If you’re looking for some fun Winter activities in Maine, you’ve come to the right place! In this blog, I share a mixture of outdoor snow adventures you can experience and nearby places to grab a bite to eat after. And in case fun is not enough to convince you to get out this Winter, well, I have some other reasons that might change your mind too. 😉
In this blog, I share…
- Why is it essential to be outside in the Winter?
- Fun Winter Activities in Maine
- Sno-Go Ski Biking
- XC Skiing
- Ice Skating at a Rink
- Ice Skating at a Pond
- Uphill Skiing
- Dog Sledding
- Ice Castles
[ Posted January 2022, Updated January 2023 ]
Does lounging by a fire, snuggled up with a good book sound like your idea of the perfect Winter’s day? Me too!
But, after living in New England for the last decade now, I’ve found that relaxation time is even better after an exhilarating day in the chilly (and yes, sometimes freezing) weather doing something fun! 😊
If you’ve been following me online, you already know that I prefer nature in small doses. That includes the Winter Wonderland that New England has to offer and the fun Winter activities in Maine specifically, which I’ll share later in this blog!
But, there are more reasons than fun to get outside this Winter…
Why is it Essential to Be Outside in the Winter?
As cold as it may be, being outside during these Winter months is not only fun, it’s absolutely ESSENTIAL for your overall health!
Why? Well, a couple reasons…
Keeping our circadian rhythms in check is more important than ever in the Winter when there’s less sunlight. Not to mention how important it is to ensure you’re still getting vitamins by being out where there’s sun.
Are you missing that daily dose of vitamin D? Well, fear not my friends! I have some news for you.
Small doses of the natural Vitamin D you get from suns’ rays don’t only hit you when you’re soaking up the sun in Miami. 😉 You can get them just as much from being outside in the snow and having a little fun while you’re at it.
Now, let me share some super fun Winter activities in Maine and give you all of the info you need to book your very own magical winter getaway!
Fun Winter Activities in Maine
Something to love about my new home state of Maine is that it’s a four season playground. Which means… There’s something to do all year round!
But, there’s something special about Maine in Wintertime. When Vacationland turns into every magazine’s Winter escape issue’s cover du jour, it’s absolutely magical.
If you’re coming out to Maine to hit the slopes, you won’t be disappointed. With 15 ski resorts, the options for Winter fun are immense.
Here are fun Winter activities in Maine that you can do whether you love the outdoors or like nature in small doses like me. I promise it includes food too!
Let’s start with one of the ski resorts that I live right by… Sugarloaf Mountain!
- Sno-Go Ski Biking | Sugarloaf Mountain, Carrabassett, ME
One of my favorite ski resorts in Maine is Sugarloaf or, “The Loaf” as locals like to call it.
What is a Sno-Go you ask…? That was my question at first too!
If you’re on a ski trip with friends or family, but the thought of skiing terrifies you, no worries. This 3 ski bike is the easiest way down the mountain. It may look a little intimidating to start, but from my initial inquiry, the staff was on hand to set me at ease, explain it to me and help me make my reservation.
Avery, who is the Sno-Go instructor in the rental department, explained that the Sno-Go is a “great introduction to get people on the mountain”. It’s also great if you want to take a day off from skiing or snowboarding and just get out and try something new.
It was 1 degree F (-17 C) when I did the Sno-Go and believe it or not, I got hot! Don’t wear too many layers or you’ll get hot when you’re moving around. Activities make you sweat, (even in cold weather) which will make you colder. Wear just the right amount of layers and keep moving to warm up.
My Sno-Go experience was such a blast and I have so much to say that it deserves a blog of it’s own… Stay tuned!
Book Your Fun at Sugarloaf here.
Where to Eat at Sugarloaf: The Bag and Kettle pssst.. order the pepperoni pizza! So good…
Downhill skiing not your thing? Let’s give cross country a try. Boy do I have the place for you…
- XC Skiing | Bethel, ME
Before my first time XC Skiing, I was so nervous. Fortunately, the folks here at the Carter’s XC Ski shop in Bethel, Maine were so friendly and made the process very smooth.
From giving you different Nordic ski boots to try on and finding you the right poles to getting you geared up with skis to fit your size and experience level, they make the process very easy. If you prefer to bring your own skis & gear, Amazon has some great options.
Once you’re all geared up, you literally ski right out the door onto perfectly groomed trails thanks to volunteers who clean them during Carter’s trail parties where you can earn free trail passes in exchange for your work.
The trails are ranked by experience level and terrain preference. I chose the path through the woods and towards a river, which was beautiful. I’d love to share the GoPro video I took of the trail including a very dramatic fall while screeching dramatically as I fell. Sadly.. or, maybe not so sadly… I had completely forgotten to turn the Go Pro on… lol.
Tip: Make sure to look at the Snow Report before you go to see snow conditions.
Check out Carter’s XC Ski here.
Say Real Girl Review sent you to get $5 off your experience at Carter’s Ski! Then, like them & tag them on Instagram.
Where to Eat in Bethel: Millbrook Tavern & Grille at Bethel Inn
- Ice Skating at a Rink | Portland, ME
If ice skating is your thing, there is no shortage of rinks to hit in Maine!
I might enjoy it for a little bit but, a diehard I am not. Usually, I’m always the first one off the rink. I mostly like the idea of ice skating.. And the goodies that usually accompany it. 😉
So, I like to find a rink that offers a place for me to sit and maybe enjoy a cocktail or hot cocoa to warm me up while I sit and continue to watch the others on the ice.
With a beautiful view, The Rink at Thompson Point in Portland fits all my skating requirements.
