You don’t have to ski or snowboard to enjoy the many perks of being slopeside. At these Maine mountains, there are lots of things for you to do that don’t require a lift ticket.

Exercise nuts can break a sweat without worrying about breaking a leg. Thrill-seeking competitors can enter races of all sorts. Music fans can get their fill of tunes, and foodies can be satiated.

Mallett Brothers fans should flock to Sugarloaf, toboggan enthusiasts should make a plan to hit Camden Snow Bowl and creative types should set their sights on the cardboard races at Pleasant Mountain.

And if you are down with downhill sports? Let these events and activities help you decide when to take your trips this winter – and help convince your ski-averse friends to join you.

Here’s some of what’s happening on Maine ski mountains.



Live music might not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think of taking a ski trip, but there’s plenty to see, and dance along to, slopeside – both in the form of regular performances and whole weekend-long festivals.

On the first weekend in February, Sugarloaf will host its fifth annual Fire on the Mountain Festival, where you’ll hear the music of the Jerry Garcia Band and the Grateful Dead, played by bands from all over the country, including Playing Dead and Angeloper. Venues include the Widowmaker bar and the palatial King Pine Room. Go to for the complete schedule.

Head to the Widowmaker on Feb. 10 to see roots and Americana act The Mallett Brothers Band. Admission is free, but you have to be at least 21.

Whenever you visit the Carrabassett Valley resort, you can catch local singer-songwriters playing Thursday and Saturday afternoons at restaurant 45 North.

At Saddleback Mountain in Rangeley, there’s live music every Friday and Saturday at The Pub.

SnoGo rentals are available at Sugarloaf.



Want to burn some calories in the great outdoors while breathing in the crispest, purest oxygen possible?

There are several activities offered that will send you out in the woods or hurtling down a mountain riding a clever contraption called a SnoGo bike.

SnoGo Ski Bikes, available to rent at Sugarloaf, are something like a seatless bicycle on skis and look like a blast to try. Rentals include a quick lesson so that you know what you’re doing, then you’ll be let loose on the slopes.

Once Hosmer Pond at the Camden Snow Bowl freezes over, you can try out the Jack Williams toboggan chute. Sliding down this thing is a thrilling adrenaline rush.

Most mountains – including Sugarloaf, Camden Snow Bowl, Saddleback and Sunday River in Newry – offer snowshoeing, and it’s a wonderful way to get some serious exercise while weaving in and out of snow-covered forests and other trails.

Tubing enthusiasts should keep an eye on Camden Snow Bowl and Lost Valley, both of which should soon be opening their tubing parks for the season.


Two Peas team members Kristina Patterson of Kennebunk and her sister, Roxanne Doyer, back, of Mechanic Falls get a push during their run at the 31st annual U.S. National Toboggan championships at Camden Snow Bowl. Derek Davis/Staff Photographer


If you’re someone who loves the thrill of competition, you can try your luck racing on all sorts of winter equipment – showshoes, a toboggan, a fat-tire bike and, perhaps most unusual, a cardboard box. Be sure to jump on registration so that you’re literally not left out in the cold.

The Let’s Go Snowshoe Race happens on Sunday at Sugarloaf. All participants receive a drink ticket for the Bull Moose Cafe. There are 2.5- and 5-kilometer options available, and the race has categories for 12 and under, 12-17 and 18 and older. Be sure to register by the end of the day on Saturday. Head to for details.

The U.S. National Toboggan Championships at Camden Snow Bowl is a blast for competitors and spectators alike. It all happens the weekend of Feb. 2. For more information, go to

The Carrabassett Fat Tire Race is on Feb. 11 at Sugarloaf Outdoor Center. There are short- and long-course options and races for kids.

Start saving cardboard boxes, especially if you purchase large appliances, because the annual Cardboard Box Race at Pleasant Mountain in Bridgton is on March 9. Teams of up to four people can register to race their decorated cardboard contraption down the mountain and win prizes for fastest and best dressed. Visit for details.


Patrons sitting at the bar at The Mountain Room. Photo courtesy of Sunday River


There’s nothing wrong with a basic snack bar, but at some mountains, you can get a whole lot more than that, from elevated pub food to craft cocktails and fine dining.

Blizzard’s Pub at Pleasant Mountain has a menu packed with rib-sticking offerings including chicken wings, steak bombs and Maine lobster rolls.

Sugarloaf’s 45 North is open for breakfast, happy hour and dinner. This is the spot for fancier fare along with custom-crafted cocktails. The menu is big on using fresh, locally sourced ingredients. Enjoy a mimosa with your breakfast buffet or an Alpine Maine-Hattan with your fennel roast chicken or coconut curried salmon.

There’s a slew of dining options at or close to Sunday River. The Mountain Room, open Thursday through Sunday, is a restaurant with a menu designed by chef Harding Lee Smith, best know for his “Rooms” restaurants in Portland. Get fancy with pork belly buns, a cured meat board and a grilled cheese sandwich made with goat cheese and bacon jam. The Mountain Room can be found mid-mountain in the Peak Lodge, and you’ll get there by way of a chondola ride.

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