By Debra Bell
Weekly Staff Writer
When Matthew Pellerin thinks about winter, his thoughts always turn to cross country skiing. And as the manager of Treworgy Family Orchard’s new cross-country skiing facility in Levant, that’s a good thing.
“My wife and I really enjoy going cross country skiing,” Pellerin said. “I learned at a facility in New Hampshire growing up and loved it. We realized there was a lack of this service in the Bangor area.”
But now, thanks to the purchase of 170 acres of land by Treworgy Family Orchards, more than 6 kilometers of groomed trails less than a half-mile from the orchard welcome cross-country skiers and snowshoers to scenic Maine.
The ski lodge is located behind Union Street Self Storage at 3749 Union St., Levant, less than a half-mile from the orchard. The building is a work in progress, according to Pellerin, but it’s the place to go to rent gear or to warm up after a cold day of skiing the trails.
“This [new venture] fits well with the current business model of the orchard,” Pellerin said. “We want to provide a place for families to enjoy themselves with an outdoor activity.”
The venture is one that has been in the planning for a while, he said. Four years ago the land became available. The next year, Treworgy Family Orchards focused on developing the trail system. Building on that trail system, the business hosted a free one-day ski event to introduce skiers to the trails.
That event culminated in the opening of the cross country trails in 2013.
“Right now we’re grooming 6 kilometers of trail, but want to expand it to 10-15 kilometers,” Pellerin said.
The lodge and rental shop are open and manned on Saturdays from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. and Sundays from 1-4 p.m. The trails are open all week from 9 a.m.-sunset. When the lodge is not open, skiers pay using the self-service box at the trailhead.
“Our major client is the family that wants to learn to ski with kids,” Pellerin said. “We want to focus on beginners, that’s why rentals are so important. All of our equipment is from a former cross-country ski facility in Monson.”
To advance that mission, the cross-country facility offers free ski rentals to first time skiers.
“We’d love to have large groups of kids at once,” Pellerin said.
The trails are right for any level of skier too, he said. Beginners can use 80 percent of the trails, he noted, and trails are groomed for classic cross-country skiing, freestyle skiing, and snowshoeing.
Ticket prices for skiing or snowshoeing are $7 for adults and $5 for children age 12 and younger. Season passes are available for $50 for adults and $40 for children.
Ski and snowshoe rentals are $7 for adults and $5 for children age 12 and younger. Rentals can be arranged during self-service times by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
For information or to view the trail map, visit treworgyorchards.com/cross-country-skiing.