Aroostook Outdoor News: 12.29.16 edition

In this edition: 1) An age-old annual tradition that is #ForTheBirds in the #PresqueIsleME area. 2) The return of the #NewYearsDay #SkiRace in #CaribouME. 3) The first #AroostookCup ski race of the season in #MadawaskaME. Plus lots more! #offugo…

#AroostookThing of the week: The 117th Annual Audubon Christmas Bird Count in the Presque Isle area.

Offugo into 2017…Happy New Year to one and all!

Offugo into 2017…Happy New Year to one and all!


117 years.

There aren’t many things that have been around that long, especially when it comes to organized outdoor recreation activities.

But that is exactly how long folks around the country have been gathering to conduct the annual Audubon Christmas Bird Count. Thanks to local birders, Aroostook County has hosted this early-winter census of our avian friends for the last several years.

So now you’re intrigued, but you’ve never done anything like this before – so what to do?

That’s easy. The Presque Isle area Christmas Bird Count, organized by the Aroostook Birders, takes place this Saturday, December 30 and goes something like this:

Counters will meet at 6:30 a.m. at Tim Horton’s on Main Street in Presque Isle. Coverage areas will be assigned throughout a 15-mile diameter circle. Following specified routes, counters will make note of every bird they see or hear all day.

According to the Audubon website  the Christmas Bird Count is “not just a species tally – all birds are counted all day, giving an indication of the total number of birds in the circle that day.”

The event creates a wonderful, no-experience-necessary opportunity to get outside and be active and to do your part to add to more than a century’s worth of citizen science data.

And on top of that, you may make some new friends, too!

If you would like to be a part of this long-standing holiday tradition, contact Bill Sheehan at 207-227-7301 or FMI

#AroostookNote: Aroostook County Tourism has a new blog feature on its website. Written by select guest bloggers and members of the ACT Board, the blog will present timely, adventurous, and nostalgic stories that underscore life in all seasons in the Crown of Maine. To read the blog, you can quite literally “Visit Aroostook” at or via facebook.



Saturday, December 31

117th Annual 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


Sunday, January 1

Caribou High School New Year’s Day Race, Caribou. Community members and Caribou alumni are invited to participate in this Nordic ski event. Distance: 5k Freestyle. Registration: 10:00 a.m. at CHS Ski Center, 308 Sweden Street. Race start: 11:00 a.m. Cost: $10/person. Prizes to overall male and female age group winners. Contact Evan Graves FMI


Saturday, January 7

Four Seasons Trail Association Deprey Classic Ski Race, Madawaska. Aroostook Cup Series Race #1. Distance: 6k Freestyle. Registration: 11:30 a.m. at Four Seasons Lodge, 425 Spring Street. Youth start: 12:15 p.m. Race start: 1:00 p.m. Cost: $10. Pasta meal available for purchase. Contact Colin Jandreau (207-728-6103) or FMI


Saturday, January 14

Baxter State Park Summer Camping Reservations Opening Day, Millinocket. 8:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m. in-person only at Baxter State Park Authority Headquarters, 64 Balsam Drive. Only 20% of each campground may be reserved; two reservation limit per person or camp group. Contact Baxter State Park (207-723-5140) or visit FMI


Thursday, January 19

Aroostook Birders Movie Night, Caribou. Please join us for movie night. Further details will be listed as they become available. Visit FMI


Saturday, January 21

Fort Kent Outdoor Center Frostbite XC Ski Event, Fort Kent. Aroostook Cup Series Race #2. 7.5k, 15k Classic races, 2.5k Classic youth (12 & under) race. Registration: 10:00 a.m. at FKOC, 33 Paradis Circle. Race start: 11:30 a.m. Youth race start: 12:00 p.m. Cost: $15/FKOC member, $20/non-member; $5/youth FKOC member, $10/youth non-member. Contact Paul Cyr (207-834-6478) or FMI


*Saturday, January 28 & Sunday, January 29

12th Annual Long Lake Ice Fishing Derby, Sinclair. Maine’s largest cash prize ice fishing derby; $16,000 in cash prizes! Derby Waters: Long, Cross, St. Froid, Square, Eagle, Glazier, Beau, Portage Lakes, Carr Pond, St. John River. Registration: at Long Lake Sporting Club, 48 Sinclair Rd. Proceeds benefit Paradis Cancer Fund. Visit FMI


*Friday, February 3-Sunday, February 5

Moosestompers Weekend, Houlton. Activities include: Moonlight Snowshoe Hike, Daytime Snowshoe Hike, Sliding on Derby Hill, Snow Creation Contest, Wild Katahdin Trust Snow Run, Cross-country Skiing, Moosestompers Fishing Derby, giant bonfire, more! Visit FMI


*Saturday, February 4

33rd Annual Wild Katahdin Trust Snow Run, Houlton. 2017 Aroostook Musterds County Challenge Series Race #1. Registration: 9:00 a.m. at Millar Arena, 94 Randall Ave. 2-mile walk start: 10:45 a.m. 5k run start: 11:00 a.m. Course: Pretty flat and fast (depending on weather). Cost: $12. T-shirts to first 50 registrants. Proceeds support Houlton Area Backpacks For Kids Program. Refreshments, traditional chicken stew after event. Contact Larry Tonzi 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


Bootlegger Snowshoe Hike, Rivière-Bleue, QC. Fourth Sunday of each 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


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


Fort Kent Outdoor Center Jalbert Youth Biathlon Program, Fort Kent. Saturdays; 1:00-2:30 p.m. at FKOC, 33 Paradis Circle. Jan 7-Feb 11. Open to youth ages 4-14; Nordic skiing, rifle shooting, and LOTS of games! Cost: Free; participants are asked to purchase FKOC memberships or daily trail passes. Contact Gail Johnson FMI


* = New or updated item(s).