Aroostook Outdoor News: 12.8.16 edition

In this edition: 1) #SkiSeason is here; #OpeningDay at #SkiHills #HolidayCrafts in #EdmundstonNB, #MarsHillME and #FortKentME. 2) A #wildlife theme #Christmas event in #LimestoneME. 3) A #Marathon festival in #MillinocketME. Plus lots more! #offugo…

#AroostookThing of the week: Ski season starts now!

Who's going skiing this weekend?

Who’s going skiing this weekend?

If you’re like me, you wait all year for the first snow. The one true harbinger of all things good. The shot across the bow, so to speak, that signals the imminent arrival of ski season. In my world, the planets always align on Opening Day at my local mountain.

In recent years, the first snow has often come early, yet has not been followed by any sizable accumulation until after the New Year, which has subsequently led to later – or at least lackluster – Opening Days here in the Crown of Maine.

This year, however, the first significant snowfall came late, and was followed closely by another sister storm, so much so that most ski areas in these parts are going to stage an Opening Day with 100% of their terrain open. Merry Christmas to me!

Mont Farlagne up in Edmundston, New Brunswick opened today, while Lonesome Pine Trails in Fort Kent and Bigrock Mountain in Mars Hill open up tomorrow.

For small ski hills such as these, an early opening with so much open terrain is sure to bring out a bevy of snowboarders and skiers. A big boost in pre-Christmas revenue – don’t you think a season pass would be the perfect gift? – will go a long way toward helping them stay afloat.

Indeed, it appears that it will be a very Merry Christmas for all!

#AroostookNote: Quoggy Jo Ski Center in Presque Isle, Aroostook County’s other downhill ski area is set to open on December 26!



Friday, December 9

Mont Farlagne Opening Day, Edmundston, NB. 9:00 a.m. (Atlantic Time), weather permitting. Lifts open for our 47th season! Visit FMI


Saturday, December 10

Friends of Aroostook National Wildlife Refuge Second Saturday Event, Limestone. 10:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m. at ANWR Visitor’s Center, 97 Refuge Rd. Come out for a chance to do last-minute gift shopping, renew your membership. Bundle up to hike the trails then come inside the Visitor’s Center to make a birdseed ornament for outdoor use. Contact ANWR (207-328-4634) or FMI


Saturday, December 10

Millinocket Marathon & Half, Millinocket. Race start: 10:00 a.m. at 27 Poplar St. Grass roots run/race. Pre-registration required. Cost: FREE! In lieu of entry fee ALL runners encouraged to spend race entry equivalent in town to help local economy. Why? Because this is one of our Maine towns that has been really hurt by their mill closing and a grass roots effort like this can and does help. Visit FMI


*Saturday, December 10

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


*Saturday, December 10

Lonesome Pine Opening Day, Fort Kent. 9:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m., weather permitting. Contact Lonesome Pine Trails (207-834-5202) or visit FMI


*Saturday, December 17

Audubon Christmas Bird Count, Caribou. 6:30 a.m. at Tim Horton’s, Bennett Dr. We invite you to join us for all or part of this day-long count in the Caribou area; all welcomed for this long-standing holiday tradition! We need all hands on deck! Contact Bill Sheehan (207-227-7301) or FMI


Sunday, December 18

Four Seasons Trail Association Christmas at the Lodge, Madawaska. 11:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m. at Four Seasons Lodge, 425 Spring St. Pasta lunch, sleigh rides, tubing, skiing, snowshoeing, and SANTA! Bring the kids! Visit FMI


*Monday, December 26-Tuesday, December 30

Fort Kent Outdoor Center Nordic Ski Festival, Fort Kent. Looking for great snow for Nordic skiing? Look no further than FKOC, host of World Cup Biathlon, national, regional ski events. Events include Try it Biathlon (equipment, instruction provided), Winter Wildlands Backcountry Film Festival, Freestyle 5km Time Trial, and lots of fun. Contact Carl Theriault or visit FMI


*Saturday, December 31

Audubon Christmas Bird Count, Presque Isle. 6:30 a.m. at Tim Horton’s, Main St. We invite you to join us for all or part of this day-long count in the Presque Isle area; all welcomed for this long-standing holiday tradition! We need all hands on deck! Contact Bill Sheehan (207-227-7301) or FMI


Ongoing Programs:


County Strides Running Group, Presque Isle. Sundays; 10:00 a.m. at various locations. Open to all abilities; be ready for an easy run of 30-45 minutes, and bring friends! Visit County Strides at FMI


Francis Malcolm Science Center Walk-in Tours, Easton. Weekdays; 9:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m. Experience our planetarium’s new, full-dome, digital projection system, featuring a 30-minute activity; 15 minutes in the star theater, 15 minutes to visit the facility at large. Cost: $5/visitor; reservations requested. Contact FMSC (207-488-5451) FMI


Sportsmen’s, Inc. Meeting, Stockholm. First Monday of each month at 6:30 p.m. at Axle Siding Clubhouse (intersection of Lake Street/Rt. 161). Outdoors men and women promoting the traditions of the outdoors. If you’re interested in joining, you’re welcome to attend as a guest. Kids are welcome too! Visit FMI


Friends of Aroostook National Wildlife Refuge Meeting, Limestone. Second Monday of each month; 6:00 p.m. at ANWR headquarters and Visitor’s Center, 97 Refuge Rd. Founded in 1998, Friends are involved in a number of volunteer projects on the ANWR in an effort to balance the enhancing of habitat with the public access privilege to enjoy wildlife in an unmolested environment. Contact Friends of ANWR (207-328-4634) or FMI


Nordic Heritage Sport Club Meeting, Presque Isle. First Tuesday of each month; 6:00 p.m. at Nordic Heritage Center, 450 Fort Fairfield Rd. The club promotes healthy outdoor recreation, economic vitality in Central Aroostook County by providing first-class facilities and programs to area residents, athletes, visitors. Visit FMI


Presque Isle Fish and Game Club Meeting, Presque Isle. Last Tuesday of each month; 5:30 p.m. at PIFG clubhouse, Parsons Road. Established in 1947 to help protect, conserve, maintain and restore our natural resources as well as to protect and promote our outdoor heritage. Meetings include a delicious supper, cash bar, short business meeting. Visit FMI


Four Seasons Trail Association Meeting, Madawaska. First Wednesday of each month; 6:30 p.m. at Four Seasons Lodge, 425 Spring St. Non-profit organization dedicated to promotion of healthier lifestyles for this community; participation open to anyone interested. Visit FMI


Fort Fairfield Frontier Fish and Game Club, Fort Fairfield. Second and fourth Wednesdays of each month (fourth Wednesdays during summer); 6:00 p.m. at FFFFG clubhouse on Monson Pond, 550 Dorsey Rd. Founded in 1958 to help conserve, protect, maintain, and restore our natural resources and to promote our outdoor heritage. Visit FMI


* = New or updated item(s).