But a winter vacation in Maine is perfect way to experience the state’s beauty in a whole new way. Opportunities abound for skiing, snowboarding, snowshoeing, skating, hiking and even fishing during the winter. The ocean views in Midcoast Maine are just as stunning in winter as during any other season.
Yes, it’s cold, and yes, there’s plenty of snow. The average annual snowfall in Maine is 50 inches, but the coast rarely has more than 15 or 20 days a year with an inch of snowfall or more (aside from occasional Nor’easter, which can drop 10 inches or more). January is usually the snowiest month. Along the coast, the ocean moderates cold temperatures.
The Hidden Valley Nature Center, about 11 miles north of the Newcastle Inn, is beautiful place to explore during a winter vacation in Maine. More than 20 miles of ski trails weave through the center’s grounds. Some of the trails are lightly groomed during the winter to ensure the best cross-country skiing in Midcoast Maine. You can rent snowshoes at the center, and if you’ve got your hiking boots, the trails are open for walking, too.
The Camden Snow Bowl Ski Area is a community-owned recreation area near Camden, Maine, about 30 miles north and east of the inn. From the 1,300-foot summit of Ragged Mountain, skiers can see the Atlantic Ocean. In addition to alpine skiing and snowboarding, visitors to the Snow Bowl can use the snow-tubing slope, ride the 400-foot toboggan chute and ice skate on Hosmer Pond.
The ski area is being renovated before the start of the 2014 season. The project includes improvements to ski trails and lifts and new snowmaking equipment. The ski trails are groomed daily.
The Snow Bowl is typically open for skiing Wednesday to Friday 10 a.m. until 8 p.m., Saturday, Sunday, holidays and local school vacation days until 4 p.m. It’s closed Mondays and Tuesdays (except for holidays and vacation weeks).
Another benefit to a winter vacation in Maine is lower, off-season rates at the Newcastle Inn. Room rates are at their lowest from Nov. 1 through March 31, and if you book two nights, you can save 10 percent off the posted rate each night. If you book three or more nights, the discount goes to 15 percent a night. Some dates are excluded from the special: Nov. 25-30; Dec. 23, 2014 to Jan. 1, 2015, and Feb. 13-16, 2015. Check room availability and make reservations.