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More in Community
Winter family fun events slated in parks
AUGUSTA — The Maine Bureau of Parks and Lands is sponsoring six exciting days of winter events at state parks around Maine.
During January and February, Maine families and other visitors will be able to enjoy fun, affordable, day-long outdoor activities at some of the most beautiful locales in the state, according to Maine Bureau of Parks and Lands (BPL) officials.
Two major ice-fishing derbies will be held, as will four winter-fun days when families can try out such activities as cross-country skiing, sledding, snow shoeing and dog sled rides.
“Take It Outside” is an initiative first begun in 2008 and carried on by BPL to encourage Maine families to get outdoors for recreation, relaxation and health. In the past three years, BPL has held numerous events during each season at Maine state parks and historic sites. Last year, more than 4,200 visitors enjoyed eight separate winter events. More than 1,100 people in particular showed up for a children’s ice fishing derby at Range Ponds State Park in Poland Spring.
Equipment is provided to allow families to try out various activities. Several events also are scheduled during the school vacation week.
The events are sponsored by a number of Maine businesses and organizations, with Hannaford, Poland Spring Water, Wicked Joe Coffee, Oakhurst Dairy, Maine Winter Sports Center and Kittery Trading Post as major sponsors. Numerous community volunteers also take part to make sure the winter events take place.
This year’s series starts with the third annual Youth Ice Fishing Derby at Lake St. George State Park in Liberty. The event has always been very successful, drawing more than 100 people during its first year who actually braved a blizzard to get out on the lake and fish. Last year, 600 people showed to fish and enjoy all the other winter activities.
A complete list of winter events, activities and sponsors follows:
- Youth Ice Fishing Derby, 8 a.m.-3 p.m., Sunday, January 16, Lake St. George State Park, Liberty; learn how to ice fish, all equipment, including bait, provided, all registered children receive prizes; dog sled rides, 10 a.m.-3 p.m., $3 donation; other sponsors include Corner Restaurant, Peavey's General Store, Liberty Sports, B&B Septic, Mountain Valley Sports, Lori's Cafe, Toby's, Hilltop Store, Morrill Store, B & M Market, Belfast Variety, Olde Mill Restaurant, The Outdoor Sportsman, 10-4 Store, Hussey’s General Store and Jerry Robbins; hot lunch included, warming hut available; $1.50 for adults, ages 12-64; kids and seniors free; for more information, call 589-4255.
- Winter Family Fun Day, 10 a.m.-3 p.m., Saturday, January 22, Cobscook Bay State Park, Edmunds Township; cross country skiing, snowshoeing, ice skating, snowmobile "tote-rides," guided nature interpretive walks; other sponsors include Moosehorn Wildlife Refuge and Washington County Community College; hot lunch included; $1.50 for adults, ages 12-64; kids and seniors free; for more information, call 726-4412.
- Winter Family Fun Day, 10 a.m.-3 p.m., Saturday, Jan. 29, Mount Blue State Park, Weld; Cross country skiing, snowshoeing, ice skating on the most beautiful outdoor rink in Maine, sledding, wagon rides, nature interpretive walks, bonfires, warming hut; other sponsors include Northern Lights, Hearth & Sports, Franklin Savings Bank, Weld General Store and Skoolhouse Variety; hot lunch included; $1.50 for adults, ages 12-64; kids and seniors free; for more information, call 585-2261.
- Winter Family Fun Day, 10 a.m.-3 p.m., Wednesday, February 23, Fort McClary State Park, Kittery Point; outdoor games, snowshoeing, maple sugaring , nature walks, winter survival demos, animal tracking, bonfires; other sponsors include Kittery Recreation Dept., Eliot Recreation Dept.; hot lunch included; $1.50 for adults, ages 12-64; kids and seniors free; for more information, call 384-5160.
- 2011 Kittery Trading Post Kid’s Derby, 8 a.m.-noon, Friday, February 25, Range Ponds State Park, Poland Spring; limited to children age 12 and under; free entry for derby, with $1.50 park admission fee for those ages 12-64, all others are free. Run in cooperation with the “Hooked on Fishing” program and the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife. The first 500 children to register for the derby will receive a free ice fishing tip-up, compliments of Kittery Trading Post. For more information on the event and registration, go to http://www.icefishingderby.com/maine/kids-derby/.
- Winter Family Fun Day, 10 a.m.-3 p.m., Saturday, February 26, Aroostook State Park, Presque Isle; cross country skiing, snowshoeing, ice skating, snowmobile "tote-rides,” guided nature interpretive walks; other sponsors include Graves Super Market, Katahdin Trust Co., Haines Manufacturing Inc., TD Bank; hot lunch included; $1.50 for adults, ages 12-64; kids and seniors free; for more information, call 768-8341.
For more information about any of these events, call the individual parks or go to http://take-it-outside.com/index.html.
For information about Maine state parks, historic sites and public lands, go to: http://www.parksandlands.com.