For a long time, people would always ask: “What is there to do in the winter in Maine?” But the secret is out: Plenty! We are blessed with abundant terrain that’s excellent for skiing, backcountry hiking, sledding, ice skating, snowshoeing, wind-surfing, ice fishing — and that’s just the outdoors!

Let’s take you through some of the best activities to experience as a family if you want to make a winter visit to the Midcoast.

The Camden Snow Bowl

With nearly 1,000 feet of vertical elevation, this is a family-friendly ski hill with several black diamond runs for the experienced skier, plus easier trails for kids, teens, and senior skiers and snowboarders. But this little gem in the heart of Camden has so much more. There are backcountry snowshoe trails, Hosmer Pond for ice skating, the famed Toboggan Chute (perfect for single runs and the focal point of the annual U.S. National Toboggan Championships) and a brand new tubing hill for little and big kids alike.

The Midcoast Rec Center

If indoor activities are more your speed in the winter, The Midcoast Rec Center (aka MRC) in Rockport offers indoor public ice skating for beginners to advanced, as well as public hockey sessions with affordable skate rentals. Bring a group and enjoy a round of tennis, golf simulation or pickleball, the hottest racket sport that’s half the exertion of tennis. Get more information.

Cross-Country & Nordic Skiing and Snowshoeing

Sometimes the best outdoor thrills come from no-adrenaline activities. The Midcoast has plenty of serene, quiet, snow-covered trails for you to explore on foot from Camden Hills State Park’s easy trails (such as the Nature Trail or Shoreline Trail) to the new Wellness Trail at Erickson Fields Preserve in Rockport, a 1.4-mile flat trail that loops through fields and forests. Maine Sport Outfitters is the place to get winter rentals, and also offers ice skating outside its Rockport store.

Ice Climbing

If you’ve ever driven Route 52 and looked at the cliffs on the right just before Megunticook Lake, you might have seen rock climbers with their top ropes scaling the mountain. In the wintertime, many of those same routes are covered with ice. Described as quiet and meditative, ice climbing is literally like stepping on stairs of ice and walking up slowly. Equinox Guiding Service offers an “Intro To Ice Climbing” course in the Camden Hills State Park. Here’s a local story on how it works.

After enjoying the Midcoast’s winter amenities, come back next summer for the 75th Maine Lobster Festival! Mark Aug. 3-7, 2022 in your calendar and join us for one of the best — and most delicious — summer activities.