Mushing, fiddling and food…..

Well it is Log Drivers Weekend in the southern reaches of The County…..yup the Island Falls club will host the Log Drivers Cookout Saturday from 12-2 at their clubhouse and rumor has it they have the world’s largest coffee pot…..and based on the temps this winter most folks can use it.   

And don’t forget it is Can Am Crown weekend up in Fort Kent……a circuit qualifier for the infamous Iditarod…. mushers will race 250 miles through the North Maine Woods beginning Saturday and finishing late Sunday or the wee hours of Monday.    Not for the feint of heart this whole process is quite an undertaking but this year the weather is perfect for both the mushers and their furry friends.   They also offer  30 and 60 mile races all of which start on Main St. around 8 a.m    While you are hanging around Sunday you might want to stop by the University of Maine at Fort Kent around 2 p.m. for the annual Fiddlers Jamboree……definitely a happy feet place…….even if you can’t dance this awesome music gets your feet moving…..guaranteed!!

Oh yes…..there is always the opportunity to stop by the Nordic Heritage Center to see 400 athletes, trainers, waxers and coaches from 38 countries for the IBU  Youth/Junior World Cup Biathalon…….for the competitors it would equate to the Olympics for the younger set…..and when I say younger I am talking upper teens to 20′s.    The sport is fast, colorful and fun for competitors and spectators alike.

As far as the snowmobiling which is why I really write this thing…..it is AWESOME…..and I have to capitalize it because it just is……..was out Wednesday and didn’t hit a bad trail anyway……

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The kaching meters were running at Dean’s in Portage around lunchtime Wednesday which is good for everyone !

  • Can Am Crown Dog Sled Racers will be using portions of ITS 92 and 85 in the Ft Kent area and south so please proceed with caution and if you see race officials please heed their directions.
  •  LOTS OF SLEDDERS GOING OFF TRAILS CUTTING CORNERS, JOY RIDING IN FIELDS AND BASICALLY CREATING SOME SIGNIFICANT PROBLEMS IN THE SYSTEM.  PLEASE, THE TRAILS ARE LOCATED WHERE THEY ARE FOR A REASON…..STAY ON THE MARKED TRAILS……DON’T BE THE REASON A SECTION OF TRAIL IS CLOSED DOWN.
  • Can’t say this enough…..there are hundreds of deer everywhere…..please use caution
  • Keep in mind that there are some long distances between gas stations so look at the reroutes and plan accordingly
  • Some logging ops still ongoing…..very active operation on Rt 81 The Swedes Trail use extreme caution
  • Logging trucks on ITS 85 around the Eagle Lake/Portage connection and at the Red River bridge so please yield to those big boys

Trail Info

ITS 85      Covered a lot of this trail Wednesday and there was not a bad section…..excellent shape. Remember St Francis has groomed 92A and  Ashland has also groomed 71A.   Remember to that both Ashland and Portage had major reroutes this year so you will need to pay attention to signage if you haven’t ventured out yet.   The Homestead Lodge in Ox Bow now has gas during daylight hours.

ITS  83     A little hiccup in Sherman due to yet another reroute due to logging but everyone is working together so please heed the signs.   Heading  north the system is A….OK……no problem areas but a bit of  heading into Madawaska just reduce speed and watch for signage     No problem areas but remember there is a reroute between Bridgewater and Mars Hill this year that is groomed and marked so please watch for signage.

ITS  81       Everyone has their sections up to snuff now so you will be in good shape but remember when you planning a trip that from the ITS 105 intersection west is closed this season.

ITS 92        Lite traffic but spectacularly beautiful riding.   Rt 92A is open and groomed along with the connection to the Glazier Lake Loop.

ITS  90     Came through this one Wednesday……..totally awesome but holy cow watch out for deer !!

ITS 88     Another one with light traffic but great riding with no problems.

ITS 86    Great open riding……plenty of snow with no problems and Meduxneakeag was grooming today (Thursday). Also 71-D is groomed on the Ox Bow end.  And the Homestead Lodge in Ox Bow now has gas during daylight hours

ITS 105   This one gets lots of traffic but despite that it was in great shape all the way from ITS 81 north to the ITS 81 intersection east of Squa Pan.

ITS 120   Another awesome ride, well groomed with limited traffic.

Rt 100     From Caswell there are two branches of this trail one goes north out of Caswell and one goes west further south.  They both intersect Rt 89 one closer to Rt 94 and the other closer to the Madawaska River…….watch for markings and on the one that goes west further south of Caswell there is a very active logging operation so use caution.    

Rt 89  Groomed north to Rt 94.    PLEASE NOTE  that Rt 100 now intersects  Rt 89 in two locations so watch for signs.

Rt 94  Open and groomed and in excellent shape

Rt 79 to Long Lake off ITS 105 is groomed for those wanting to access the St John Valley and local eateries via Long Lake

Daigle and Soldier Pond    both projects are grooming and both systems were in tip top shape Wednesday.   

On The Social Side

Meduxneakeag Ramblers Breakfast Saturdays 6-9 a.m. at the clubhouse

Washburn Trailrunners Breakfast /Lunch Saturdays 7 a.m.-3p.m.  Sunday 7 a.m.-noon at the clubhouse

Presque Isle Snowmobile Club Stew Nights   Fridays  5-7 p.m. at the clubhouse

St Francis Sno Angels Saturday Meals  …homecooked meals….stop by off ITS 92

February 28-March 7           Youth/Junior World Championship Biathalon Nordic Heritage Ctr., Presque Isle

March 1          Can Am Dog Sled Races in Ft Kent……60 mile 8 a.m. start; 30 mile 9:10 a.m. start and the 250 mile 10:20 a.m. start all on Main St

Ashland Snowmobile Club Annual Auction @ VFW  supper @ 5:30/auction @7

Pleasant Ridge Runners Spaghetti Supper @ the clubhouse in Limestone  4-6 p.m.

Log Driver Cookout  Island Falls Clubhouse   12-2

March 2         

Benedicta Snowgang Club Ride to Bowlin Camps   Call 207-365-7276 for info

Fiddlers Jamboree  at UMFK   2 p.m.

March 8         

Drag Races in St Francis right off US 161 or ITS 92  Reg. 9-11  Racing 11:3

Pizza Night Rockabema SnoRangers  @ 5:30   please RSVP to Gladys Hanson at 207-528-2344

Kathy Mazzuchelli

About Kathy Mazzuchelli

Kathy Mazzuchelli is superintendant of the Caribou Parks and Recreation Department where she has worked for 38 years. An avid snowmobiler, Mazzuchelli’s first sled was a 1968 Polaris Mustang back in the days when groomed trails were done with snowmobiles, bedsprings and some pretty feisty folks.