St. John Valley hosting races, activities this winter

Long-time musher Don Hibbs of Millinocket, Maine waves to the crowd of thousands as his dog team carries him down Main Street in Fort Kent, Maine during the start of the Can-Am Crown 250 Saturday, March 6, 2010. Hibbs won the Can-Am Crown 250 in in 1997, 1999 and 2000 and has consistently done well at the event. (Bangor Daily News/John Clarke Russ)
Long-time musher Don Hibbs of Millinocket, Maine waves to the crowd of thousands as his dog team carries him down Main Street in Fort Kent, Maine during the start of the Can-Am Crown 250 Saturday, March 6, 2010. Hibbs won the Can-Am Crown 250 in in 1997, 1999 and 2000 and has consistently done well at the event. (Bangor Daily News/John Clarke Russ)
Posted Dec. 15, 2010, at 3:11 p.m.
Last modified Jan. 29, 2011, at 12:43 a.m.

The St. John Valley is at the top of the state, and it is high on the list of places you should visit for activities this winter.

Sled dog racing is the highlight of the winter season in much of that region, and the biggest event is the Can-Am Crown International Sled Dog Race in Fort Kent. The 250-mile race will take place on March 5, 2011. Whether two-legged or four-legged, everyone from the mushers to the dogs who pull the sleds to the thousands of people who line Main Street to cheer the teams on at the start of the race have a great time. That same day is the Can-Am Willard Jalbert Memorial 60-miler in Fort Kent and the Pepsi Bottling Can-Am 30, a 30-mile race.

If you don’t want to wait until March to see sled dogs in action, check out the Irving Woodlands-Mad Bomber 100-mile race in Eagle Lake on Jan. 16, 2011. The town will welcome up to 20 sled dog teams from the Northeast and Canada.

If you’d rather see humans race, and for a unique cultural experience, come to the 2011 Biathlon World Cup at the 10th Mountain Lodge in Fort Kent. Tens of thousands of fans will descend on Fort Kent and Presque Isle for seven days of Olympic-level competition. Athletes from 30 countries, more than 35,000 spectators, and members of the international media are expected at the Fort Kent and Presque Isle venues. Both towns embrace visitors, who come to the venues to cheer on the athletes with supportive yelling and the jingling of cowbells.

For those who want to take part in sports instead of watching them, there are many trails open for skiing, snowshoeing, winter hiking and snowmobiling, and there are plenty of sites to skate.

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