The Thrifty New England Traveler is a blog of VisitingNewEngland, a web site that features real New England travel stories told by a lifelong local.

Plenty of Snow, Affordable Winter Recreational Opportunities in North, Western Maine

The National Weather Service northeast snow depth map for Feb. 16 shows that northern Maine has the largest stretch of land with 10-20 inches of snow on the ground. Credit: NOAA/NWS Northeast River Forecast Center.

When looking for things to do during the February school vacation breaks in New England, keep in mind that the North and Western regions of Maine have plenty of snow, at this writing, according to the Office of Maine Tourism — that means plenty of winter recreation opportunities. Snowmobile trails, ski mountains and cross country ski trails from Bethel to Millinocket to Aroostook County have been open since before the New Year!

In Northern Maine, you’ll find many Nordic ski trails free for public use. Additionally, the downhill skiing and snowboarding there are quite affordable with a top adult lift ticket of $30, according to the Office of Maine Tourism.

Here are some impressive snow and winter recreation stats from

  • Big Rock Ski Area in Mars Hill has received 59″ of snow and has a base depth of 22-42″. All 25 trails and a terrain park are currently being serviced by three lifts.
  • Lonesome Pine Trails in Fort Kent currently has 10 alpine trails and 25km of groomed cross country and snowshoeing trails. The base lodge cafeteria serves local Acadian favorites.
  • The world-class trails at the Nordic Heritage Center (NHC) in Presque Isle are in excellent, packed powder condition. Twenty kilometers of trail are groomed for classic and skate skiing, and 2.5km are lighted for night use. The NHC and 10th Mountain Center in Fort Kent are training facilities for the U.S. Biathlon National Team, and each venue has hosted World Cup biathlon events.
  • “Waist-deep snow” was reported last week on snowmobile trails in the Madawaska/St. John Valley region of Aroostook

    Wide, groomed trails like this one near the town of New Sweden in Aroostook County are in excellent condition for snowmobilers in northern Maine. Credit: Aroostook County Tourism.

    County. Hundreds of miles of trails across northern Maine are currently in excellent condition. The region has experienced consistently cold weather all winter making for a great snow pack. Inns, motels, restaurants and gas stations can be found along snowmobile trails throughout northern Maine.

For more information about Maine’s winter activities, log onto


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