Aroostook Outdoor News: 12.04.14 edition

Ski and snow-based events are now almost completely dominating the calendar and, thankfully, Mother Nature is doing her part to deliver the white stuff. Like it or not, winter is here!

In this edition: 1) Info about an important meeting coming up regarding the future of the Nordic Heritage Center in Presque Isle. 2) Three local ski areas open for the season in the next two weeks. 3) Catch the birding bug by getting involved in Audobon’s annual Christmas Bird Count. Plus lots more! offugo…

Thursday, December 4
UMPI Outing Club Women’s Climbing Night, Presque Isle. 6:00-8:00 p.m. at Gentile Hall Rock Wall. Experience the excitement of climbing. State-of-the-art rock wall features climbs for all abilities. Staff on hand to provide assistance; helmet and harness provided, climbing shoes available for fee. Contact Gentile Hall front desk (207-768-9772) FMI

Saturday, December 6
Lonesome Pine Trails Annual Ski Patrol Training, Fort Kent. 8:00 a.m.-Noon. Ski Patrol 101 to follow. Cost: $5 for CPR and First-aid card. Contact Dr. Lucien Daigle FMI

Saturday, December 6
10th Mountain Outdoor Club Deck the Lodge Coffee House, Fort Kent. 6:00-9:00 p.m. at 10th Mountain Lodge. This will be a social, membership drive, and fundraiser all in one; snacks, cash bar, live music, door prizes. Let’s kick off the winter season together! Cost: $3/member; $5/non-member. Visit FMI

*Tuesday, December 9
Friends of Nordic Heritage Center: The Future of NHC, Presque Isle. 6:00 p.m. at UMPI Campus Center. Presentation on NHC history, funding changes, discussion of whether or not to continue hosting World Cups; help decide what is best for NHC from the perspective of what is best for our community. Contact Paul Towle (207-551-6601) or FMI

Tuesday, December 9
UMPI Outing Club Appalachian Trail Presentation, Presque Isle. 7:00 p.m. in the Allagash Room, UMPI Campus Center. Join us for a presentation by AT thru-hiker Alison Kieffer, who hiked the 2185-mile trail solo and is here to share her beautiful pictures and the amazing tale of a long walk home. Contact Amanda Baker (207-768-9401) or FMI

Saturday, December 13
Bigrock Mountain Opening Day, Mars Hill. 9:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m. It’s the day you’ve waited eight months for: Bigrock opens for the season! Kick off the ski/snowboard season at Bigrock! Visit FMI

Saturday, December 13
Bigrock Mountain Opening Day Santa 5k, Mars Hill. Dress like Santa for your chance at a prize! Registration 12:00 p.m. at Bigrock Base Lodge. Race start: 1:00 p.m. Cost: $12/person. Pre-register by Dec. 8 for race t-shirt; all participants receive a Santa hat. Contact Ryan Guerrette (207-425-6711) or visit FMI

Sunday, December 14, 2014 and Saturday, January 3, 2015
Audubon Christmas Bird Counts, Aroostook County. We invite you to join us for all or part of these day-long counts; all welcomed! Caribou area: Dec. 14; Presque Isle area: Jan. 3. Contact Bill Sheehan (207-227-7301) or FMI

Friday, December 19
Mont Farlagne Opening Day, Edmundston, NB. 9:00 a.m. (Atlantic time). Lifts open for our 46th season! Visit FMI

Saturday, December 20
Quoggy Jo Opening Day, Presque Isle. 11:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m. Start doing your snow dances! Contact Gene Cronin (207-540-1496) or FMI

Sunday, December 21
Four Seasons Trail Association Christmas at the Lodge, Madawaska. 11:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m. Pasta lunch, sleigh rides, tubing, skiing, snowshoeing, and SANTA! Bring the kids! Visit FMI

Saturday, December 27, 2014-Thursday, January 1, 2015
Fort Kent Nordic Ski Festival, Fort Kent. Ski in the New Year on groomed trails open for training/skiing! Activities include: Freestyle, Classic, Sprint Races; Wildlands Film Festival; Try-it Biathlon; New Year’s Eve Open Mike Social; Snowshoe Safari; Ski Cross; Ski Demos; Wax/Ski Clinics; Alpine Skiing. Contact Carl Theriault FMI

*Sunday, January 11
FSTA Deprey Classic – Aroostook Cup #1, Madawaska. Kick off the Aroostook Cup series; 6-6.5k freestyle race and tour and age-appropriate kids’ race at Four Seasons Lodge. Registration: Noon. Kids’ race start: 12:30 p.m. Race start: 1:00 p.m. Cost: $2/youth; $5/adult. Contact Colin Jandreau (207-728-6103) or FMI

Ongoing Programs:

Sunday Saunter Running Group, Presque Isle. Sundays; 10:00 a.m. at UMPI’s Gentile Hall. Open to all abilities; be ready for an easy run of 30-45 minutes, and bring friends! Contact Jonathan Kelley FMI

Bootlegger Snowshoe Hike, Rivière-Bleue, QC. Sundays; fourth Sunday of the month at 1:30 p.m. (Eastern time) at the end of Path Brissette. Get to know the magical setting of the Bootlegger trails on this guided hike. Contact Jean Lebrun (418-893-1033) or FMI

10th Mountain Outdoor Club Jalbert Pee Wee Biathlon Program, Fort Kent. Tuesdays; 4:30 p.m. at Fort Kent Outdoor Center. Starting in December. Open to youth ages 9 and under. Kids will learn basic skate skiing skills, go on ski adventures, and play LOTS of games! Cost: FREE! Contact Gail Johnson FMI

10th Mountain Outdoor Club Jalbert Youth Biathlon Program, Fort Kent. Wednesdays; 6:00 p.m. at Fort Kent Outdoor Center. Open to youth ages 10-14; roller skiing, rifle shooting, trail running, and LOTS of games! Cost: FREE! Contact Gail Johnson FMI

*Four Seasons Trail Association Youth Ski Program, Madawaska. Saturdays; 1:00 p.m. at Four Seasons Lodge. Visit FMI

* = New or updated item(s).