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Ultimately, if you strip away all the many (and valid) superlatives - all the words like "beauty" and "grandeur" and "awe-inspiring" and "exciting" and "tranquil" - what becomes clear about Maine is that, above all else, Maine is real. Maine is a place where humanity has adapted to the natural environment, rather than reshaping the environment to suit the whims of humanity. Maine has a natural scale, a natural pace of life. WinterNo one has tried to tamper with the lakes, landscapes and coastlines carved by the last glaciers, and we are mindful of our stewardship.
Although it's true that we make some of the snow you'll find under your downhill skis in the winter, we know better than to try to improve on the state of Maine. So you may see a moose, but you'll find no theme parks here. Indeed, when you get right down to it, some people might say there's a lot missing in Maine. no cabanas, no waiting lines, no mud slide, no road-rage traffic. Come to Maine, then, and see what we're missing. Maine will change your life and refresh your spirit, and you'll come back.
We won't try to tell you that the Maine half of New England is the best half. We want you to find it out on your own. Come ski with us, sail with us, watch whales, puffins and loons with us. Join us for kayaking in Casco Bay, white-water rafting down the Dead, antique shopping in Hallowell and iceboating on Moosehead Lake. Come to where the lobsters and wild blueberries are, and have a meal or two with us. Be here in the summer for steamed clams, or in the fall for fresh, crisp apple cider, or in the winter for the most delicate shrimp on Earth, or at any time for some fine Maine Belon oysters.
Hike in to Chimney Pond in Baxter State Park and climb Katahdin, or spend a few days sailing aboard a Maine windjammer, and you'll remember it all your life. Or just take time out to reconnect with what's important, relaxing at an island inn on Monhegan or Chebeague or being pampered at an old-fashioned, back-woods hunting camp. Part of an old Maine joke has it that "You can't get there from here." But of course you can - Maine is famous for its hikes, its opening stretch of the Appalachian Trail, its bicycle tours, its island-to-island kayak routs and trips, its foliage motor tours, its border-to border networks of well-groomed snowmobile trails, its Maine-to-Nova Scotia ferries, cruise ships, and deep-sea fishing boats.
Speaking of old Maine jokes, what they mostly have in common is a self-deprecating humor, a willingness of Mainers to poke a bit of fun at themselves - a way of making visitors feel quickly at home: "Ayuh," a Maine farmer says after listening to a fellow from a big western state go on about how his ranch is so vast it takes him from dawn to dusk to drive across it, "I used to have an old pickup truck just like that."
Peak temperatures, normally occurring in July, average about 70ºF throughout the State. In the Southern Interior Division during a very warm summer, temperatures may reach 90ºF for as many as 25 days, and in the Coastal Division, two to seven days. Summer nights are usually cool and comfortable. Click for Bar Harbor, Maine ForecastWinters are generally cold, but prolonged cold spells are rare. Temperature variations are greater in the winter than in summer.
Annual precipitation in Maine averages 40 inches in the Northern Division, about 42 inches in the Southern Division and 46 inches in the Coastal Division. Although Maine is rarely subjected to freeze storms, hurricanes, and tornadoes, ten to 20 thunderstorms occur annually in the Coastal Division and 15 to 30 elsewhere. The southern portion of the State has 80 to 120 clear days annually when there is no fog or other precipitation, and northern regions somewhat less. The percentage of possible sunshine varies from 50 percent in Eastport to about 60 percent in Portland.
The Coastal Division rarely has more than 15 to 20 days annually with one inch or more snowfall, although a "Northeaster" storm may occasionally drop ten or more inches of snow in a single day.
The melting of hues from green, to yellow, to burnt orange and reds begins as early as mid-September in Fort Kent in the north, and as late as the end of October in Kittery, Maine's southern tip. Fall foliageThe actual process of change begins in August as the warm weather wanes and Maine's 57 species of broad-leaved trees begin preparing for autumn. The trees refuse to slip quietly into hibernation.
Visit between September 15 and November 1 for a memorable fall experience. Hike a trail and listen to the falling leaves. Attend country fairs and festivals and taste delicious homemade treats. Board a daysailer and see the foliage from the water. The ever-changing color wheel of foliage is a breathtaking backdrop to Maine's 3,478 miles of coastline. Camp and cuddle by a crackling fire, as cool nights give a gentle reminder of the coming of winter.
Fall foliageJourney along Route 219 between West Paris and Wayne in the Western Mountains or meander along Route 235 from Union to Hope in the Mid Coast and glimpse the beauty of fall foliage while breathing in the sweet smell of ripe apples and fresh picked produce. From the mountains to the sea, Maine's fall parade of colors is the best the Northeast has to offer.
Less than 65 years since the first rope tow was introduced in Maine, you can now downhill ski on more than 450 trails at more than 20 ski areas. Downhill skiing is FUNYou can learn to ski or snowboard with exceptional instructors and tackle the steepest trails in the East. Whether you snowboard, skiboard, telemark, or cross-country, a Maine Skiing adventure should be on your calendar this year.
