevine, Yeah Bud! Photography.

Champ waiting and ready to go. Photo: Craig Angevine, Yeah Bud! Photography.

Step Two: Pet-Friendly Lodging

Planning a ski vacation with Fido takes a little more thought than hitting the road with a weekend ski pass. You and your pooch need a pet-friendly hotel where you can relax after a long day with a cup of hot cocoa and a new toy from one of Maine’s many locally owned pet stores.

Maine boasts a large number of dog-friendly hotels, inns and bed and breakfasts. This is not surprising, considering the state’s endless outdoor opportunities for dog lovers. Dog-oriented travel sites are great resources for finding pet-friendly hotels near your ski destination. Be sure to call ahead and ask about any pet restrictions or additional fees before booking your reservation.

Step Three: Doggy Daycare

You also need to find Rover something to do while you ski. Even resorts with dog-friendly trails won’t allow your pooch on the ski lift. Leaving your pet in your room is not an option either. Hotels and B&Bs usually have strict policies about unattended pets. This places pet owners in a difficult position.

Barker Brook Kennels, located near Sunday River Ski Resort in Bethel, offers pet owners an easy solution to this dilemma. With their indoor and outdoor play yards and experienced staff, Barker Brook provides daycare and boarding facilities for your dog while you enjoy the numerous ski opportunities in the Bethel area. Your pooch will love an opportunity to romp and run with other dogs in their carefully supervised dog daycare center, and all the fun is sure to have him tuckered out by the end of the day.

Barker Brook Kennels is not alone. There are dog daycare and boarding facilities located across Maine. For the price of boarding your dog at home or paying for a dog sitter, your dog could join the fun. Just make sure you call ahead to make a reservation for your pet, as daycare centers fill up quickly.

Bringing your dog on vacation has never been easier. With a growing number of dog daycare centers, pet-friendly hotels and B&Bs, you might never need to leave your dog behind again.


2015 Maine Brew Guide - Not your ordinary brews!

The Winter 2015 Maine Brew Guide – Not your ordinary winter brews!

Text Benjamin Moore.

You may be surprised when I say Winter is my favorite time of the year. It’s the season of warm layers, bountifully beautiful snow, and very short days. Winter is also post-pumpkin beer season, which frees the shelf space and tap lines for a wide variety of heart warming darker beers.

Fall is a time of artificial flavored beers, but more importantly malt-forward styles as well. I’m always a big fan of hopping everything under the sun but sometimes I forget about beers like Marzens, Octoberfests, and even brown ales until the fall comes. Winter continues the sweeter and darker times with stouts and porters.

Something about the cold weather and the holiday cheer makes me want to imbibe. Although I don’t gravitate towards any style in general. In fact, I drink what is local, available, and what I’m in the mood for at the time.

2015 Maine Brew Guide

Photo: Benjamin Moore

Maine has so many breweries to choose from now that we are spoiled by the quality and variety. I can fill this whole magazine with segments of each Maine brewery, their awesome beers you can drink in the winter, and where you can find them. Instead, I’ve chosen five of my favorites right now to highlight. If you talk to me next week those five may change.

Biddeford/Saco

In the old mill buildings in Biddeford and Saco are a brewery and a brewpub that are right around the corner from each other. One is Banded Horn Brewing Company and the other is Run Of The Mill Pub. Banded Horn has been brewing beer for just over a year now and has been making a splash in the beer scene in Maine. They brew a very nice traditional German Pilsner called Pepperell Pilsner, named after the building they are located in.

Run Of The Mill has been in operation for a bit longer than Banded Horn and makes some of the best pub style food that I’ve ever tried. Their Bug Lager is brewed year-round and pairs perfectly with their cuisine. The brewpub is located right over the Saco River, which is the perfect view during the summer on Run Of The Mill’s outside deck.

Nestled amongst the mill buildings in Biddeford, Banded Horn has a collection of beers that will really surprise you. Their Pepperell Pilsner, Luminaire Lager & Veridian IPA are great staples to their year-round core selection. But this winter you can catch their Norweald Stout and their Daikaiju IPA are some of my favorite beers of those styles. The Daikaiju is the right balance of intense IPA bitterness with a ton of fruit and citrus flavors. Overall, Banded Horn never disappoints.

