Slide into winter at these outdoor activity hubs

The next time you and your family can’t decide whether to go sledding, skating, skiing, or snowshoeing on a winter day, don’t worry.

You don’t have to decide. Just head to a one-stop winter fun place like Pineland Farms in New Gloucester.

Established in the early 2000s as a non-profit farm and recreation area, Pineland Farms has evolved over the years into a destination for winter activities, offering free ice skating, sledding and landscaped cross-country skiing. Ski, fat bike, and snowshoe trails are offered (surcharge). Even disc golf. Rental equipment is also available, so it is recommended for first-timers.

One of the big additions to winter recreation in Pineland this year is the move of the Outdoor Recreation Center to the building previously used by the Pineland YMCA Chapter. So in the new lodge area where Y’s Pool was, there’s more space to take a break with rental skis and snowshoes.

Here’s a little closer look at the winter activities Pinelands has to offer. Here are some other Maine locations that the whole family will enjoy. The winter has been pretty snow-free so far, so call or check the website before heading out to your favorite winter sports destination.

New Gloucester’s Pineland Farm offers free access to the skating rink. Photo by Gretchen Layman

down the hill, across the pond

The good thing about sledding and skating in Pineland is that both are free. The skating rink is a 50 x 100 foot flooded area that is lit at night and has a fire pit. However, you must bring your own skates. The lights are on every day until around 9pm. Warm up with hot chocolate at the Pineland Farms Welcome Center and Market.

The sled hill is located near the Pineland dairy and is kept smooth by the same grooming machines used on the ski and bike trails. Plastic sleds can be rented for $5 a day. The hill is open from dawn to dusk and guests are asked to park in designated parking lots. Check out the trail maps at to find skating rinks, sledding hills and other areas of Pineland.

The sled slide is also free at Pineland Farm. Photo courtesy of Pineland Farms

bikes, skis, shoes

Pineland Farms has 18 miles of groomed trails for Nordic skiing, snowshoeing and fat tire biking. You can see where the trails go by checking out the trail map above, and cross-country skiing costs $20 for an adult for his day and $15 for him after 1pm. Rental fees range from $14 to $24, depending on age and length of use. We also offer lessons.

Snowshoeing is $12 a day, $9 after 1pm, and biking is $10 a day. Snowshoe rentals range from $6 to $14, while fat bikes are $30 for 2 hours and $10 for each additional hour. For more information on skiing, snowshoeing and biking, visit You can also check the status of your trails with the daily trail report.

Trailers with free ski and snowshoe rentals will be set up at several Maine State Parks in the coming weeks. Photo courtesy of the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry

golf without greens

Pineland has two disc golf courses, one of which, The Minuteman, is open from dawn to dusk, seven days a week. It follows the basic structure of golf, but uses a frisbee. Each hole has a par. This is the number of throws you want. Each hole must be completed by landing the disc on a disc catching contraption made of chains and metal. It costs $5 a round or $8 a day, and you can rent discs for $1. For more information and course maps, visit

family night

Lewiston’s Public Theater will host an evening of “Play in the Snow” in Auburn’s Lost Valley on January 21st. discount. Costs are $25 for skis and snowboards and $15 per hour for tubing. Funds raised will be used for public theater productions, education and outreach programs. As for the lottery and free gift of hot chocolate. Advance tickets are encouraged and available at

Tubing Hill is now open at Wyndham’s Seacoast Adventures. Brianna Soukup/Staff Photographer

great park and free gear

Maine’s state parks are great places to enjoy the outdoors in winter. Many parks offer cross-country and snowshoe trails or scenic winter hikes. There are parks with mountain views, like Bradbury Mountain State Park in Pownal. Some parks are near the ocean, like Camden Hills State Park and Wolf’s Neck State Park in Freeport. To find a park near you, see what it has to offer in winter, or for more information, visit and click Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry please. You can search by region and activity, such as cross-country skiing, dog sledding, and snowshoeing.

For Maine residents, admission to most parks is $3 to $6. But the state’s Department of Parks and Land also has travel trailers full of free ski and snowshoe equipment for people to use. Currently, the trailer is in Sebago Lake State Park on Saturday and Sunday, Wolf’s Neck Woods State Park and Camden Hills State Park in Freeport on January 21 and 22, and Camden Hills State Park and Mount Blue State in Weld on January 28. It will be installed in the park. and 29.

more tubes

Wyndham’s Seacoast Adventure also has a tubing hill and runs Friday nights through Sundays, school holidays and several other times. There is a carpet lift. It’s like a conveyor belt that takes you to the top easily. Tickets are $32 per person for a two hour session. For the combo price of $48, you get 1 regular tube and 1 child tube. You can even combine your tubing adventure with dinner at Deck House Tavern. For more information, visit

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