Can’t-miss winter adventures
Nobody wants to succumb to psychotropic drug abuse, season-long hibernation, or unrestrained weather-related hostility.
But such are the options for folks who don’t prepare a proper arsenal against the personality-altering effects of a New England winter.
The cold season can ice our spirits and bury our good natures under a half-ton of ash-colored slush. Or we can grab winter by the snowballs, pack it in our mitts, and chuck it around — maybe build a sweet snow fort while we’re at it.
The key is strategy — a wintry plan of attack. For, like the old saying goes, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of February shock therapy.” Here are a few options for staving off winter psychosis:
Full Moon Hike @ Mt. Abram, Greenwood | Dec 29, Feb 2, Mar 2 & Mar 23
Folks who don’t typically shapeshift with the appearance of the full moon will appreciate the uphill trek to Mt. Abram’s peak, where music and mountain revelry await during the Full Moon Hike. There’s a heated lodge up there, not that you’ll need it. The 50-minute climb will do wonders raising your body temperature and you’ll find yourself periodically disrobing. Hang out, have a beverage, then ski/ride your way down.
5 pm Dec 29, Feb 2 & Mar 2; 6 pm Mar 23 | Free | www.mtabram.com/news-events
Let us tell you more about it: Skip the lift: Full Moon Hike
Toboggan National Championships @ Camden Snow Bowl | Feb 8-10
Competitors in the U.S. National Toboggan Championships will find out first hand what it’s like to rumble down the 400-foot-long chute and coast out onto a frozen pond. First-timers might focus on their costuming (a cape and a pair of underpants are a surefire hit) and hitting the finish line without losing knuckle flesh to the unforgiving wooden chute walls. Returning riders will want to go faster.
Feb 8-10 | $30 per person (2-person, 3-person & 4-person teams) | camdensnowbowl.com
Let us tell you more about it: Sled up, chute down: U.S. National Toboggan Championships
Snowman Adventure Race, East End hill | Feb 9
The Snowman Adventure Race is a two-person relay combining running, biking and downhill sledding. One teammate heads out first for a half-mile bike ride around Back Cove, the second takes on a 2.25-mile run around the East End. Each leg of the race is begun with a hearty run up the East End hill and a return sled down. And both teammates sled together to the finish.
Feb 9 | East End Hill, Portland | some details still being decided | www.cascobayevents.com
Let us tell you more about it: Sled to the finish: Snowman Adventure Race
America’s Mattress Race @ Shawnee Peak | Mar 23
During the America’s Mattress Race, mattresses of all sizes will take to the mountain at Shawnee Peak. They’ll shirk their once-sedentary lifestyle for a chance to make like a toboggan and slide Shawnee’s Main Slope — with a few riders on top clutching the edges in high-speed fear.
Mar 23 | Shawnee Peak, Bridgton | $5 mattress fee plus lift ticket | www.shawneepeak.com
Let us tell you more about it: Ride that mattress: America’s Mattress Race
Cardboard Box Race @ Saddleback | Mar 23
If you’re not too steady on skis but still long for a mountain decent, try the cardboard box race. You get the thrill of downhill without that pesky loss of control. The race pits cardboard construction against cardboard construction, with the help of some creativity and duct tape. The theme for 2013: the circus. (Think trapeze artists and monkeys in pants!)
1-4 pm Mar 23 | Saddleback Mountain, Rangeley | Free | www.saddlebackmaine.com
- Various locations Maine, ME