Portland

Your favorite brewpub Sebago Brewing Company makes great beers all winter long. My fridge always has at least a few cans of fresh Frye’s Leap IPA ready to drink. We were very lucky in the fall to enjoy Sebago’s Hop Swap, Local Harvest & Bonfire Rye. Bonfire Rye has to be one of my favorite rye-based beers on the shelves. The bitterness of the rye is balanced by the abundance of malt.

But after fresh hop season is over and the leave have fallen, Sebago is just getting started for the winter. Their Slick Nick Long Winter Ale has been reformulated to be stronger and even more smooth as the previous versions. It’s a smooth and warming winter seasonal that’s not too sweet. I love the flavors of Slick Nick so much that I love using it to cook with.

Soon you’ll find the annual Barleywine available on shelves and taps from Sebago. This has to be my favorite beer they brew because every year it keeps getting better. They age it for a year in barrels that give a bourbon and sweet vanilla flavor. The boozy notes are balanced by the sweetness. Get the Whistle Punk 4 pack cans while available. It has an abundance of tropical fruit, citrus and pine aroma and flavor from the great hop blend. Big juicy American hops burst from this unfiltered Double IPA. It will be released several times throughout the year.

If you’re ever stuck in Kennebunk, Portland, Gorham, or Scarborough in a snowstorm, a Sebago Brewpub is a great place to hunker down and enjoy a beer or two.

The Liquid Riot Bottling Company, a brewpub/distillery located in the heart of downtown, is one of the best kept secrets in Portland. They serve only their own beers on tap, and offer a wide variety of house-made spirits including a single malt whiskey and a brand new bourbon whiskey.

Liquid Riot doesn’t brew any winter beers per se, but their line up is hard to beat. They are brewing beers like The Killing, a kettled soured ale that has 200 lbs of fresh Maine grown cranberries aged. They also have the coveted Russian Imperial Stout called Back to Black as well as the return of their Belgian dark strong ale called Disbelief. Disbelief is brewed with Maine Maple Syrup and Trappist yeast.

If the spirits and beer don’t warm you up enough, Liquid Riot has a tabletop shuffleboard and a pool table to have fun when the snow is falling.

Far North

If you head 2 hours North West of Portland to the Farmington & Skowhegan area you’ll find two really nice destination breweries called Bigelow Brewing Company and Tumbledown Brewing Company.

Bigelow is nestled into a little farm in Skowhegan, Maine. The owners refit a custom-built horse barn into a cozy brewery with a fireplace. My favorite beer from Bigelow is their Dementia Double IPA, a hefty double IPA that is piney and delicious.

Tumbledown Brewing Company is located in Farmington, Maine. They are very small in operation yet produce traditionally styled craft beers. Their Tumbledown Red Ale is their flagship and is a malt forward ale that keeps you wanting more. At the brewery and tasting room, Tumbledown runs four beers on tap (three standard beers, including the Tumbledown Red and a line reserved for seasonal/limited edition beers. They sell beer in 32oz & 64oz growlers and will be offering 22oz Bombers that are being released on Small Business Saturday! Their Growler Club entitles members to exclusive benefits that are detailed on their website: tumbledownbrewing.com.

Western Maine

Take the time and drive over to Lyman, Maine and pay Funky Bow a visit. Their brewery is a really fun place, especially on Friday evenings. On Fridays you can find delicious wood fire pizza, local musicians playing, and more importantly their beers on tap. Like most breweries, you can find rarer beers at the source. Their G-String Pale Ale and So Folkin’ Hoppy IPA are great examples of those styles and can be found year around.

You’ll notice that lately Funky Bow is ramping up their lineup of beers. They just released their Cherry Picker Barrel Aged Stout in limited bottle release. They also started a new single-hop series of beers that will be on tap at the brewery. Every beer from that series will feature a beer brewed with just one type of hop to feature all the flavors in that one variety. Also be on the lookout for Funk Bow’s Santa’s Sack Barrel Aged Red Ale releasing in December as well as Smoked Staccato Stout available throughout December.

