The first Great Maine Outdoor Weekend, organized by the Maine Outdoor Coalition, will be held Saturday-Sunday, March 3-4. Throughout the state, Maine residents have the option of attending more 70 events hosted by 26 outdoor-oriented organizations and companies that have banned together to celebrate the Maine wilderness. Many of the activities are free. This new Maine tradition is slated to occur twice a year (the next weekend is planned for Sept. 28-30).
For a map of events being held throughout the state, visit greatmaineoutdoorweekend.org.
Acadia National Park, Friends of Acadia and the Mount Desert Island YMCA have teamed up to organize educational free walks led by experts in birding and wildlife ecology.
- BAR HARBOR — Winter bird walk by car caravan led by Acadia National ParkRanger Angi King Johnstonand local naturalist Rich MacDonald, 9 a.m.-noon Saturday, March 3, starting at The Natural History Center, 6 Firefly Lane. From there, the group will travel to several birding hot spots in Acadia National Park and walk along the Ocean Path in search of sea ducks, grebes, gannets and cormorants. MacDonald runs the Natural History Center andis rewriting “The Birds of Mount Desert Island.” Johnston leads the raptor education program in Acadia National Park. Bring binoculars and your favorite field guide. In the case of inclement weather, the walk will be canceled.
- BAR HARBOR — Winter ecology hike with Acadia National Park ranger Cynthia Ocel, 1-3 p.m. Sunday, March 4, starting at the Mount Desert Island YMCA. The easy 3.5-mile hike will be on the Great Meadow Loop and in the Sieur de Monts Spring area. Hikers will return to the YMCA for hot drinks and snacks. Dress warmly and wear appropriate footwear. In the case of inclement weather, the walk will be canceled.
The Maine Bureau of Parks and Lands recently announced that several Maine state parks will be hosting events for the weekend.
- POWNAL— Snowshoe hike to observe winter wildlife with Maine Inland Fisheries
and Wildlife biologist Joe Wiley and the Androscoggin Land Trust, 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturday, March 3, at Bradbury Mountain State Park, 528 Hallowell Rd. For information, call 688-4712.
- POWNAL — Hike or ski the new trail from Bradbury State Park to Pineland Farms, 2-4 p.m. Friday, March 2, starting at Tyron Mountain trailhead on Lawrence Road, 1 mile north of the intersection of Elmwood and Lawrence roads. Sponsored by the Royal River Conservation Trust. For information, call 632-6112.
- POWNAL — Hike or snowshoe with the Maine Outdoor Adventure Club, 10 a.m. Saturday, March 3, at Bradbury State Park, 528 Hallowell Rd. Participants should bring their own gear. A limited number of rental snowshoes are available for $5 per half-day.
- POWNAL — Bradbury Blizzard Snowshoe Race, starting at 11 a.m. Sunday, March 4, at Bradbury Mountain State Park, 528 Hallowell Rd. Pre-registration is required. Spectators are welcome. For information, call 688-4712.
- WELD — Cross-country ski and snowshoe, 9 a.m.-3 p.m., Saturday-Sunday, March 3-4, at Mount Blue State Park, 299 Center Hill Rd. Equipment available for free loan. Also check out Maine’s most beautiful outdoor ice skating rink at the park. For information, call 585-2261.
- WELD — Guided snowshoeing with Rex Turner, BPL outdoor recreation planner and a registered Maine guide, starting at 10 a.m. Sunday, March 4, at Mount Blue State Park, 299 Center Hill Rd. Equipment available for free loan. For information, call 585-2261.
- FREEPORT — ”Wabanaki Nature Legends,” a short walk on the White Pines Trail with stops for stories based on Wabanaki legends, starting at 2 p.m. Saturday, March 3, at Wolfe’s Neck Woods State Park, 426 Wolf Neck Rd. For information, call 865-4465.
- FREEPORT — Winter steamer dig, starting at 2 p.m. Sunday, March 4, at Wolfe’s Neck Woods State Park, 426 Wolf Neck Rd. For information, call 865-4465.