My sister is an avid skater and she loves it here as well, so it’s not just for fly-by skaters like myself. They also offer rentals if you didn’t bring yours along on this trip.
Check out The Rink at Thompsons Point here.
Where to Eat in Portland:
Stroudwater Distillery for drinks & pizza
Eighty 8 Donuts for creative donut concoctions
The Honey Paw for Asian fusion, craft beer & pots of tea
Becky’s Diner for generous helpings of lobster… everything
- Ice Skating at a Pond | Rangeley, ME
Another fun way to skate is on a frozen pond. If you’ve never skated on one, it combines the contradictory feelings of fear and feeling one with nature. I know, kinda crazy…
This is a true gem. It’s a FREE experience thanks to the folks at the Ecopelagicon store and the Rangely Skating Club who teamed up to offer free skates, hockey sticks and a well maintained pond for use during any of the hours the store is open.
It’s a fantastic way to get out on the ice and be one with nature.
Check out Ecopelagicon’s website for hours and details.
Where to Eat in Rangeley: Parkside & Main
If you’re doing snowy activities in the middle of nature and there’s no place for hot cocoa, bring your own! Stanley is my favorite brand of vacuum insulated growlers. I bring them on trips all year long because they’re easy to pack and they stay hot for 18 hours & cold for 24 hours. Don’t take my word for it, try it yourself!
This Stanley growler gift set w/ stainless steel tumblers is currently 39% off on Amazon.
- Uphill Skiing | Rangeley, ME
Speaking of being one with nature, you won’t see a picture posted here of me doing this and the reason is … Remember… I like my nature in small doses.
But, if you are into the snowy thrill combining skis and the outback, Saddleback Mountain has an adventure for you.
Uphill skiing is pretty commonly known by the adventure folk and pretty self explanatory, boasting a 2.2 mile, 1,100 foot vertical climb.
It’s “Alpine touring” or “Skinning”… To me, it just looks like pure torture if I’m being honest… lol. But, I hear it is incredibly fun and quite the full body workout.
If you’ve ever seen the scene in Pitch Perfect where Fat Amy starts “horizontal running” as she lies on the floor… Yeah… This would be me. LOL
You can check out Saddleback Mountain here.
- Ultimate Dog Sledding | Oxford, ME
Are you ready to sit down for a bit now and let someone else do the work? Then head on down to Ultimate Dog Sledding in Oxford Maine where Alex (one of the owners) and his four legged workforce will treat you to an afternoon of fun you won’t soon forget.
He’s been dog sled racing since he was 3 and was went on to win many awards including a Silver Medal from the International Sled Dog Racing Association, Maine State Championships.
I rode in the two man sled and was surprised at how fast these little ones can haul you through the frozen tundra. My sister, who is animal crazy, was concerned about the idea of having these four legged workers pull us around.
However, after spending some pre trail time with them and seeing how they were cared for and how equally loved they are, her fears were laid to rest when she saw just how excited these paw tour guides were to get out on that trail and show us their skills.
Book your dog sled ride here. They even have different packages like a Romance Package with a bonfire and food.
Where to Eat in Oxford: Oxbow Beer Garden
NOT SO FUN FACT
Since snow reflects up to 80% of the sun’s UV light, the harsh rays end up hitting you twice. Some could argue that that means Winter sun effects are even strong than Summer’s. To avoid sun burn, wear UVA / UVB protected clothing.
Source : SkinCancer.org
- Snowshoeing | Oxford, ME
I only do outdoor things if there is a promise of food & drink at the “finish line”.
So, when I found Oxbow Beer Gardens online and learned that they have Snowshoeing and Cross Country Skiing, I thought … Ok this is an outdoor adventure I can get into! Strapping into the snow shoes and walking through the Winter Wonderland was beautiful.
When I asked if they would offer a discount for my readers, they said, “We’re a non profit shop and help youth organizations and other organizations supporting folks who otherwise could not afford an outing. Every rental or bike we sell at our Portland shop supports someone else getting out at no cost. Our mission is to increase equity and access to the outdoors.”
But, let’s be honest… the wood fire pizza, cold craft beer and the hot bonfire was literally the best part. My friends who accompanied me loved the trails too and thought the equipment was great.
I love my nature in small doses so this was absolutely perfect, being able to just snowshoe right up to your tilt up or fire pit. Definitely will be returning.
Book your fun here.
What to Order: The Mushroom pizza & Nduja pizza are amazing! We also feasted on hot apple cider. Order mulled cider + spiked bourbon for a little extra kick!
Let’s end this blog on a high note and feel like Elsa at Ice Castles… Technically this is not in Maine, but I have to include it because it’s a really fun Winter spot near Maine in The White Mountains.
- Ice Castles | North Woodstock, NH
New Hampshire is only one of 5 states in the Continental US that offers this amazing winter ice castle experience, which is open Jan – March (weather permitting).
For all you Instagram connoisseurs who put on amazing photos ops, you can book a private time to take those awesome pics. But, for the rest of us… just roaming through the castles is plenty of fun.
They also offer my favorite… Hot Cocoa & snacks that you can enjoy by a roaring fire. Once you warm up, there is a man made LED lit ice slide that you and your pal can race down. You better believe I did this.
You can book your experience here.
That’s a Wrap!
So there you have it! Some fun Winter activities in Maine you can enjoy! I hope you enjoyed my suggestions. Hopefully you get to try these awesome experiences for yourself. If you do, I’d love to hear about it! 😊
Have you done any of these Maine Winter activities? Which ones would you do? Let me know in the comments below.
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