“It starts snowing in November and we don’t see the ground again until May.” An old roommate once described a Maine winter that way. And while it may historically be true, the winters of recent memory – and, like, right now – don’t seem keen on abiding by the six-months-of-snow-covered-ground rule. It’s been warm-ish in Maine’s southern parts. The snow has melted. And the snowshoeing? Not great at the moment, unless you head farther west or north. So what does one do to keep occupied in Winter when the snow is being elusive? This stuff:
For folks who’ve never cross-country skied before, it’s painful to dish out a load of cash for equipment only to find out two days later you hate the sport, so you curse fate and chuck the skis into the basement where they’ll rot for three years until you sell them at a garage sale for $10, which is barely enough money to buy a decent turkey sandwich.
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. From mattress races to Snowman Adventures, there’s plenty of activity to help you stave off winter psychosis.
Fairs and festivals don’t hibernate in winter. There’s too much to celebrate, like the snow and ice and…well, it’s mostly the snow and ice. Check out our roundup of winter fairs and festivals to look forward to!
Winter brings with it plenty of ice and snow. Maybe you’ve noticed. We can either curse it (and how it makes us fall down and slide into ditches) or we can embrace it, preferably with a giant tube. Find a place to slide this winter with our roundup of snow tubing parks.
Swimming isn’t as enticing this time of year, when ice cover makes the breaststroke more painful than necessary. So lace up some skates instead, and glide across those ponds without the need of a swimsuit.
Imagine it: Just you, the trees, and an expanse of snow. Cross-country skiing is a fine winter way to get outside and get one with the white stuff. Many of the XC spots on our roundup also offer rentals, so first-timers can give the sport a try even if they don’t already own equipment.
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.
Competitors in the U.S. National Toboggan Championships, taking place Feb 8-10 at the Camden Snow Bowl, 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.
The Snowman Adventure Race offers grownups the opportunity to sail head-long (or feet first, if you prefer) down the East End hill just like they did when they were young. Maybe even set a new high-speed personal record. In a nutshell: this ain’t no Beach to Beacon.