Cross-Country Skiing + Snowshoe Trails
Throughout the state, trails wind through forests, uphill to views, downhill to base; they extend over bridges and snake alongside streams. As temperatures dip and snow spills over the state, trails serve a new purpose: cross-country skiing and snowshoeing. The following locations are groomed and waiting for your ski and snowshoe tracks.
01 Nordic Heritage Sport Club, Presque Isle
Up north, where the snow clings to the trails just a little sooner and for a while longer, find the Nordic Heritage Sport Club. Wildlife sightings are common at this club in northern Maine. Eight groomed primary trails break off into less traveled ones, and the entire network satisfies both experts and beginners. Two miles of trails are lit in the evenings for those looking to night ski.
02 AMC Maine Wilderness Lodges | Greenville
The Appalachian Mountain Club maintains trails and cabins that loop through the Hundred-Mile Wilderness near Moosehead Lake. Start at Little Lyford Lodge and Cabins, where you can ski out the door onto trails near the shore of Little Lyford Pond and take in views of Baker Mountain. Try the lodge-to- lodge trail and end up at Gorman Chairback Lodge and Cabins for your next adventure.
03 Acadia National Park, Mount Desert Island
The popular summer destination that is known for its majestic beauty is just as breathtaking under a coat of snow. Icicles hanging off frosty pines border the carriage roads that are heavily traveled in the summer, and with a layer of snow that is groomed by volunteers,skiers and snowshoers can enjoy views of Eagle Lake, Cadillac Mountain, and the woodsy beauty of the national park that is just a little less busy.
04 Rangeley Lakes Trails Center, Rangeley
Located beside Saddleback Mountain, Rangeley Lakes Trails Center has 34 miles of mapped trails for cross-country skiing and snowshoeing. The trails are family friendly and have gnome homes along the way—some with gnomes living inside. Families are invited to set out on a search, then regroup with warm beverages in the center’s yurt.
05 PinelandFarms, New Gloucester
In winter, Pineland Farms’s 5,000 acres of farmland are layered with snow and over 16 miles of them are groomed for cross-country skiers and snowshoers. Trails take you through woods and alongside stone walls; the reward is Mount Washington views. Stop in to the market at Pineland Farms for breakfast or lunch and enjoy soups, salads, and sandwiches comprised of locally grown ingredients.
06 Sugarloaf Outdoor Center, Carrabassett Valley
Rentals are available at Sugarloaf Outdoor Center, and the trails that range from two miles to eight miles in length put a beginner at ease. That’s not to say you won’t find expert skiers on the 55 miles of trails that are groomed, marked, and patrolled. On warmer winter days,cross country skiers take to the corduroy trails and leave their jackets behind. On Maine Days (every Wednesday beginning in January), Mainers receive 50 percent off all trail fees and rentals.
07 Quarry Road Recreation Area | Waterville
Close to the center of town in Waterville, Quarry Road Recreation Area has snowshoeing and cross-country trails that follow the Messalonskee Stream and open up to wide meadows. Many of the trails are wide enough to accommodate groups who prefer to ski abreast. The southern loop is elevated and skiers glide past a frosty Waterville landscape while the North Koons Trail offers seclusion in the quiet woods.
08 Carter’s X-C SkiCenter, Bethel
At Carter’s X-C Ski Center in Bethel more advanced skiers can weave through hilly backcountry trails while beginners can find their favorite on the other 34 miles of trails. Snowshoers share trails with skiers, and rentals are available at the center. Along the way, there are views of Sunday River as well as the Mahoosuc and Presidential Ranges. Off-the-grid cabins are available for those looking to spend the night.
09 Wolfe’s Neck Woods State Park and Farm | Freeport
Wolfe’s Neck Woods State Park has three miles of trails that run along the coast and across the peninsula with views of the Harraseeket River on one side and Casco Bay on the other. The trails, which aren’t groomed, are more fit for snowshoers, but cross- country skiers have access to open pasture on Wolfe’s Neck Farm’s 626 acres.