Year after year visitors to the Crown of Maine experience meticulous trails
Remember those magical mornings of your feet hitting the floor and throwing open the curtains to find a new, white blanket of snow draped over the landscape outside? The excitement builds as you race downstairs to see the words “Snow Day!” scrolling over the morning news segment and immediately dash out the door to find adventures in the powdery snow. Only thinking of returning indoors after your cheeks have turned frosty, rosy pink and promises of steaming hot chocolate made with Houlton Farms cream are made.
At the top of New England is Maine's Aroostook County. It's Maine's winter playground where excitement for the season arrives early and stays late into April. The 120” of annual snowfall creates the best snow days. Here, shop owners wake early to stoke fires and warm the stove to bake the best molasses donuts from recipes handed down through the generations. Mom-and-pop shops and restaurants line the Main Streets of The County and offer a warm welcome to explorers coming in off the trails. It's common to find your server or clerk is the same friendly face you met last year while vacationing in this Winter Wonderland.
Most motels in the region are located within easy access to the Interconnecting Trail System (ITS) that rolls out an amazing 2,300 miles of groomed white carpet. The 32 Aroostook County snowmobile clubs are a safe place to unload your snowmobile to begin your adventure. Popular destinations include the enormous Arch Hanger at the former Loring Airforce Base, Boarder Trail, Number 9 Mountain, and the Ghost Trains of the Allagash. Snowmobile rentals are available to first-time riders and trail signage makes navigating the landscape of old-growth forests, winding rivers, and sprawling fields of The County a breeze. When in doubt, the locals you find are always happy to help you along the way.
Here in The County, a pair of snowshoes will take you anywhere – even to the tops of Aroostook State Park or Haystack Mountain. The views of a sprawling patchwork of forests and fields unfold before you as your gaze stretches over the US Border into beautiful New Brunswick, Canada.
The Swedish Colony settlers of New Sweden, Maine introduced the region to the fast-gliding sport of Nordic Skiing. Twenty-nine groomed trail areas zip through snow-draped pines alongside timid, white snowshoe hares. The Fort Kent Outdoor Center and Nordic Heritage Center in Presque Isle offer world-class skiing with set tracks and groomed skate skiing. Families seeking quieter set track trails find delight in Stockholm Landing & Trials and Houlton's Riverfront Park. It's not uncommon to meet sled dog teams running the trails or to hear their barking chatter off in the distance.
Mainers everywhere love to share the story of their first time on skies and for many, Aroostook County is the backdrop of their memorable tale. BigRock Mountain, Lonesome Pine Trails, and Quoggy Jo Ski Area are family-centered ski areas where lift tickets are as affordable as $20. All three ski mountains feature illuminated trails for night skiing under the stars. BigRock stands out as the highest vertical drop of any ski area in northern Maine or the Canadian Maritime.
This is the Crown of Maine. From signature festivals and fishing derbies to the welcoming faces of our storybook towns – this is our greatest season of all. We are rolling out the white carpet and welcome you and your family to sample poutines, ployes, and needhams as you stroll inviting shop windows of Wabanaki baskets, snowshoes – and yes, even quality Maine potatoes.
Plan a trip to experience Maine's best winter:
- Find Lodging & Hotels
- Browse Aroostook County's 15 Signature Events
- Locate the best Nordic Trails
- Find Alpine Skiing in Aroostook County
- Snowmobile Trip Planning Tools & 2024 Trail Map
À bientôt (see you soon) - for your Aroostook adventure!