GREENVILLE, Maine — While much of the state is cursing the recent winter storms, people in the Greenville area welcome the snow.
“It’s been like the late ’90s as far as this much natural snow on the ground before January,” said Amy Lane, president of Friends of Squaw Mountain, which operates Big Squaw Mountain Ski Resort on Big Moose Mountain.
Lane said approximately two feet of natural snow is on the mountain. Friday marked the fifth day the ski resort has been open. All 14 trails are groomed and open. Although some new trails were added for this season, the upper lift is still not in use.
“It’s been a pretty incredible start. We couldn’t be more pleased,” said Lane, adding that 197 skiers were on the mountain on Friday.
An option for racers opens this weekend, she said. A portable shelter for the racers was unveiled on Friday. It was donated by friends at the Birches Resort in Rockwood in memory of Tunney King Jr., an avid skier at the mountain who died earlier this year, said Lane.
Racing will be open to mostly students, but adults as well.
Saturday marks the 50th anniversary of the opening of the resort, said Lane.
Starting at 2 p.m. on Saturday, skiing will be free. There will be a party, a live band and fireworks at sundown, said Lane.
“It’s a way to say thank you to the people who helped pull this off,” said Lane. Earlier this year, people donated money, supplies and time to restore the resort, lift and trails after years of neglect.
The mountain is open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. until January 6, when it will be open Wednesdays through Sundays.
Snowmobile registrations are constantly coming in, according to the Greenville town office. Next week will likely see a flurry of registrations from ice fishermen, said Cindy Hanscom, the town’s bookkeeper.
“It’s been a number of years since we’ve had substantial snow to actually snowmobile,” said Hanscom. “They come in and get their registrations real quick and then they’re out the door.”
More snow is forecast for Sunday evening.
Lane, whose husband, Steve, is the trailmaster of the Blue Ridge Riders Snowmobile Club based in Rockwood, said most of the trails are groomed.
“Almost all the trails are open up here,” said Amy Lane. “There’s very little traffic. It’s incredible riding.”
For those seeking winter activities outside of snowmobiling and downhill skiing, Lily Bay State Park in Beaver Cove is open for the winter season. The park is open to camping, snowshoeing, cross country skiing and ice fishing.