February packed with Maine outdoor events – here’s a handy list

The month of February is crowded with Maine outdoor events, from ski competitions and winter carnivals to tree pruning workshops and guided hikes. There’s something for everyone. So, to help readers plan a fun-packed February, I’ve decided to pull together a list, however incomplete, of outdoor events.

I’ve organized the events by date and then by town (alphabetically). I know there are some events I’m missing, but I searched the internet to find as many as possible! And I think the following list at least shows that there’s no reason for a Mainer to fall victim to boredom in February. Just bundle up and attend one of these free or low-cost events. And if the bitter cold isn’t your thing, there are plenty of outdoor-related events that are taking place indoors!

If you know of an outdoor-related event that isn’t included on this list, please leave a comment about the event in the comment section at the bottom of the page. (Note that many events planned for Feb. 14-16 are clumped into the Great Maine Outdoor Weekend listing.)

Friday-Sunday, Jan. 31-Feb. 2

ALTON — Groundhog Day Snowshoeing Adventure with naturalist Gudrun Keszocze, starting at 1 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 2, at Hirundo Wildlife Refuge off Route 43. Park at the Parker Reed Shelter, accessible through Gate 1. This event will be an introduction to the secret life of the groundhog, followed by a snowshoeing excursion to find its burrow. Bring snowshoes, weather permitting. Cancellations and reservations requested by Feb. 1. The event is free and open to all ages. Donations are appreciated. For information, call 944-9259 or visit hirundomaine.org.

BDN photo by Kevin Bennett Emma Wilton, a student at the Ripley School in Glen Cove chips away at a block of ice with the help of Alexandra McLean, foreground as the duo along with other students from the Riley School particapate in the 7th annual Camden Winterfest on Saturday, Jan. 31, 2009 in Camden. Students from the school carved a couple kissing from the 300lb block of ice.

BDN photo by Kevin Bennett
Emma Wilton, a student at the Ripley School in Glen Cove chips away at a block of ice with the help of Alexandra McLeanduring the 7th annual Camden Winterfest on Saturday, Jan. 31, 2009 in Camden.

CAMDEN — The Annual Camden Winterfest, starting Saturday, Feb. 1, at several locations throughout the town of Camden. This annual community celebration of winter features ice and snow carvings, music, food, indoor crafts and winter fun. Camden Parks & Rec Department will host “CamJam” activities in Harbor Park. They are installing rails in the park and making snow with one of the snow cannons from the Snow Bowl. On Sunday, Feb. 2, freestyle skiing and snowboarding competition will be held in Harbor Park, sponsored by the Camden Snow Bowl. This year the Winterfest activities will be expanded to make a week-long community festival. The Camden Snow Bowl, Camden Public Library, Camden Downtown Business Group, and the PenBay Regional Chamber of Commerce are busy planning mid-week events. The Snow Bowl is planning on providing a mini-mountain of snow in the Amphitheatre for family winter fun such as sledding and building snowmen. For information, visit www.camden.lib.me.us/news/22146/camden%E2%80%99s-winterfest-2014/.

BDN photo by John Clarke Russ With the horsepower of two of his Percheron geldings, teamster Kris Farser (holding reins), of Keltic Acres in Plymouth, takes visitors for a 20-minute ride around Leonard's Mills on Jan. 10, 2010.

BDN photo by John Clarke Russ
With the horsepower of two of his Percheron geldings, teamster Kris Farser (holding reins), of Keltic Acres in Plymouth, takes visitors for a 20-minute ride around Leonard’s Mills on Jan. 10, 2010.

BRADLEY — Horse-drawn sled rides, 10 a.m.-3 p.m. every Sunday, Jan. 12-March 20, weather permitting, at the Maine Forest and Logging Museum at Leonard’s Mills, 54 Government Road. Bring a blanket for the ride, then warm up with a cup of hot cocoa in the blacksmith shop. Tickets are $5 for children, $10 for adults. For information, call 944-2999 or email info@leonardsmills.com or visit livingmaine.org.

