There hasn’t been much opportunity in southern Maine for enjoying typical winter activities, like sledding and snowshoeing, yet this season, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get outside and recreate.

In fact, there’s one place you could make a plan to visit any winter weekend, regardless of precipitation.

In addition to having trails and rental equipment for cross-country skiing and snowshoeing, Pineland Farms in New Gloucester also has a skating pond that isn’t quite as weather-dependent and disc golf courses that accommodate different forecasts. And the various trails that are designated for skiing or snowshoeing when the white stuff falls are still open for hiking and biking when it doesn’t.

Founded in the early 2000s as a nonprofit working farm and recreation area, Pineland Farms has evolved over the years into a winter activities destination. One big addition to Pineland’s offerings this winter is that its outdoor recreation center has moved into the building formerly used by the Pineland YMCA branch. So there’s a lot more room for people to put on their rental skis and snowshoes or take a break in the new lodge area.

Here’s a closer look at what Pineland offers for winter activities, along with a few other Maine places where everyone in the family might have fun, as the forecast varies.

The skating rink is free at Pineland Farms in New Gloucester. Photo by Gretchen Layman



The nice thing about the sledding and skating at Pineland is that they are both free. The skating rink is a flooded area measuring 50 by 100 feet, with lights at night and a fire pit. You have to bring your own skates though. The lights are on until about 9 p.m. daily. You can warm up with hot chocolate at the Pineland Farms Welcome Center and Market.

The sledding hill is near the Pineland creamery and is kept smooth by the same grooming machines used on the ski and bike trails. Plastic tub sleds are available to rent, $5 a day, or bring your own. The hill is open dawn to dusk and people are asked to park in designated parking areas. You can find the skating rink and sledding hill, and other areas at Pineland, by checking out the trail map at

The sledding hill is also free at Pineland Farms. Photo courtesy of Pineland Farms


Pineland Farms has 18 miles of groomed trails for Nordic skiing, snowshoeing and fat-tire biking. You can see where the trails go by checking out the trail map, mentioned above. The cost for cross-country skiing is $20 a day for adults or $15 after 1 p.m., and rentals range from $14 to $24, depending on your age and how long you use them. There are also lessons available.

The cost to snowshoe is $12 a day or $9 after 1 p.m., while biking costs $10 a day. Snowshoe rentals range from $6 to $14 while fat bikes (bikes with fat tires) are $30 for two hours and $10 for each additional hour. You can get more information on skiing, snowshoeing and biking at and can check out trail conditions with the daily trail report.

Trailers with free skiing and snowshoe rentals will be at several Maine state parks in the coming weeks. Photo courtesy of the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation & Forestry



Pineland has two disc golf courses and one of those – The Minuteman – stays open year-round from dawn to dusk. It follows the basic structure of golf, but with a Frisbee. Each hole has a par – the number of throws it should take. You have to end each hole by landing your disc in a basket made of chains and metal. The cost is $5 a round or $8 all day, and you can rent a disc for $1. For more information and a map of the course, go to


The Public Theatre of Lewiston is hosting a “Play in the Snow” night at Lost Valley in Auburn on Jan. 21. The ski area will be open to families from 5:30-9:30 p.m. for skiing, snowboarding and tubing at a discount. The costs are $25 for skiing and snowboarding and $15 per hour for tubing. The money raised will go toward The Public Theatre’s productions, as well as education and outreach programs. There will also be raffles and free hot chocolate. Advance tickets are encouraged and can be purchased at

The tubing hill is open at Seacoast Adventure in Windham. Brianna Soukup/Staff Photographer


Maine’s state parks are great places to enjoy winter outdoors, with many offering cross-country and snowshoe trails or just places for a scenic winter hike. There are parks that offer mountain scenery, like Bradbury Mountain State Park in Pownal. Some, like Camden Hills State Park or Wolfe’s Neck State Park in Freeport are near the ocean. To find a park near you and see what it offers in winter and get other information, go to and click on the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry. You can search by region or activity, like cross-country skiing, dog sledding or snowshoeing.

Most of the parks have an admission fee of between $3 and $6 for Maine residents. But the state’s Bureau of Parks and Lands also has traveling trailers filled with free ski and snowshoe equipment that people can use. The trailers travel around all winter. Currently trailers are scheduled to be at Sebago Lake State Park on Saturday and Sunday, Wolfe’s Neck Woods State Park in Freeport and Camden Hills State Park on Jan. 21 and 22 and Camden Hills State Park and Mount Blue State Park in Weld on Jan. 28 and 29.


Seacoast Adventure in Windham also has a tubing hill, Friday nights through Sundays, school vacation weeks and a few other times. There’s a carpet lift – sort of a conveyor belt for people – to get you to the top with ease. Tickets are $32 per person for a two-hour session. A combo price of $48 will get you one regular tube and one child tube. You can also combine a tubing adventure with dinner out at the Deck House Tavern. For more information, go to

Comments are not available on this story.

filed under: