AROOSTOOK COUNTY — The snowmobile season in Aroostook County is not just hanging on, it is thriving with a historically deep snowpack for this time of year.
Conversation at the latest Aroostook County Tourism (ACT) meeting highlighted how impressive the spring snowmobiling is in northern Maine.
ACT Chairman Jim Bennett said, so far this season he has put about 2,200 miles on his snowmobile and with continued cool temperatures expects to put on more miles.
“The last few weeks have been the best riding anytime in the last couple of years,” he said. “The trails continue to be in great shape.”
ACT Board member Kathy Mazzuchelli is a noted expert on the trail system in Aroostook County and provides the weekly snowmobile trail report for the region. She said groomers are still hard at work keeping the trails in excellent condition. The first line in her weekly report sums up her enthusiasm, “Come up, the trails are awesome!”
“The 2013-14 snowmobile season has been incredible, we have had consistent trail conditions all winter despite some pretty significant reroutes which had to be completed during the actual sledding season and some pretty significant equipment failures,” said Mazzuchelli. “All projects have made a concerted effort to groom later this season to accommodate sledders despite the fact that all projects have currently exceeded their respective grant allocations. This dedication by a primarily volunteer labor force benefits businesses all across The County. I have met many people that return annually because they know the conditions are always good and they love the people and have also talked with folks who experienced Aroostook County’s trails for the first time this season and have already made plans to return.”
Kevin Simmons, owner of the Caribou Inn and Convention Center and Presque Isle Inn and Convention Center, is seeing a boost in business thanks to the unusual spring conditions.
“The cold weather that we have been getting, will only keep the snow pack we have nice and firm,” he said. The ice on the lakes is still thick and hard. If we receive a slow warm we should see amazing ridding into mid – late April.”
Simmons said feedback from guests has been extremely positive.
“We have customers that have been traveling up in the late evening hours, over eight hour drives, on Thursday nights so they can ride all weekend,” he added. “They have been riding the county trails for years and the present riding is amazing. Spring riding in The County when available, is unbelievable because with so many miles of trails you are like the only one out there and the sights are amazing.”
According to the National Weather Service office in Caribou, on March 23 the snowpack in Caribou was 36 inches. It had not been that deep on March 23 since 1963.
Aroostook County boasts more than 2,200 miles of trails and national snowmobiling magazines routinely rank the trail system in northern Maine as a top ten destination in North America.
Aroostook County Tourism (ACT) is dedicated to improving the economy of northern Maine through its tourism efforts. Working under the brand Aroostook “the Crown of Maine”, ACT promotes some of the regions greatest assets like its pristine beauty, diverse culture, storied history and wonderful people to potential visitors from around the world. Funding for ACT is provided in part through funding from the Maine Office of Tourism and Northern Maine Development Commission.
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