FARMINGTON — Farmington Frolic sprint dog sledding, 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday-Sunday, Feb. 1-2, at Sandy River Farm off Route 2. Event categories include one- and two-dog skijor at 9 a.m.; four-dog speed at 10 a.m.; three-dog junior at 11 a.m.; six-dog speed at 1 p.m.; eight-dog speed at 2 p.m.; and recreational skijor at 3 p.m. on Saturday only. For information, call Joy and Mark Turner at 645-2864, or visit www.desdc.org.

GRAND LAKE STREAM — Munson Island Ice Cutting Hike with the Downeast Lakes Land Trust, starting at 9:30 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 1, at the Grand Lake Stream Town Building on Water Street. Dave Tobey, Maine Guide, and Munson caretaker, will demonstrate how he cuts blocks of ice and carefully packs the ice house, providing refrigeration for the island that lasts all summer long. Round trip over the ice to Munson Island and back is a little more than a mile. Come prepared for the weather, and bring snacks, water or a thermos with a warm drink. After the hike, Lee and Sue Whitely invite everyone to their camp for a cup of hot cocoa to warm up. For information, call Tanya Rucosky at 796-2100. Contact DLLT at 796-2100 to confirm date.

BDN photo by Diana Bowley Lidia Dale-Mesaros of Campton, N.H., waits for the countdown Saturday to the 30-Mile Wilderness Sled Dog Race in February 2010 in Greenville.

BDN photo by Diana Bowley
Lidia Dale-Mesaros of Campton, N.H., waits for the countdown Saturday to the 30-Mile Wilderness Sled Dog Race in February 2010 in Greenville.

GREENVILLE — Plum Creek Wilderness Sled Dog Race, formerly known as the Wilderness Sled Dog Race, will be held Feb. 1, starting at the Leisure Life Resort located off Lily Bay Road, not far from the center of Greenville. Spectators can observe the race at the start and finish lines or out on the trail. For information, visit 100milewildernessrace.org.

NEWPORT — The 41st annual Snowmobile Ride-in to benefit Pine Tree Camp, Jan. 31-Feb. 2, in Newport and Levant. The weekend-long event is expected to attract hundreds from all corners of Maine and raise more than $100,000. The Pine Tree Camp transforms the lives of Maine children and adults with physical and developmental disabilities through summer camp experience. Events include a ride-in auction, breakfast, celebrity egg ride, snowmobile parade, chicken barbeque, pageant, whoopie pie contest, public supper, fireworks show and kids’ ice fishing clinic. For information, visit www.pinetreesociety.org/events.asp.

PALERMO — Sheepscot Lake Fish and Game Club Fishing Derby, open to all Maine waters, Saturday, starting 9 a.m. Feb. 1. Weigh-in 3-5 p.m. at the Sheepscot Lake Fish and Game Clubhouse at 1579 Route 3 in Palermo. Ticket to enter a fish is $1. Adult and youth categories. $50 for largest fish; special prize for all youth fish entries. Door prizes are $300 or new ice auger. Cash prizes are $200 and $100, plus smaller items. Fish chowder and other food will be served 9 a.m.-5 p.m. at the clubhouse.

RANGELEY – Saddleback Mountain’s $29 Maine Day, starting 8 a.m. Sunday, Feb. 2, at 976 Saddleback Mountain Road. Show your Maine ID and ski and ride lifts all day for $29. For information, call 864-5671 or visit saddlebackmaine.com.

RANGELEY — USASA Slopestyle Event, 8 a.m. Sunday, Feb. 2, at 976 Saddleback Mountain Road. This is a national championship qualifier event. Registration 7:30–8:30 a.m. in the base lodge. Fee is $30 with Saddleback ticket, $40 if you need a lift ticket. USASA membership is required, but a free trial membership is available for first-time competitors. For information, call 864-5671 or visit saddlebackmaine.com.

RANGELEY — The 8th Annual New England Pond Hockey Festival, Jan. 31-Feb. 2, at Pond Street. The games are played on Friday evening and at 9 a.m. on Saturday and Sunday. The tournament boasts four divisions: open men’s division (35 years and younger), master men’s division (50 years and older), open women’s (any age), and just for fun women’s division (any age). For information, visit newenglandpondhockey.com.

