A group of people snowshoe at Harris Farm in Dayton on Friday, Jan. 24. Trisha Domenie photo

Winter is officially half over. It can be hard to find ways to stay active outdoors during the winter, especially living in a city. If the winter blues has you feeling stuck inside, take a look at some of these fun, outdoor activities that are right out your front door. Take on the second half of winter with a renewed sense of adventure with skiing, snowshoeing, hiking, walking, sledding, or even fat-tire bike riding.

About a half-mile from Biddeford’s downtown is Clifford Park on Pool Street. With 22 miles of trails, there is plenty of space to roam and explore. By snowshoe or cross-country skis, a visitor can enjoy the trails no matter how deep the snow. When the trails have been packed down, they can be accessed with boots alone. This area can also be accessed with fat-tire bikes.

For another in-town option, head to Rotary Park across town on Main Street. Though this park does not offer the same extensive trail system as Clifford park, it has its own winter assets. Visitors can enjoy the park with their four-legged friends at the fenced-in dog park or bring along a sled to enjoy one of the best hills around.

Biddeford and Saco both boast beautiful sections of the Eastern Trail — in Biddeford, access the wide, flat trail behind Southern Maine Health Care. Follow the signs through the hospital parking lot to the trail entrance. From here, walk, ski, snowshow, or take a fat-tire bike all the way to Kennebunk in a winter wonderland of snowy woods. In Saco, the trail can be picked-up by the 195 on-ramp on Route 1. Travel all the way through Scarborough on the trail, going through forest, marshes, and fields.

Other nearby places to take to the trails are East Point Sanctuary and Rachel Carson Trail. These are both short trails closer to the ocean. East Point Sanctuary is a favorite for catching a sunrise over the ocean. The Saco Bay Trails website offers some information on some short trails (most less than two miles) that are perfect for skiing and snowshoeing this winter.

If you are looking for a bigger adventure, just outside of town you can find Harris Farm in Dayton for some of the best cross country skiing and snowshoeing in southern Maine. A group of travelers from out of state were found going for a ski on a sunny Friday this January.


“I drove all the way from New York to ski here!” exclaimed one member of the group.

In addition to the many travelers, there were a number of season pass holders and locals out on the trails. One couple from Kittery Point told of their experience at Harris Farm: “We first started skiing here 22 years ago. It is wonderful exercise and this place has a great aura — you can smell cows, hear moose. We love it!”

Now run by three generations of the Harris family, Bill, Clint, and Jake share in the duties together. They rent all of the gear you need for skiing and snowshoeing, and they recently introduced fat-tire bike rentals with much success. “When the conditions are right, it’s great. You need a hard crust for the fat-tires or they just fall through the snow,” Clint Harris said. Bill Harris, who has been at Harris farm for 75 years, says that there have been a lot of visitors this season and they hope winter doesn’t go away too soon so everyone can keep enjoying the trails.

Other great places to check out this winter, include Smith Preserve and Ferry Beach and the OOB Country Club allows snowshoeing when the conditions are right.

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