Aroostook Outdoor News: 2.17.17 edition

In this edition: 1) Free #IceFishing this weekend in #AroostookCounty and the entire #StateOfMaine. 2) #Winter wellness days in #MarsHillME, #FortKentME, and #HoultonME. 3) A #classic #NordicSkiRace in #LimestoneME. Plus lots more! #offugo…

#AroostookThing of the week: Maine Department of Inland Fisheries & Wildlife Free Fishing Weekend!

Ice, ice, baby!

Ice, ice, baby!

It’s time to hit the hard water!

For most, February school vacation in Aroostook County means hitting the hard wood. Scores of fans from all corners of the Crown of Maine will travel upwards of three hours this week to support their hometown teams in the Northern Maine basketball tournament.

But in ever-increasing numbers, many folks will use the upcoming school break to hit the hard water in pursuit of gilled glory and family fun. And thanks to forward thinking folks who want to see those numbers continue to increase, any person may fish for free without a license on Maine’s waterways, except those who have had their license suspended or revoked.

Of course, all other rules and regulations, including bag and possession limits, still apply. For more detailed info, visit

So, I know some of you may be thinking, “so this is great, but where can I get the gear I need, and where should I fish?”

Fortunately, it’s a safe bet that ice fishing gear is available in almost every Aroostook town. If you live near a Marden’s or a Wal-Mart, I would start there. If you think you may need a little guidance regarding essential equipment, I would highly recommend one of these outdoor sporting goods suppliers: MACS Trading Post in Houlton, Ben’s Trading Post in Presque Isle, and SW Collins’ Up North Outdoors in Fort Kent. I’m sure there are other reputable retail outlets, but this is a good start.

Now that you’re geared up, where should you go? Check out for a list of brook trout ponds (less than 100 acres in size), or ask your local outdoor retailer.

#AroostookNote: Most people have heard of the popular Long Lake Fishing Derby, but did you know #DYK that there are several other ice fishing derbies in Aroostook? Check out for the full list.


*Saturday, February 18 & Sunday, February 19

Maine DIF&W Free Fishing Weekend, Statewide. Whether on open water or ice, fishing is one of the most popular activities in Maine. During Free Fishing Weekend, any person may fish for free without a license on Maine’s waterways, except those who have had their license suspended or revoked.  All other rules and regulations, including bag and possession limits, apply. Visit FMI


Saturday, February 18

TAMC Total Health Team Free Snowshoe Hike #3, Mars Hill. 9:30-11:00 a.m. at the Aroostook Health Center, 15 Highland Ave. Open to the community. Cost: FREE! Limited number of snowshoes available to borrow at no charge. Preregistration required; directions to the Fuller’s provided upon registration. Contact Linda Menard (207-768-4172) or FMI


Saturday, February 18

Limestone Ski Club C-Me-Ski Event, Limestone. Aroostook Cup Series Race #3; a great classic tour and race. Come out and enjoy the beauty of the wooded trails, the wildlife, and some good food! Distances: .5k/ages 12 and under; 7k/ages 13-18; 21k/adults. Registration: 12:00 p.m. at Aroostook National Wildlife Refuge, 97 Refuge Rd. Youth race start: 1:00 p.m. Adult race start: 1:30 p.m. Cost: $10 (suggested donation). Contact Limestone Ski Club (207-328-7491) FMI


Saturday, February 18

St. John Vianney Parish Winter Wellness Day, Fort Kent. 1:00 p.m. at Fort Kent Outdoor Center, 33 Paradis Cir. Catholic athlete/professional Tracy Guerette presentation: “Virtue & Sport: In Service & Praise of Our Creator.” All-ages outdoor activities include: meditative guided snowshoe hike, low-impact exercises, kids’ storybook snowshoe hike, sledding (bring your own), healthy snacks, campfire s’mores! Cost: $25/family, $10/person (donation). Contact the Parish Office (207-834-5656) FMI


*Saturday, February 18- Saturday, March 4

Houlton Recreation Department Winter Sports Days, Houlton. Borrow gear from our Winter Sports Trailer and give cross country skiing and snowshoeing a try; bundle up and see you there! February 18; 1:00-3:00 p.m. at Community Park, 94 Randall Ave. February 21 through February 23; 1:30-3:00 p.m. at Community Park. March 4; 1:00-3:00 p.m. at Linneus Sno-Sports Club, Mill Brook Rd. More dates to be announced. Cost: FREE! Contact Houlton Rec. (207-532-1310) FMI


Saturday, February 25

42nd Annual Henry Anderson Memorial Ski Dag, Caribou. Aroostook Cup Series Race #4. 5-mile, Classical XC ski race open to all ages. This is the granddaddy of ‘em all! The longest continuously-run Nordic race in Aroostook! Registration: 9:00 a.m. at Caribou Country Club, 728 Sweden St. Race start: 10:00 a.m. Contact Caribou Parks & Recreation Department (207-493-4224) FMI


Saturday, February 25

Aroostook State Park Winter Family Fun Day, Presque Isle. 10:00 a.m.–3:00 p.m. We have everything you need to have fun with the family, outside in Aroostook County’s winter wonderland: XC skiing, snowshoeing, sliding, snowmobile tote-rides, nature walks, warming hut, bonfire, hot food, Smokey the Bear, Maine Game Wardens. Equipment available. Fee: $1.50/person ages 12-64; all others FREE. Contact Aroostook State Park (207-768-8341) FMI