SKOWHEGAN — Lake George Park 22nd Annual Ice Fishing Derby and Winter Carnival, Saturday, Feb. 1, at Lake George Regional Park in Skowhegan and Canaan. The event will include an ice fishing derby with more than $1,000 worth of prizes, a disk golf course by ArrowDynamics, a sled box derby race for elementary school children, a judged marshmallow roast, a stew cook off and snow sculpting demonstrations by Wesserunsett Arts Council. Registration for the derby begins before 5 a.m. on Saturday. Early registration is 3-6 p.m. Friday, Jan. 31. Entry fee is $5. For information, call Derek Ellis at 538-7006.

Friday-Sunday, Feb. 7-9

BATH — Annual hike to explore the Bath’s Peterson Canal, starting at 11 a.m. Sunday, Feb. 9, across from the boat launch to the New Meadows Lake on Old Brunswick Road. The New Meadows Lake Association, Bath Historical Society, Friends of Merrymeeting Bay, and Kennebec Estuary Land Trust are sponsoring the event. The guided 2.5-mile scenic hike is only possible when the water is frozen and will take approximately 2 hours. For information and a map of the meeting location, visit www.kennebecestuary.org or call Ed Benedikt at 442-0445.

BRADLEY — Horse-drawn sled rides, 10 a.m.-3 p.m. every Sunday, Jan. 12-March 20, weather permitting, at the Maine Forest and Logging Museum at Leonard’s Mills, 54 Government Road. Bring a blanket for the ride, then warm up with a cup of hot cocoa in the blacksmith shop. Tickets are $5 for children, $10 for adults. For information, call 944-2999 or email info@leonardsmills.com or visit livingmaine.org.

BDN photo by Kevin Bennett Kristin Phelps gets a ride from fellow Wack Jill team members (from left) Alden Hawkins, Josh Gothard and Brian Mahoney after the foursome finished a run at the 20th annual National Toboggan Championships at the Camden Snow Bowl in 2010.

BDN photo by Kevin Bennett
Kristin Phelps gets a ride from fellow Wack Jill team members (from left) Alden Hawkins, Josh Gothard and Brian Mahoney after the foursome finished a run at the 20th annual National Toboggan Championships at the Camden Snow Bowl in 2010.

CAMDEN — The 24th Annual U.S. National Toboggan Championships, Friday-Sunday, Feb. 7-9, at the Camden Snow Bowl at 20 Barnestown Road. During the event, 425 teams will compete for mahogany trophies and bragging rights for being the fastest on traditional wooden toboggans down the 400-foot-long chute. The event sells out every year. Registration is now closed for 2014. All money raised benefits the Camden Snow Bowl, which will undergo a major renovation in the coming seasons to include new chair lifts and a new lodge. The event is 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Friday, 7 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday, and 8 a.m.-4 p.m. Sunday. For information, call 236-3438 or visit camdensnowbowl.com.

CASTINE — Cross-country ski or snowshoe organized by the Trail Dames women’s hiking group, starting 1 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 8, at Holbrook Island Sanctuary. For information about the event and the group, www.meetup.com/Trail-Dames-of-Maine.

HOLDEN — Annual ski or snowshoe with the Holden Land Trust, starting at 10 a.m. Sunday, Feb. 9, at the Holden Town Garage at 570 Main St. Choose one of three routes that best suits your time or ability: Holden Town Garage to the Eastern Maine Snowmobile Club, which is 4.3 miles; Fisher Road to the club, which is 3.4 miles; or Barrett Lane to the club, which is 0.8 miles. Lunch will be available for purchase at the club, and a shuttle will be ready to return you to your starting point. For information, visit holdenlandtrust.org or call John Bryant at 745-9955 or Betty Jamison at 989-7543.

BDN photo by Aislinn Sarnacki Mike Moulton of China, Maine, accelerates on the Medway ice dragway on Jan. 18, 2014 during the Northeast Winter Nationals Snowmobile Ice Drag Races.

BDN photo by Aislinn Sarnacki
Mike Moulton of China, Maine, accelerates on the Medway ice dragway on Jan. 18, 2014 during the Northeast Winter Nationals Snowmobile Ice Drag Races.