Mid-Coast

At 27 years old, Dan Pease started Rock Harbor Restaurant on Main Street in Rockland, Maine with the idea of some day making it a brew pub. After 2 years of growing the restaurant into one of Rockland’s favorite pubs, a brewery in southern Maine decided to close its doors.  The opportunity to start a brewery presented itself and Dan purchased the equipment and moved it two hours north and installed it at Rock Harbor in July of 2013.  After licensing Rock Harbor Brewing Co., the brewing began and by October the first pints were poured.  Since October Dan has made three different IPAs, an ESB, Pale Ale and two stouts.  His only previous experience in brewing was ten years of home brewing, but through research and experimenting he has been able to create brews that people at Rock Harbor Pub & Brewery are loving.

Lewiston-Auburn

Baxter Brewing Co. is a Maine-based craft brewery which is the first of its kind in New England to can all of its beer. Located in Bates Mill in the up-and-coming community of Lewiston/Auburn, ME, Baxter Brewing Co. currently distributes its flavorful and unique craft beers in ME, MA, NH & VT, CT, & RI both in six-pack and on draught.

Blaze Bangor–Gourmet wood-fired dishes, all natural ingredients and over 50 craft beers on tap is all waiting for you at this uniquely cozy dining experience. The Run of the Mill and The Liberal Cup bring the comfortable, inviting atmosphere of English style pubs to Maine. Housed by a sprawling mill building in Saco, ‘The Mill’ offers ample indoor and (seasonal) outdoor seating with views overlooking the Saco River and up-and-coming mill district. Smaller and more intimate than its southern counterpart, ‘The Cup’ is located in the heart of Hallowell—a vibrant, historic town. Both feature hand crafted beer and home-style food surrounded by distinctive architecture and old world charm in rustic brick & mortar structures.

The Great Lost Bear has become a Portland institution since opening in 1979. With the Craft Beer Revolution in full throttle they offer over 78 beers on tap with over 40 from the State of Maine alone. The GLB features an enormous eclectic menu with something for everyone, all served in an entertaining atmosphere where you can taste some of the freshest local beer around!

Benjamin Moore is a photographer and martial artist. He has been blogging about beer for five years in Southern Maine.


Leslie Nichols running up the Eastern Promenade in Portland

Snow Runner

Text Leslie Dillon.

New England winter is something that can only be understood by experiencing it. This, of course, was something I didn’t know when I moved here as a naive Midwesterner. As I approach my tenth winter here, I have learned that the basic lessons of surviving winter in New England also apply to winter running.

Be prepared. Getting dressed for winter running can feel like its own workout. Having the right gear, though, can be the difference between a comfortable run and an unbearable one. Consider investing in a waterproof jacket, footwear with solid traction (or a traction product), and high visibility gear in addition to a tech base layer, tights, gloves and headwear.

 

Outdoors at Bretton Woods NH. Photo: Doug Weisman (douglasweismanphotography.com)

Outdoors at Bretton Woods NH. Photo: Doug Weisman (douglasweismanphotography.com)

Tough it out together. Even after getting all layered up it can be tough to make it out the door, especially in the cold and dark hours before or after work. Having a reliable running buddy or a year-round running group can provide the extra motivation needed in the less appealing winter running conditions. Two great group options include Old Port Pub Run in Portland (oldportpubrun.wordpress.com) and the SIX03 Endurance Pub Runs in New Hampshire (six03endurance.com/pub-runs).

Get creative. For runners who normally train on trails, the first snow fall or ice storm might mean moving their mileage to the roads, but it doesn’t have to. In true New England fashion, there are plenty of ways to enjoy the trails in the snow. There are several snowshoe and winter racing series that can add a fun twist to winter training. Check out the Granite State Snowshoe Series (granitestatesnowshoeseries.org) or Baxter Outdoor’s Packed Powder Series (bbaxteroutdoors.com/packedpowderseries.html).

Adapt. This is perhaps the most important lesson for surviving winter in New England. There will be days where the road or weather conditions require a change of plans. Being prepared to adapt a workout to the treadmill or shift around your training schedule is essential.


Photo courtesy of Green Machine Bike Shop

Try Fat Biking this Winter!

If you don’t want to put your bike away for the winter, try ripping up the snow on a fat bike! With 4-5 inch wide tires, more than twice as wide as the standard mountain bike tire, these bikes provide excellent flotation in soft conditions like snow or sand! They are an amazing way to enjoy the outdoors in the Winter.  Ride across a frozen lake or go for miles on a bike-friendly trail. There are many locations throughout the state to rent a fat bike, so you can try one before you buy one. Don’t let this winter pass you by without giving fat biking a try!