Winter in Maine is also for those wishing a warm cozy weekend at one of our hundreds of inns and B & Bs, a time filled with art exhibitions or concert performances at several year-round venues. Shoppers find the outlets less crowded and the malls and boutiques more accessible, but the buys equally appealing. Winter in Maine is for you! Riding a snowmobile, dog sled or a horse-drawn sleigh provides a great way to travel through our winter wonderland. SleddingSnowmobiling has become a very popular outdoor adventure in Maine. The Western Maine Mountains, Katahdin/Moosehead and Aroostook County regions offer hundreds of groomed and marked trails and a variety of amenities. The Maine Snowmobile Association has a full list of statewide trails and clubs.
For a unique experience, try dog sledding. There are dog sled races and dog sled rides. Ski joring has been introduced in Maine: skiers are attached by a harness and shock-corded line system and are towed by one or two dogs, similar to water skiing. It's a rush, but dog sledders recommend you take trekking and mushing lessons. Weeklong adventures are available. Romantic horse drawn sleigh rides are being offered at many of the winter festivities in Maine. Contact an area chamber of commerce for vendors offering sleigh rides. Ice Fishing is very popular and with modern technology hundreds of new anglers have joined those hardy souls who have been enjoying the sport for years. When Maine's lakes freeze over, get your fresh water fishing license and equipment and head out. You'll need an auger or chisel, traps or tip-ups, bait, pail, ax, snowmobile or snow-sled and plenty of warm clothing.
Maine awaits you this winter. Our cities are alive with entertainment and events, festivities are sprinkled throughout the state, ski resorts have planned events, our roads are taken care of by expert highway crews, public transportation opens Maine's doors to the world. Tranquillity to thrills, Maine has plenty of both for you this winter.
Maine Invites You Skiing
Few realize that Maine offers the finest terrain and the least crowded skiing on the East Coast. Girl Skiing Maine's ski areas impart unspoiled vistas of expansive forest, inland lakes, and one ski area even overlooks the brilliant waters of the Atlantic. Maine has everything from world class ski resorts, to old-fashioned big mountains, to quaint family-run ski hills.
Maine has big mountains with well over 2,000 feet vertical of snowfields, steeps and glades for the extreme skier, and charming ski hills to comfort the newest skier in the family. Finding enough winter recreation is no problem: on and off the slopes you will find snowboarding half-pipes and terrain parks, moonlit cross-country touring and night skiing in the clear star-filled mountain air. Many have dedicated snow-tubing parks, toboggan runs and ice skating for extended family fun.
The Way Cross Country Skiing Should Be
Cross country skiing, also known as nordic skiing, is an excellent winter recreation for you, your family, and your friends. You can ski at your own pace if you like to be alone with nature and your own thoughts, or get the adrenaline rush of competing in a nordic ski race, or ski with the camaraderie of friends and family on a tour, and take along a picnic lunch. Nordic skiing is easy to learn. With a little practice, anyone can enjoy the flowing motions of the arms and the gliding pushes of the legs. It's a great workout. Another benefit to nordic skiing is its low cost. You can either rent equipment or buy your own affordably. Unless you are skiing at a nordic touring center, there's no cost for using cross country ski trails, and even the touring centers' ticket prices are relatively low.
Maine's nordic tradition dates back 125 years to when Scandinavian immigrants skied both for fun and for transportation. Maine has been home to a dozen U.S. Olympic Nordic Ski Team members, and Black Mountain of Maine in Rumford is the site of the 1999 NCAA Nordic Ski Championships to be hosted by Bates College,. Maine offers an extensive variety of cross country ski terrain, from the carriage roads of Acadia National Park to the unlimited miles of wilderness around Moosehead Lake. Many nordic ski touring centers are located near Portland, and at popular winter resorts. You won't have to share the trails with snow machines, or get lost on woods roads or snowmobile trails. The centers provide food, rental equipment, and lessons. At some, you can enjoy snowshoeing, ice skating, and even swimming at an outdoor pool, or relaxing in a sauna or hot tub. Another way to enjoy cross country skiing in Maine is with the help of a Registered Maine Guide who specializes in nordic skiing. He or she can help you plan and execute a skiing adventure you will never forget.
The signs read "Welcome Snowmobilers" and you'll find them posted in nearly every snowmobiling town in Maine: along Route 201 in Jackman, Route 4 in Rangeley, Route 1 in Madawaska and next to Moosehead Lake in Greenville. Welcome to snowy months filled with events and festivals for sledders. January features the New England Ice Drags in Presque Isle, the Rangeley Snodeo, and the Ricky Craven Snowmobile Ride for Charity in Greenville. In February, visit the International Snowmobilers' Festival in the Saint John Valley, Fort Kent's Annual Mardi Gras, and winter celebrations in Caribou, Millinocket, Houlton and the Moosehead Lake Region. Snowmobile clubs host hill climbs, poker runs, ice drags, and radar runs all season long, and guests are always welcome.
Welcome to 12,500 miles of snowmobile trails, 2,500 miles of which comprise the Interconnected Trail System (ITS) which allows uninterrupted travel throughout the state. Sled the Moosehead Trail, the Black Fly Loop, the perimeter road of Baxter State Park, and the wide-open trails of Aroostook County.