In Like A Lion…

Good grief! Isn’t this like the best winter ever? I took a minute today to visit the trusty NOAA Snow Depth Map and wasn’t terribly surprised by what I found:

Fantastic!

Fantastic!

And it appears that at least in the near future there is no end in sight. Cold temps (that pesky polar vortex!) continues and again snow is in the forecast the beginning of next week.

By all accounts February vacation week was spectacular statewide and judging from the trail reports that are still coming in daily, most trails statewide are still in great shape even after last weekend’s mini-thaw.

The combination of longer days and great trails is just too good and you need to get out there now and enjoy. If you haven’t been, what the heck are you waiting for? Trails are busy in many of the major areas, but with this kind of snow cover, March will be a great time to get out and explore some of the lesser-used areas of Maine. Try something new and you may be surprised at what you find. Here’s a few suggestions:

Park at Pine Tree SC in Milford and head east on ITS-84. This will bring you into western Hancock and Washington Counties through some beautiful remote areas. About 40 miles from Milford, you connect with ITS-81 where you can decide whether to go north to Lincoln or Springfield, south to Beddington and Cherryfield or continue east on 84 to Grand Lake Stream. Either direction is a great ride, but as I said it is remote, so keep an eye on the gas gauge and top off whenever you come to a pump.

If you want to head north, one of my favorite all-time loops is ITS-92 west from Fort Kent to connect with ITS Connector Trail 120 in Allagash and ride through the Deboullie Unit of Public Lands. 120 ultimately connects with ITS-85 in Eagle Lake to bring you back to Fort Kent.This is about as remote as you can get on the ITS System, and is an area of remarkable beauty. Be prepared to see lots of wildlife, and again, top off the tank in Allagash to avoid a long walk.

It’s been a while since conditions in March have been this good, so take advantage and enjoy some time in the outdoors. I’ll be playing hooky tomorrow as I take a small group of (mostly) inexperienced riders out for a day-long adventure in The Forks Area. We’ll have the GoPro along for full documentation, so hopefully we’ll have some new pics up on the blog next week.

Enjoy yourself and be safe out there.