Winter Arrives Way Down East
When November’s freezing nights arrive in the Machias region, folks crank up their woodstoves, and the smell of burning seasoned wood wafts along with the fragrance of freshly-tipped balsam branches. Seasonal work is a major economic factor in Washington County, and the crafting of hundreds of thousands of beautiful Christmas wreaths and holiday decorations for shipment across America, provides job opportunities for many people.
Wreath making can be found across all of Down East in the Machias area, which is home to several of the major players, Whitney Wreaths in Machias, Machias Bay Wreath in Machiasport, and Gay’s Wreaths in neighboring Marshfield. In addition to these companies, there are a host of small, independent providers of beautiful and fragrant wreaths.
By mid-December Mother Nature has usually graced the area with a blanket of snow, which launches a variety of fun winter activities on the Down East Sunrise Trail. This 96-mile multi-use trail is dedicated to snowmobiling, snow shoeing, cross-country skiing and hiking after the trail is snow covered. The trail traverses some of Maine’s most pristine landscapes of blueberry barrens, forests and breathtaking coastal scenes. There are access points along the entire trail. In Machias one can get on the trail just before the causeway/dike.
Great accommodations and dining opportunities make Machias a perfect winter destination. The Bluebird Ranch Family Restaurant, Helen’s Restaurant, and Pat’s Pizza are several of Down East’s excellent dining institutions.
After a prolonged absence due to insurance difficulties, the town of Machias and the Machias Bay Area Chamber of Commerce returned public ice skating fun to the South Side Ball Field last winter, to provide folks with another great way to enjoy winter fun. For more information [and updates relative to the pandemic] contact the Machias Bay Area Chamber of Commerce – (207) 255-4402.
— Text: Jim Harnedy. In his third professional career, Jim was the author of a number of books and magazine articles, as well as being an editor and co-publisher of several Maine magazines. Jim passed away last spring, and it is with great fondness that we celebrate his frequent contributions to the Activities Guide of Maine.