We spent Thanksgiving with my side of the family in Millinocket, Maine, where I was fortunate to grown up. Since we are having more snow than normal this time of year we were anxious to get our cross country skis out. The day after Thanksgiving is REI’s #OptOutside Day, since I was finally not working this year I could participate in the “holiday.”
Since the Katahdin Region provides a host of trails and opportunities to cross country ski it was difficulty to figure out where we wanted to go and which ones would be groomed. With the help of someone my friends through social media I learned that the Katahdin Area Trails at New England Outdoors Center on Millinocket Lake were recently groomed so my husband, daughter and I decided to check them out.
Located about ten miles north of Millinocket off the Black Cat Road is New England Outdoors Center which offers an array of outdoor activities throughout the year. The have recently added a trail system that is open to cross country skiers in the snowy months.
There is parking lot across the street from the Lodge with a sign and map to mark the start of the trail system. You can also go inside the Lodge and get a copy to take with you. Rentals are available if needed. I also saw someone giving lessons.
With it being the beginning of the snow season there were only a few trails open, it was plenty for what we wanted to do. I wanted to do the Katahdin View loop as I heard the views were amazing from that trail, but it looked a little too difficult for our nine year old daughter and the trail was not groomed. Instead we did part of the Twin Pines Loop to the Lake Side Trail Loop.
The trails are very well groomed. There are no set classic cross country ski tracks, I am not sure if that changes as the season goes on. We did not have any trouble and we able to get a nice glide throughout the trails. The trails that we took provide some glimpses of Mt. Katahdin as well as some beautify forest scenery.
The two trails that we took were marked as easy, but I would classify them more as moderate as there were some fairly steep hills with turns on them. A couple of them my daughter had to walk down. I was able to do them, but with some challenge, luckily I did not fall.
The loop we did was a little under four miles. I really enjoyed the ski. The trails were well marked with maps at every intersection. The best part is the trails were free. I would absolutely ski these trails again and recommend others check them out while they are in the area.
After the ski you can either grab some delicious food at the restaurant or walk down to the lake to enjoy the beautiful view. of Mt. Katahdin.