Saturday, February 25

5th Annual NMMC/FSTA Rally in the Valley Winter Festival, Madawaska. Kids of all ages are invited to attend a fun outdoor snow day; skiing, snowshoeing, tubing, games, and more! Registration: 11:00 a.m. at Four Seasons Lodge. Event: 11:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m. Cost: $5; includes t-shirt and water bottle. Contact Gail Lamarr (207-834-1459) or FMI


Saturday, February 25

Town of Portage Lake Snow Day, Portage Lake. 12:00 p.m. at Portage Hills Country Club, 98 Country Club Ave. Join us for an afternoon of sliding. Snowsledders will bring people back up the hill; refreshments for sale. Pizza and a movie at the Town Hall, School Street at 4:00 p.m. Pie/Dessert Auction fundraiser at Dean’s Motor Lodge at 7:00 p.m.; live music and dancing from 9:00 p.m. to 1:00 a.m. (adults only!). Visit FMI


Saturday, March 4-Sunday, March 5

Fort Kent Outdoor Center/Can-Am Crown Skijoring Races, Fort Kent. Skijoring: a blend of XC skiing and mushing, where skier and animal(s) work together. 2k, 4k Sprint races under the lights Saturday; 6k, 18k races Sunday, at Fort Kent Outdoor Center, 33 Paradis Cir. Cost: $20/2k, $25/4k, $35/5k, $45/15k; 10% discount if registered before February 24. Contact FKOC or visit FMI


Saturday, March 4

Himie Towle Memorial Ski Frolic, Presque Isle. Aroostook Cup Series Race #5. Youth races (ages 15 and under) at varying distances; 10k Freestyle Race (classic track also set), 5k Tour for adults. Registration: 10:00 a.m. at Nordic Heritage Center, 450 Fort Fairfield Rd. Youth race start: 12:00 p.m. Adult race start: 12:30 p.m. Cost: $20/family, $10/adult, $5/youth; includes lunch. Contact Tom Towle (207-227-6306) or FMI


*Saturday, March 4

Can-Am Crown 1st Annual Snowshoe Challenge, Fort Kent. 12:00 p.m. at Lonesome Pine Trails, Forest Ave. Join us for a snowshoe race after all the Can-Am Crown Mushers have left the starting line. 11 and under, 12-15 y/o divisions race are on flat course; 16 and above division runs up The Far Side trail, down Founders trail. Cost: $5/15 and under, $10/16 and above. The above race runs up The Far Side trail and down the Founders trail. Contact Michelle Labbe (207-231-0386) FMI


*Saturday, March 4

81st Annual New Sweden Community Sno Carnival, New Sweden. Events and activities for children and adults; snowshoeing, XC skiing, lip sync contest, sledding under the lights, fireworks, more at New Sweden Trails, 113 Westmanland Road. Lasagna Dinner available for purchase. Contact New Sweden School (207-896-5541) FMI



Wednesday, March 8- Wednesday, April 12

SAD 1 Adult & Community Education Fly Tying Course, Presque Isle. Wednesdays, Mar. 8-Apr. 12; 6:00-9:00 p.m. at SAD 1 Adult & Comm. Ed., 79 Blake St. Learn to tie your own flies. Many anglers find it enjoyable to spend winter months tying flies for next year’s fishing season. This very basic workshop is geared toward beginners and those who want to brush up on techniques. Cost: $30. Contact SAD 1 Adult & Comm. Ed. (207-764-4776) or visit FMI


Saturday, March 11

4th Annual Angel Snowfest, St. Agatha. All-day event at Lakeview Restaurant; live music, outdoor Ice Bar, Snowshoe/Walk, Luminary Walk on the breathtaking Lakeview trails. Proceeds benefit Angel Flight NE and Edgar J. Paradis Cancer Fund. Fee: $15; includes neck-warmer, stew, entertainment. Visit FMI


*Sunday, March 13

Sportsmen’s Inc. Kids’ Ice Fishing Day, Madawaska Lake. 8:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m. All fishing equipment and bait provided. First 100 kids registered will receive a free ice fishing trap. Food available. Contact Northstar Variety (207-896-3239) or visit “Sportsmen Inc.” on facebook FMI


*Saturday, March 18

Acadia FCU Marathon, Madawaska. Aroostook Cup Series Race #6. 40k classic/skate race with cash prizes; 20k classic/skate race. Pasta meal with lots of raffle prizes for all skiers. Race start: 11:00 a.m. at Four Seasons Trails, 425 Spring St. Fee: $25/40k racers, $20/20k racers, $10/18 and under. Visit 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


Bigrock McCain Ski4Life Program, Mars Hill. Sundays; 10:00 a.m. at Bigrock, 37 Graves Rd. Learn to ski program for students in grades K-12. Begins January 8 and runs for 10 weeks. Cost: $15/student; includes lift ticket, lesson, equipment rental for students K-12 only. Parents of students enrolled in the program may purchase lift tickets for $20, equipment rental for $15. This program is open to everyone. Contact Bigrock (207-425-6711) 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


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