Take a trip down Route 26

Heading North on Route 26 from Portland and Gray takes you to the heart of Maine’s Winter playground. When planning your trip, leave SOME extra time to visit these great destinations along the way.

Carter’s XC Ski in Oxford has purposely built fat bike trails & fat bike rentals provided on-site by the Green Machine Bike Shop. Other noteworthy places to ride are Shepard’s Farm Preserve in Norway and Range Pond State Park in Poland. Snowmobile trails are also a great option, just be sure to ask permission from your local snowmobile club, as not all snowmobile trails are fat bike friendly.

The Green Machine Bike Shop opened its doors on Main Street in Norway, the Spring of 2012, with the focus on bicycle & ski repair. They have expanded their retail offerings to include bicycles & accessories from Felt, Scott, KHS, Santa Cruz & Fizik. Their ski lines include Volkl, Black Diamond & Scott Skis, Scarpa Telemark boots, Dalbello Alpine boots, Rottefella, NTN, 22 designs, BlackDiamond & Marker bindings. They have group rides for experienced road and mountain bikers, and a group that builds trails. Group road bike rides are Wednesdays at 5:15 p.m. and Saturdays at 9:00 a.m.  The group mountain bike ride is Sunday at 9:00 a.m. The trail building group meets  Tuesday afternoons at 5:30 p.m. Call 207-739-2324 for the most up to date information.

Green Machine fat bikes

Green Machine’s Angela Harvey and company showing off their fat bikes. Photo courtesy of Green Machine Bike Shop.

Smedberg’s Crystal Spring Farm roadside stand in Oxford was originally built in 1967 and is owned and operated by Roger and Gayle Smedberg and Roger Smedberg, Jr. From Made-in-Maine products like maple syrup, honey, fruit salsa, pottery, soaps and ornaments, to their own One Cow Homemade Ice Cream that’s “udderly delicious,” Smedberg’s Crystal Spring Farm is an experience unlike any other. Stop by and check out their homemade baked goods including pies, breads and Gayle’s delicious homemade baked beans and chicken pies. Smedberg’s all-natural, home-grown beef, pork and lamb are raised on the farm and fed from the field, with no added hormones. Also available: bison, chicken, seafood and live lobster. You won’t want to miss a stop at Smedberg’s Crystal Spring Farm.

Carters Cross Country Ski Center is a family owned and operated business, and has been for over 30 years. They have two locations with full-service ski shops and unique trails. Their ski shops can equip you with quality touring packages, as well as Back Country and top of the line racing equipment for your entire family. Carter’s has many trails designated for Back Country skiers and snowshoers. They rent Back Country equipment and snowshoes at both locations so you can try before you buy.

Try ripping up the snow on a fat bike!

Photo courtesy of Greater Houlton Chamber of Commerce.

 

“I don’t have a bucket list… but my bikeit list is a mile long.” — unknown

 

 

 

 

 

After all that trail time you will have worked up an appetite! Located right on Route 26 in South Paris, stop for a meal at Maurice Restaurant. Since 1976, Maurice’s has been a pleasant surprise for world sojourners and people new to the beautiful Oxford Hills area of western Maine. The 200-year old clapboard house turned restaurant continues to delight, serving French-Continental cuisine in an elegant country

atmosphere at affordable prices.

Whether you crave breakfast in the morning or for lunch, Egg-ceptional has the menu for you. They offer breakfast all day and are home to the “Belly Buster,” an Omelet Challenge. Located at the 5 Corners in Mechanic Falls, Egg-ceptional features hearty country cooking and a friendly staff. You’ll feel as if you’re eating at home, except. . . you don’t have to wash the dishes! The restaurant is open seven days a week from 6 a.m. till 2 p.m.

Interested in mushing? Founded in 1977 by mushers Grey and Kathy Pickett, Nooksack Racing Supply is a provider of top quality equipment for novice and experienced mushers and dog powered sports. Friendly, courteous and knowledgeable staff to help you & your four legged friends. Proudly made in Maine, USA.

 

 


Aroostook county, Paul Cyr Photography

Adventure Awaits in the County

Aroostook County is rich in outdoor recreation opportunities in every season.

If you are new to outdoor adventure consider hiring one the many local Registered Maine Guides in the area. Even if you are an experienced outdoor adventurer, a Registered Maine Guide can make your trip a more enjoyable and often an educational experience.

