Posts Tagged ‘winter hiking’

Go Outside! Winter Vacation Edition

School’s out, there’s snow on the ground, the sun is shining: there’s no better time to get outside and enjoy nature with the whole family.

Check out our trail suggestions below based on activity, and as always, contact us if you have questions or would like a recommendation.

*all of the trails & preserves listed below have plowed parking areas thanks to the support of LELT donors & generous local businesses.

Snowshoeing – Flat

  • Crooked River Forest, Harrison – Head out on the Intervale Trail to check out the Crooked River. Then continue on the purple blazed snowshoe trail, and finishup on the Evergreen trail back to the parking area. It’s a relatively flat (one steep section), 3-mile loop. Note: Part of the loop is shared with snowmobiles.
  • Raymond Community Forest, Raymond – Spiller Homestead Loop & Grape Expectations Interperative signs along the Homestead Loop will teach you about what you’re seeing in the woods as you walk.
  • Peabody-Fitch Woods, Bridgton – Field Loop Trail: head right on the trail from the parking area for a leisurely snowshoe around the upper field of Narramissic Farmstead. Benches offer rest-stops along the way. Great for beginners or trying out new gear! (Also great on XC skis). Connect to the Quarry Trail to make your journey a bit longer. Gradual inclines, one steeper section, trail maps at intersections to help you stay oriented. Great views of Hancock Pond!
  • Pondicherry Park, Bridgton – Relatively flat trails in the heart of downtown Bridgton, easy access from the Depot Street Parking lot. Many options to choose from (you really can’t go wrong). Download Bridgton Historical Society’s App and take a walk through history as you explore the park.

Snowshoeing (Up!) & Winter Hiking

  • Raymond Community Forest, Raymond – Head up the Pismire Bluff Trail for great views of Crescent Lake. It’s steep in sections and will get your heart pumping!
  • Bald Pate Mountain Preserve, South Bridgton – Park in the main parking area off of Route 107, and head up the Bob Chase Scenic Loop to the summit. Steady going with rewards of great views on the way up & at the top. Great option for a sunset or sunrise hike!
  • Pleasant Mountain – The tallest mountain in Southern Maine is a popular destination for winter hiking. Four main trails to choose from (they all connect to the summit), but the Ledges Trail is the most popular (steady incline, views at the half-way point, shorter than others). Note: the Firewarden’s trail is shared with snowmobiles in the winter, so it is groomed and makes for easier snowshoeing.

Skiing (groomed)


More Resources

Happy trails!

Tips for Winter Hiking

Believe it or not, there are many reasons why winter hiking can be even more enjoyable than its summertime counterpart.

Think about it:

  • No bugs!
  • No humidity!
  • No crowds!

But there are a few really important things to consider before heading outside for a winter-time adventure. The list below includes some of the things that we’ve learned from our own adventures and wanted to share with you:

  • Layers! It’s cold when you get out of the car, but once you get going you’ll quickly work up some body heat. Wear layers you can peel off as you move along the trail. Throw your layers in your backpack because once you reach your destination (or the weather changes) you may want to put them right back on.
  • Forget those water bottle holders on your hiking backpack — instead, wrap your water bottle in an extra layer and stash your bottle inside your bag . Water bottles will quickly freeze in the stretchy holders on the outside of your bag.
  • Extra socks — even with the warmest snow boots, it’s an especially wonderful treat to throw on a fresh pair of socks for the ride home. Keep them in your backpack or a jacket pocket during your adventure and they’ll stay warmer than if you left them in the car.
  • Ski Poles – sure, you can spend lots of money on fancy hiking poles (which do work really well) or….you can go to your local dump store and look for some well loved, and funky colored, old ski poles! Poles are so helpful for keeping your balance on snowy trails. And if you like them, you can use them year-round!

And the number one tip:

  • TRACTION!! Whether it’s a pair of snowshoes or micro-spikes (our favorite) you’ll be amazed at the benefit of some extra traction. New this year: if you join us on one of our scheduled hikes or walks we have an awesome new fleet of snowshoes to loan out! Let us know ahead of time and we’ll make sure to have a set ready to go for you. If you want your own, Reny’s usually has some great deals on snowshoes and other traction devices, but don’t forget to check out eBay or Facebook marketplace to see if your neighbor has some they no longer use.

Start small check out the Spiller Homestead Loop at Raymond Community Forest or the new trail at Peabody-Fitch Woods, and then work up to more challenging winter hikes on Loon Echo preserve lands such as Bald Pate and Pleasant Mountain.

See you on the trails!

Peabody-Fitch Woods