MEDWAY — Maine State Championship Snowmobile Ice Drag Races, Saturday-Sunday, Feb. 8-9 at the KASRA Dragway at the end of Hathaway Road. Spectators and race teams can warm up and purchase meals, snacks and beverages in the nearby East Branch Sno-Rovers Clubhouse. For information, visit snorovers.com.

NEWRY — Sunday River’s Fourth Annual White Out Weekend (WOW!), Friday, Feb. 7-Sunday, Feb. 9, at Sunday River on Skiway Road. The weekend will include a “Meet n’ Ski,” a zipline tour, a firework show, a “Tight & Bright” party, and live entertainment by the Dave Gagne Duo, The Pop Disaster, DJ extraordinaire and DJ Maryalice. The annual Party at the Peak will be a red, white and blue celebration. For information, visit sundayriver.com.

RANGELEY – Saddleback Mountain Challenge, a Randonee style race, starting at 8 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 8, at 976 Saddleback Mountain Road. Release of liability required. Awards presented for both men’s and women’s divisions. For information, call 864-5671 or visit saddlebackmaine.com.

TRESCOTT — Fruit Tree Pruning Workshop with Pat Owen, 1-5 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 9, at the Cobscook Community Learning Center at 10 Commissary Point Road. Class fee is $10. The workshop is for ages 18 and up. For information, call Valerie Lawson at 733-2233 or visit cclc.me. Snow date is Feb. 16.

WATERVILLE – Quarry Road Winter Carnival, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 8, at the Quarry Road Recreation Area off North Street. Family-friendly activities include skiing, snowshoeing, dog sled rides, the Amazing Tree Maze, trailside food and more. Free admission. For information, call 680-4744 or visit quarryroadrecarea.org.

Friday-Sunday, Feb. 14-16

STATEWIDE — For the Great Maine Outdoor Weekend, Maine organizations and companies will be hosting outdoor-related events Feb. 14-16 at locations throughout the state. The goal is to connect people with the natural world, as well as “to promote fun, physical activity and good health.” All events — ranging from ski races to an ice skating party — are listed at greatmaineoutdoorweekend.org. On the website, you can search for an event by date, location, activity type, difficulty or whether it’s dog friendly or wheelchair accessible. The weekend is a project of the Maine Outdoor Coalition, a network of partners dedicated to increasing connection to the outdoors for all people in Maine. Learn more about the coalition at maineoutdoorcoalition.org.

Courtesy of Ian Parlin and Blaine Moore Competitors race down a trail at Bradbury State Park for Bradbury Blizzard’s 2012 Snowshoe Race, which was held during the first Great Maine Outdoor Weekend, a schedule of outdoor events organized throughout Maine on March 2-4, 2012.

Courtesy of Ian Parlin and Blaine Moore Competitors race down a trail at Bradbury State Park for Bradbury Blizzard’s 2012 Snowshoe Race, which was held during the first Great Maine Outdoor Weekend, a schedule of outdoor events organized throughout Maine on March 2-4, 2012.

Here’s just a few of the many events going on that weekend:

  • The first ever Winter Family Day at Hirundo Wildlife Refuge in Alton
  • Maine Outdoor Film Festival screening in Unity
  • A Valentine’s Day full moon ski and snowshoe in Sebago Lake Land Reserve
  • Winter edibles snowshoe and tea in Liberty
  • Great Maine Outdoor Weekend Celebration at Fields Ponds Audubon in Holden
  • WinterKids Funfest in the Park in Portland
  • Natural paper making workshop in New Gloucester
  • Snow carving in Freeport
  • Shrubland and Rabbits Snowshoe in Scarborough
  • Woodworking for Wildlife workshop in Grand Lake Stream
  • The 26th Annual C-Me-Ski in Limestone
  • Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference Alpine Race in Farmington
  • Family Ice Fishing Clinic in Wilton

CARRABASSETT VALLEY — The Kagan Cup competition, hosted by the Sugarloaf Competition Center, Feb. 14-16, at Sugarloaf, 5092 Access Road. Disciplines at the competition include single and dual moguls, halfpipe and slopestyle. For information, visit www.sugarloaf.com.