Caribou

Caribou has the best of both worlds with modern urban amenities and breathtaking scenery. Whether you like snowmobiling, four-wheeling, motorcycle cruising, kayaking, hunting, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, summer street fairs, fall arts and crafts or just plain relaxing by a campsite, Caribou is for you.

Caribou has over 100 miles of beautifully groomed snowmobile trails which connect to over 2300 miles throughout Aroostook County. The season typically starts in December and often runs well into April. With copious amounts of snowfall, typically measured in feet rather than inches, Caribou offers endless sledding adventures for all! Go to cariboumaine.org or facebook.com/cityofcaribou for more information.

The Sled Shop

The Sled Shop, Inc. opened in June 1992 by owner Kevin Freeman, he brings a long history in outdoor recreation to the business. They have a snowmobile rental inventory of well maintained Ski-Doo snowmobiles and rates that start at just $200 a day. Service: From basic factory authorized maintenance to custom race applications, The Sled Shop has years of experience in sales and racing and is an authority in both performance and customizing solutions. Their certified technicians are well trained and dedicated to customer support. They also do sled wraps and custom body work and have a 9000 square foot storage facility for summer or winter sled storage.

Horses in Aroostook County, Paul Cyr Photography

Photo: Paul Cyr (paulcyrphotography.com)

Join one of their riding teams to experience new challenges and meet some great people. As a member of a Sled Shop team, you will get first access to adventure trips and tours. You’ll also experience guided tours of County trails otherwise unknown.

Houlton

Southern Aroostook is the perfect place to work and play providing you with a rural experience filled with bits of history, acres of wilderness, wildlife that is upfront and personal and events for every season. All of this in the most beautiful setting in the Northeast. Houlton is the place to be!

Don’t miss the Holiday Light Parade on November 26. Moosestompers, February 5-6th, has loads of family fun! Snowman building, sledding hill, XC skiing, sleigh rides and a lot more. The Houlton area Winter carnival provides childern and families some free or low cost healthy entertainment in the Houlton area during our winter season. The Chamber of Commerce Annual Dinner and Gala Evening is March 1st, the Houlton International Snow Drags is March 13, and keep an eye out for snowmobile drag racing at the airport!

Presque Isle

Central Aroostook County offers beauty and interesting vistas every season. As the leaves change color we prepare for the incredible snowmobile season, cross country skiing, alpine skiing, biathlons, skating, star gazing and more. There is nothing that compares with star gazing and the Northern Lights in Aroostook County.

Join the Central Aroostook Chamber of Commerce for the 26th Annual Holiday Light Parade on Saturday, December 5. Line-up begins at UMPI at 4:30 p.m. and the Parade kicks off at 6:00 p.m. Awards will be handed out at Tamc’s North Street Health Center following the parade.


View from Kineo summit. Photo courtesy of Friends of Moosehead Lake.

Come Visit the Moosehead Lake Region

Majestic Moosehead Lake, with its 400 miles of undeveloped shoreline, surrounding mountain peaks and expansive views, provides an inspiring backdrop to escape from the everyday fast pace of life. The winter months and the abundant snowfall open up a spectacular opportunity to explore back country trails and frozen water bodies. Wildlife abounds on our trails and it is common to see moose, deer, wild turkeys and many woodland animals up close and personal.

The surrounding townships of Greenville, Rockwood, Pittston Farm, Northeast Carry and Kokadjo and their clubs work in unison to maintain a world-class network of groomed snowmobile trails. Start your trip from any of these locations and loop through the wooded forests and enjoy convenient services and warm up stops along the way.

Visit the Moosehead Lake Region

Big Squaw Mountain Ski Area. Photo courtesy of Serendipity Photography.

If manpower fun is your thing, Nordic and Cross Country trails are offered throughout the region. Groomed and marked ski and snowshoe trails can be found at Greenville’s Natural Resource Education Center (NREC), Big Squaw Mountain Ski Area, Appalachian Mountain Club (AMC) near Kokadjo and The Birches Resort in Rockwood. Each location offers a different type of terrain whether it be wooded, rolling streams, mountain or lake views.

