My weekend is packed. I’ll be participating in the 25th U.S. National Toboggan Championships in Camden, and after that, on Sunday, I’ll hopefully get the time to hop over to Hirundo Wildlife Refuge for their Winter Family Fun Day. It all sounds like too much fun to miss.
Will you be embracing all this snow, too? Here are 7 outdoor events happening in Maine this weekend that are worth considering (we’ll count Friday as part of the weekend):
1. The 25th U.S. National Toboggan Championships and Winterfest activities at the Camden Snow Bowl and downtown Camden, all day long Friday-Sunday, Feb. 6-8. The three-day long event is supposed to be bigger than ever this year, with extra winter activities, a snow plow parade, multiple contests and a big fireworks show over Camden Harbor on Saturday evening. I’ll be there with fellow BDN writers, editors and photographers. In fact, this year, I’ll be the “captain” of one of the BDN’s two toboggan teams. I’ll be leading the four-man team called “News Ninjas.” We may not be the fastest, but we’ll be the fiercest. Our goal is to beat the other BDN team, the “La verdad, la libertad, la velocidad,” who will be dressed as Mexican wrestlers, I believe. Yes, there’s a costume contest, and many of the racers participate. Prepare to see some epic costumes.
To learn more, read a story I recently wrote about the Toboggan Nationals or visit the Camden Snow Bowl website at www.camdensnowbowl.com. If planning to go, I suggest parking near the Village Green and taking the shuttle bus to Camden Snow Bowl. The parking lot at the Snow Bowl fills up fast on Saturday.
2. Hirundo Winter Family Fun Day celebrating the refuge’s 50th anniversary, 10:30 a.m.-4 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 8, at Hirundo Wildlife Refuge on Route 43 (Hudson Road) in Alton. The event will feature a line-up of programs and activities for all ages and abilities, including $5 Song in the Woods sled dog rides. Activities will include a snowshoe race, ice sculpture contest, winter ecology workshops, geocaching, winter fairy house building, winter bingo, snowflake cutting, skating, and a campfire with hot chocolate and smores. For information, visit www.hirundomaine.org or call 394-2171.
3. Maine Telemark Festival and White Grass Festival, Saturday, Feb. 7, at Mt Abram Ski Area at 308 Howe Hill Road in Greenwood. The event will include telemark skiing lessons, gear demos, races, prizes and bluegrass music all day long. Bands playing at the main lodge are: Grassholes from noon to 2 p.m., Jerks of Grass from 3 to 5 p.m. and The Milltown Roadshow from 6 to 8 p.m. For information, visit www.mtabram.com or call 875-5000.
4. Winter Family Fun Day, 10-3 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 7, at Mount Blue State Park in Weld. The event will include cross-country skiing, sliding, snowshoeing, ice skating, hayrides and nature walks. There will be a warming hut, and lunch will be provided. A ski and snowshoe trailer will be on site for free equipment loans. Cost is $1.50 for ages 12-64. All others are free. For information, visit maine.gov/mountblue or call 585-2261.
5. Living history ice harvest demonstration, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 7, at the Curran Homestead on Fields Pond at 362 Fields Pond Road in Orrington. This family activity will use authentic tools and equipment from the museum collection to harvest blocks of ice from Fields Pond.
6. Horse-drawn sled rides, 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 8, at Maine Forest and Logging Museum on Government Road in Bradley. The ride starts by the blacksmith shop and heads into the wood, then tours the Leonard’s Mills village, going across a covered bridge and out by the log cabin. Hot cocoa will be available at the blacksmith shop when you return. The gift shop will also be open and have a fire going. Cost is $10 for adult non-members, $5 for children non-members, $8 for adult members, and $4 for children members. For information, call 974-6278 or visit maineforestloggingmuseum.org.
7. “Yoga & Nature” workshop 1-5 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 8, at Fields Pond Audubon Center in Holden. Join Om Land Yoga teachers for a winter yoga workshop in the Audubon’s nature center as dusk transitions into evening. They also plan to get outside and enjoy snowshoeing. Warm soup and hot drinks will be available. Bring extra clothing for the outdoors and snowshoes if you have them. Cost is $30 for Audubon members, $40 for nonmembers. Register online at maineaudubon.org. For information, call 989-2591.