Winter is another incredible season in Maine, where the lakes, mountains and forests we love transform into another world. In a year where we have had to make many changes, adjustments and straight-up cancellations in our lives, this winter is another opportunity to try something new.

Fat Biking

If you’ve been wondering where those big-wheeled bikes came from, fat bikes were developed in the late 1980s by riders looking for extra grip in the deserts of the U.S.-Mexican border and the snows of Alaska. Double-wide tire bicycles retail in the same range as standard ones though you can rent them at outdoor centers and sports outfitters across the state. Some recommended beginner trails are at Pineland Farms in New Gloucester, Bethel Village Trails and Lost Valley Ski Area in Auburn.

Night Skiing

Ever skied down a mountain in the pale moonlight? New Englanders don’t let a 4:30 p.m. sunset stop the ski runs for the day. Most Maine resorts have at least a few trails with lighting for night skiing and most of them will be opening this year, including the revitalized Saddleback resort in Rangeley. That cup of hot cocoa will taste extra hot when you get back home.

Ice Fishing

The ice fishing season runs from January 1 to March 31. The state has okayed ice fishing derbies this season, though the festival-like energy might be toned down this year. Newcomers to the sport can hire a Registered Maine Guide for a day or weekend trip and, for the most part, simply show up in warm clothes. Many Maine Guides are independent operators and have a small web presence. Go to or to browse directories.

Dog Sledding

Like ice fishing, newcomers are best off hiring a guide,  stoking their sense of adventure and wearing plenty of layers. Mahoosuc Guide Service, based in Newry, will be offering all-inclusive dog-sledding and snowshoeing trips in Maine, New Hampshire and Canada, including an April excursion to Nunavik, Quebec, where mushers will travel with an Inuk guide, ice fish for char and hopefully see musk oxen.

Hiking, snow shoeing and cross-country skiing

Ice spikes that slip over boots are relatively inexpensive and very effective when the trails glaze over. After a storm, Nordic skis and snowshoes work just as well on the Portland trails as they do in the mountains. The Appalachian Mountain Club offers a few winter hiking activities and workshops. There’s still time to register for their full moon rise hike at Bradbury Mountain on Dec. 30.

Yurt Camping

Does all of this sound like a lot of activity to you? Then camping out with a good book in a well-appointed, woodstove-heated yurt might be your kind of winter staycation. Maine Forest Yurts in Durham and Frost Mountain Yurts in Brownfield are two campgrounds that are open this year. Both properties have ski and snowshoe trails, along with other nearby winter activities.

Comments are not available on this story.