When it comes to downhill skiing and boarding, views from Big Squaw Mountain Ski Area are some of the finest in the Eastern US! Located on the west shore of Moosehead Lake, this family ski area is only 5 miles from downtown Greenville and 13 miles from Rockwood. Lift ticket pricing remains affordable for young and old ($20 – $25 daily) thanks to the fundraising efforts of the non-profit 501c(3) Friends of Squaw Mountain. The base lodge is open to guests Friday-Sunday, 9am – 4pm, vacations and holidays. Here you will find a full service rental shop, ski/board school and snack bar with hot and cold food items. For more information visit  skibigsquaw.com

More winter fun can be found in the Village of Greenville at the southern end of Moosehead Lake. Home to the quaintest shops, replenishing pubs and recreational services like the ice skating rink, Greenville is for snow lovers! Pick up the perfect souvenir and plan your next adventure.  How about trying something new? Guided dog sled adventures and moose tours to find a fresh antler shed are offered daily.

Sportsmen favor the big lake and its many protected ponds near Moosehead for fishing action on the ice. Heated and equipped ice fishing shacks and gear are available to rent by the day. Enter one of our annual ice fishing derbies to add a friendly competition to your sport. You may win the big prize and help raise money to support the local causes of NREC and the Friends of Moosehead Lake.

Longstanding organizations like the Friends of Moosehead Lake have been established for nearly 60 years to help connect area businesses, non-profits, residents and visitors with the unique, natural landscape that makes Moosehead so unique. The tradition of sportsmen and vacationers to the Moosehead Lake Region is strong and our doors are open to offer hospitality to those seeking an inspiring destination to rejuvenate the soul. Check out friendsofmoosehead.org for area maps, activities and helpful links to help plan your next Moosehead escape.

When looking for accommodations see what a recent guest said about Driftwood Cabins “I think this is a place close to God’s heart, away from the busy hectic pace we keep at home. We “moosed”  and saw 5 moose, 2 deer, and two fox. We just listened — the birds sing such a joyous song here — and my heart surely understands why!”  — Suzy & Scott Sidney, OH

MCN Builders has been building beautiful custom homes on and around the Moosehead Lake Region for 25 years.


Winter Warriors gathered before a run at the Fleet Feet Sports Maine Running store on Marginal Way in Portland.

Winter Warriors

This winter you can get motivation and coaching by joining others runners for FREE winter training runs at both Fleet Feet Maine Running store locations:

309 Marginal Way, Portland on Tuesday and Thursdays
6 p.m. and Saturdays at 9 a.m. Coaches: John Rogers, Kathy Bowe, Michael Gaige, Eric Martinson, Victoria Foley.

89 Maine Street, Brunswick, on Monday and Wednesday evenings, 6 p.m. and Saturday mornings, 8 a.m. Coached
by Tara Whiton.

An information night will be held on January 4th at 6pm at the Brunswick store and on January 5th at 5:30pm at the Portland store (come ready to run after the information session!)

This FREE winter program will help motivate you to stay active in the winter time. Simply come to one of our workouts and you will automatically be entered in the program.

This program is for walkers AND runners and exercise fiends. We don’t care, we just want you to stay active this winter!

One rule — no whining about the weather or else we can poke fun at you!

Baxter Outdoors Winter Cowboy Race at Mount Abram 2015.

Baxter Outdoors Winter Cowboy Race at Mount Abram 2015. Photo by Doug Weisman.

The program is completely FREE and includes:

  • FREE group workouts
  • Fabulous people to work out with all winter long!
  • 5 Point accrual by participating in each workout, run and by volunteering or running certain local races–Jimmy The Greeks Frozen 4 Miler, Mid Winter Classic, Irish Road Rover 5K and Kerrymen’s Pub 5K
  • At the end, the one with the most points will be deemed the Winter Warrior and receive a free pair of shoes of his choice. All ties will be broken via a drawing!!!
  • If you accrue at least 125 points, you will receive a Winter Warrior prize!

How do you accrue points?

Participate in any Fleet Feet Maine Running Winter Warrior workouts and runs (walkers and runners welcome). These start at Fleet Feet Maine Running at 309 Marginal Way. Each Fleet Feet Fun Run and designated race is valued at 5 points.

How do you join the Winter Warrior Program?

Come to a workout anytime between January 5th and March 12th, then you’re in—or register online!

For more info visit fleetfeetmainerunning.com and check out their 2016 Gear List to be ready to participate in this great program!


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