AUGUSTA — Winter school vacation week (Feb. 21-25) will feature four events presented by the Maine Bureau of Parks and Lands (BPL), under the Maine Department of Conservation, taking place all around the state.
A children’s ice-fishing derby, two Winter Family Fun Days held at both ends of the state, and a snowshoe hike at one of Maine’s newest state parks offer a variety of opportunities to be outdoors and have fun, BPL officials say.
“This coming winter school vacation week is packed with activities for children and families at our beautiful Maine state parks,” Will Harris, BPL director, said. “With four big events going on, it will be a terrific way to shake off cabin fever and enjoy the great outdoors. I predict that lots of people will be having lots of fun this week!”
The four events are part of BPL’s continuing “Take It Outside” program, designed to encourage children and families to enjoy the outdoors and to improve their health and well-being. More than 1,500 people already have taken part in four earlier events this year, according to BPL officials.
The details of next week’s events are:
Winter Family Fun Day, 10 a.m-3 pm., Wednesday, Feb. 23, Fort McClary State Historic Site, Kittery; outdoor games, snowshoeing, ice skating, maple sugaring, nature walks, tree identification, fort history, winter survival demonstration, animal tracking, bonfire; hot lunch provided; adults, 12-64, $1.50; all others free; for more information, call 207-384-5160.
Range Ponds Kids Ice Fishing Derby, sponsored by Kittery Trading Post, 9 a.m.- noon, Friday, Feb. 25, Range Ponds State Park, Poland Spring; part of the Sebago Lake Rotary Derbyfest and Statewide Derby; limited to children ages 12 and under; registration for this derby is free although there is $1.50 park admission fee for adults ages 12-64, free admission for all others; run in cooperation with the “Hooked on Fishing” program and the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife. The first 500 children to register for the derby will receive a free ice-fishing rig, compliments of Kittery Trading Post. For more information on the event and registration, go to: http://www.icefishingderby.com/maine/kids-derby/
Winter Family Fun Day, 10 a.m.-3 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 26, Aroostook State Park, “Maine’s First State Park,” Presque Isle; cross-country skiing, snowshoeing (instruction provided), ice skating, sledding, snowmobile tote rides, guided nature interpretation walks; dog-sled rides, $2 donation; hot lunch provided; adults, 12-64, $1.50; all others free; for more information, call 207-768-8341.
Riverlands Winter Greens Snowshoe Hike, 10 a.m.-1 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 26, Androscoggin Riverlands State Park, Turner; presented by Mike Auger, Androscoggin Land Trust; participants will learn how to identify trees and shrubs and learn how they provide food and shelter for the animals in the park; a 2.6-mile loop; children’s educational program; includes visit to hike sponsor, Nezincot Farm, a historic organic farm, and store, in Turner; some snowshoes available, please call ahead to reserve; refreshments; for more information or for groups interested in attending, contact Laura Keating at (207) 557-0352 or firstname.lastname@example.org
For more information on activities at Maine’s 48 state parks and historic sites, go to: http://take-it-outside.com/
For more information about Maine state parks and historic sites, go to: http://www.parksandlands.com