There’s nothing like a good snowstorm to get Mainers thinking about their favorite winter activities.
And after Wednesday’s snowfall, I’m sure many of you are busily planning your next outdoor excursions.
I’ve put together a brief list of options you may consider. Some are true winter escapes that you’ll be able to take advantage of soon. Others provide a good way to spend some enjoyable winter hours indoors. And one is essential for those looking to spend time in the state’s biggest state park next summer.
Let’s get started.
ä If you’ve always wanted to introduce your kids to ice fishing, but haven’t been sure how to go about it, you’ll want to head to Pickerel Pond outside of Milford on Saturday.
Maine’s Youth Fish & Game Association will hold a family fishing day from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the group’s clubhouse on Stud Mill Road.
MYFGA will drill all the holes and supply bait and equipment. In addition, a lunch of hot dogs, chips and soft drinks will be provided.
I’ve attended several of MYFGA’s family fishing days over the years; these friendly folks really know how to put on a fun event for all ages.
To get to the clubhouse, head out of Milford on County Road. Turn right onto Stud Mill Road. The clubhouse is about three miles out, on the left.
ä If you plan to do some camping at Baxter State Park in 2011, you’ll probably want to plan ahead to gain access to your favorite campsites.
The folks at Baxter State Park will accept reservations on Tuesday; on that day — Jan. 18 — campers can make as many as two reservations for any period during the camping season, which runs from May 15 through Oct. 15.
Campers often camp out in front of Baxter State Park headquarters for the opening of reservations, during which park officials will book up to 20 percent of the campground sites on any single day.
The doors at park headquarters will open at 7 a.m. and reservations will be taken on a first-come, first-served basis.
A day later — Wednesday — Baxter State Park officials will shift to their “rolling reservation” system, with lean-tos, tent sites and cabins becoming available for reservation 120 days before a site is needed.
For more information on how to reserve spots in the park, or to reserve a parking spot for a day hike of Mount Katahdin, go to www.baxterstateparkauthority.com, or call 723-5140.
• Fly tiers who are interested in learning a few new tricks may want to head to Craig Brook National Fish Hatchery in East Orland for a pair of workshops that will be held on successive Saturdays, Feb. 5 and Feb. 12.
Harold Shaw of Penobscot will demonstrate freshwater patterns while Capt. Pete Douvarjo of Sedgwick will teach attendees saltwater patterns.
The workshops are free, but space is limited and advance registration is required. Attendees should bring their own tying equipment; materials will be provided. To learn more or to register, contact Richard Hero at 359-8999 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
• Ice fishing derbies are always popular, and it’s great to see an organization join forces with the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries & Wildlife to help the department reach management goals.
DIF&W biologist Greg Burr said just such a derby will be held Feb. 12-13 for waters in Hancock County. The derby is being sponsored by the DIF&W and G&M Variety of Holden.
Tents will be set up at Jenkins Beach on Green Lake; Prizes will be handed out for the largest and second-largest togue, brook trout, landlocked salmon, bass, white perch and pickerel. Derby organizers will also give an award to the angler whose bag limit (six fish between 14 and 20 inches) of togue weighs the most.
The goal is to provide anglers an incentive to harvest more lake trout, also called togue, from Hancock County lakes where they’ve become overly abundant. Those waters: Branch Lake, Beech Hill Pond, Phillips Lake, Tunk Lake, Jordan Pond and Toddy Pond.
• Finally, a short tease: Keep your eyes peeled on Saturday, when we’ll unveil a new contest that we’re really excited about.
I won’t spill the details yet — we want to make a big splash in Saturday’s BDN — but will tell you that ice anglers who are proud of their on-the-water accommodations will want to check in to learn more.
What I will tell you is that our sponsor for the contest is Old Town Trading Post … and if you’re looking for a way to stock up on hundreds of dollars of outdoor gear, this contest is for you.