COLUMBIA - 10th annual Frozen Mosin Mid-Winter Shoot, 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 15, at Pleasant River Fish & Game, 1597 Tibbettstown Road. Cost of $10 includes lunch. For information, visit prfgca.org.

Courtesy of Camp Sunshine Portland Polar Dip!

Courtesy of Camp Sunshine
Portland Polar Dip!

PORTLAND – Seventh annual Portland Polar Dip to benefit Camp Sunshine, noon Saturday, Feb. 15, at East End Beach, located at the base of Eastern Promenade. Registration begins at 10:30 a.m. The event’s goal is to raise $20,000 to send more Maine families to Camp Sunshine, a national retreat in Casco, Maine for children with life-threatening illnesses and their families. Participants are encouraged to raise a minimum of $100 in pledges and plunge into Casco Bay to receive a commemorative t-shirt. For information, visit www.crowdrise.com/PortlandPolarDip2014 or call Michael Smith at 655-3800 or email msmith@campsunshine.org.

MILO – The 52nd Schoodic Lake Ice Fishing Derby, Feb. 15-16, at Schoodic Lake, Seboeis Lake and Emeebee Lake, with prizes awarded at Milo Town Hall at 7 p.m. Feb. 16. Sponsored by Milo Fire Department, the grand prize drawing for a Polaris Sportsman 500 ATV. Participants will also be competing for prizes totaling more than $15,000. For information, visit www.trcmaine.org/fishingderby.

Friday-Sunday, Feb. 21-23

AUGUSTA — Ancient Ones Outdoor Sports & Gun Show, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 22, and 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 23, at the Augusta Armory. The event will feature more than 100 tables of vendors, a live teepee set up and tomahawk throwing. Admission is $6 for adults, free for children (under 18) and free for active military and their families. For information, call Ray Hamilton at 897-5058.

BRADLEY — Horse-drawn sled rides, 10 a.m.-3 p.m. every Sunday, Jan. 12-March 20, weather permitting, at the Maine Forest and Logging Museum at Leonard’s Mills, 54 Government Road. Bring a blanket for the ride, then warm up with a cup of hot cocoa in the blacksmith shop. Tickets are $5 for children, $10 for adults. For information, call 944-2999 or email info@leonardsmills.com or visit livingmaine.org.

CARRABASSETT VALLEY – Men’s International Ski Federation Grand Slalom race, hosted by the Sugarloaf Competition Center, Feb. 27-28, at Sugarloaf, 5092 Access Road. Disciplines at the competition include single and dual moguls, halfpipe and slopestyle. For information, visit www.sugarloaf.com.

BDN photo by Kate Collins Mikayla McMullen, 8, of Orrington examines an ice-fishing trap during the first of several winter camping days at Camp Capella on Phillips Lake in Lucerne on Jan. 29, 2011.

BDN photo by Kate Collins
Mikayla McMullen, 8, of Orrington examines an ice-fishing trap during the first of several winter camping days at Camp Capella on Phillips Lake in Lucerne on Jan. 29, 2011.

WATERVILLE — The 16th annual Gene and Lucille Letourneau Ice Fishing Derby will be held statewide on Feb. 23, to benefit the Meals on Wheels Program in memory of avid sportsman and environmentalist Gene Letourneau and his wife Lucille Letourneau. Fish weigh-in will be 2-5 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 23, at Spectrum Generations Muskie Center, 38 Gold St. There will be a live auction immediately after the completion of weigh-in. Food and beverages will be available for sale in the cafe, and children’s activities will be offered throughout the day. Tickets to enter are $3 each, two for $5, or five for $10. Each ticket purchased entitles the holder to enter one fish in the competition, plus enters the participant to win the grand prize of a Cabela’s ice shack. Tickets are available at the Muskie Center or by calling 873-4745. Other ticket locations are listed online at www.spectrumgenerations.org/derby. For information, call Jamie Ribisi-Braley at 620-1677 or email jbraley@spectrumgenerations.org.

 

Aislinn Sarnacki

About Aislinn Sarnacki

Professionally, Aislinn is a Bangor Daily News reporter for the "Outdoor" and "Living" pages. She's a wilderness romper and fashion-forward bookworm.