Well Mother Nature seems to be getting it right as a blanket of white is now gracing The County and the weather prognosticators seem to think there is lots more on the way! Of course we were not lucky enough to get it in one fell swoop like our southern neighbors…no….it seems we have to earn every inch. But that is ok because we are not fussy……we were just getting a little nervous thinking we might end up with only eight months of good sledding….whew!
This weekend is full of fun events in The County for the whole family. Moosestompers Weekend in Houlton has plenty of activities for snowmobilers including a parade, bonfire, and breakfast but you may want to climb off your sled and try Human Curling……all I can tell you is you don’t need equipment but what you do need is the ability to be….well…..moosechievous and have a little brawn! The events will be going on pretty much all day Saturday and Sunday. Call 532-4216 for more info and updates.
Further north the Madawaska Snowmobile Club is sure to satisfy your need for speed as they host the 3rd annual USCC East Madawaska 100 Cross Country Snowmobile Races. Again this is developed as a family event….lots to look at , lots of food and an action packed stunt show featuring the RaveX freestyle motorsport show. Log on to www.madawaskasnowmobileclub.org for more info.
And of course what would it be without culinary delights…….there are a lot around but the special one this weekend is the Caribou Snowmobile Clubs annual Hot Dog Roast…….by sled it is right at the intersection of ITS 105 and 83 near the Rt 161 road crossing in Stockholm. So get there by sled or car……mmmmm I can smell those onions cooking!
I suppose now is the time to get to the most important part of this narrative……the trail report…..so here goes:
- There is still ice especially in low lying areas and on the flat, hard packed surfaces. It will take you a bit longer to stop your sled so keep that in mind as you approach road crossings or if you are group riding.
- Logging still exists and you will have to keep that in mind because there are logging trucks operating seven days a week. Specific areas are listed below
- And yes, believe it……some groomers have hit water and some slush……there is still open water on rivers, brooks and streams!
- This will be a busy weekend on trails everywhere so please reduce speed and keep right.
- REMEMBER…..moose and deer can roam pretty freely this winter so use extreme caution.
ITS 81 Projects have been out and you will find some boney spots in fields but for the most part groomers have worked some magic. Once you get south of Mars Hill and head west to the 85 intersection snow cover is good.
ITS 83 Projects have been out from the valley south to Houlton fields in the central region have limited snow cover but they are passable just not all groomable (if there is such a word) west of Sherman snow cover improves and is fine heading south again
ITS 85 From Ft Kent south to Ox Bow and beyond this trail is in good shape with some lean cover north of Masardis and a few other places north but has had a lot of traffic and most sledders find it in good shape. Further south the snow cover is excellent.
ITS 86 No one has rolled on this one yet this week but it is rideable however you will hit logging on the Ox Bow end. Ox Bow was going to attempt a reroute of sorts and expected to have that completed by the weekend. Connector Rt 62A through to ITS 114 is not open and may not be this winter.
ITS 88 Projects have been out or will be out by weeks end and are reporting good conditions again with lean cover in fields
ITS 90 Sledders will find this trail with good cover but some ice and slush on Salmon Brook just east of the 105 intersection. Heading east between Perham and Ft Fairfield/Limestone fields are lean but passable.
ITS 92 No problems here. Ft Kent, St Francis and Allagash have been out with just a few reports of ice.
ITS 105 From Van Buren south to Washburn…..primo. Further south limited grooming with ice and bare fields but they are working on it and Aroostook County flurries should help fill in the voids by the weekend.
ITS 110 no reports
ITS 112 Patten area is good with a few lean areas but moving west conditions improve.
ITS 114 The south western sections in the Shin Pond area are good.
ITS 120 (Debouille) No problems
Soldier Pond they have worked some magic and will continue grooming as snow accumulates
Twin Lakes (Daigle) Good job working magic with some lean spots.
St. Agatha Grooming and capturing every inch of snow building fields back up but good riding
Frenchville Took care of their icing. They are grooming and have worked some magic.
Culinary Delights and Special Events
January – March. The Washburn Clubhouse and the Meduxneakeag Ramblers clubhouse are open for breakfasts for the season. Meduxneakeag is open for breakfast Saturdays from 6-9 a.m. and Washburn is open Saturdays for breakfast and lunch from 7-2 and Sundays from 7-12. And don’t forget Stew Nights at the Presque Isle Clubhouse on Fridays !! Also homed cook meals at the St Francis Clubhouse on Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Feb 15-17 It’s Moosestompers Weekend in Houlton. Lots of fun, food and more for the whole family. Log on to www.greaterhoulton.com
Madawaska will be hosting the USCC East X Country Snowmobile 100 Race log onto www.madawaskasnowmobileclub.com for more info.
Caribou Snowmobile Annual Hot Dog Roast at Axel Siding at the intersection of Rt 105 and ITS 83 in Stockholm off vehicular Rt 161
PIE AUCTION, DANCE, Held by the Portage Lakers SC. Begins 7p.m., Dean’s Motor Lodge. FMI: Betty Benson 207-435-6872. www.portagelakerssnowmobileclub.org.
Radar Runs on Munson Pond in Ft Fairfield sponsored by the Frontier Fish and Game Club
Steak Supper at the Sly Brook Clubhouse 4:30-7:30. By vehicle it’s off the Sly Brook Rd.
Can Am Crown Weekend with the Irving 250; the Willard Jalbert 60 and Allen’s /Pepsi 30 dog sled races. Fun for the entire family !
And don’t forget……if some of the folks prefer non motorized activities we have some of the best Nordic ski trail in Maine, two world class venues, one in Presque Isle and one in Ft. Kent and then nearly every small town in The County has local Nordic trails. Snowshoeing is popular as well as some great downhill skiing and snowboarding at Big Rock in Mars Hill……so if you are coming to one of the top rated areas in North American to snowmobile……bring the family for lots of outdoor fun!