Don’t want to downhill ski for your Maine winter vacation?
There is plenty of Maine winter vacation fun in Camden for non-skiers. I personally love to ski at the Camden Snow Bowl, but my husband, Jesse, never skied, and he never will. Here are some non-ski ideas that keep Jesse Sr. busy during the Camden Maine winter.
Get outdoors in the winter:
Cross-country skiing and snowshoeing – Camden Snow Bowl, Camden State Park and Tangelwood in Lincolville offer a wide range of peaceful quiet trails. Or, you can leave it all behind on a pair of lightweight snowshoes and head out to Merryspring Park in Camden.
Sledding/Tobogganing/Tubing – When the snow finally comes there are some really great sledding hills. The hill in Camden Harbor Park, across from the Camden Public Library, is a favorite with the local kids. Watch out for the drop into the cold waters of the Camden harbor. The Parks Department always puts hay bails up at the end of the hill to prevent an unexpected dip in the ocean. The next level of sledding is definitely Tobogganing. The Camden Snow Bowl has a Toboggan chute. Bring your wooden sled or rent one from the facility. Each year thousands descend upon the small village of Camden for the Toboggan Nationals. Toboggan Nationals is a fun race that encourages silly costumes and winter fun. If you’re not ready to drop from zero to 30mph on the Toboggan chute and want something a bit slower, the tubing hill is right next to the Toboggan chute. You can rent a tube and slide down the hill all day long.
Go Ice Skating – There is a wonderful community center in Rockport Maine that has free-skate everyday in the afternoon. You can rent skates or bring your own. The Mid Coast Recreational Center is a favorite winter spot for kids and adults.
Camden WinterFest – Speaking of ice, the Camden Public Library hosts the annual Camden WinterFest. Teams craft ice sculptures that create a winter ice garden in the National Historic Landmark of the Camden Amphitheatre. There is music and Maine winter vacation fun for all ages.
Ice Climbing Experience – Experience waterfall ice climbing You will gain confidence, knowledge and a proper foundation of skills for climbing frozen waterfalls. You will learn to read the ice and begin to understand its many textures and strengths. Also, you will become familiar with the use of crampons, technical ice tools and basic rope skills such as knots, belaying and rappelling. If you a rock climber and already familiar with some of these skills we will move on to more detailed skills. You may have hiked Camden Hills in the summer, now try climbing the Camden Hills ice in the winter: http://www.acadiamountainguides.com/instruction/course_descriptions/ice_climbing.html
Winter Hiking – aren’t brave enough to climb the ice of the mountain, but want to get to the top anyway? Winter hikes are wonderful. Bring extra gloves, a GPS and snacks. I love to hike to the top of Maiden’s Cliff in the State Park. The view form Maiden’s Cliff is of the lake. Winter lake activities are wonderful to watch from a bird’s eye view. Ice fishing, cross-country skiing, ice skating, and ice hockey. The Town of Camden puts a big star on the top of the Lookout Tower on Mt. Battie. It is fun to hike up to the top and watch them light it every night between Thanksgiving and New Years.
Want the outdoors, but at a slower pace?
Try Ice Fishing – Start by visiting Hosmer Pond at the base of Ragged Mountain near the Camden Snow Bowl. You can walk on the ice and look for people ice fishing.
Visit a Sugarhouse – In late winter (March), the sap starts running and the sweet smell of maple fills the air. Maine Maple Sunday is in late March. http://www.mainemapleproducers.com/index.asp
Visit the Ice Bar at the Samoset resort. Master Carver, Tim Pierce, creates an outdoor ice bar that is the hottest place in MidCoast Maine.
HOPE ELEPHANTS: Yes there are Elephants in Maine. Take a wonderful drive to the little town of Hope Maine and visit the Opal and Rosie. Rosie and Opal were brought to Maine for rehab and love. Trust me if you visit this unique Maine experience – your heart will be warmed. http://hopeelephants.org/ The elephants can be seen throwing snow balls at each other. The enjoy the snow as much as we do!
Try the Spa – Camden has a plethora of spa services available. You can get a massage at a spa or at one of the lovely Bed and Breakfasts in Camden.
Catch a Concert – Camden Opera House always has some fun entertainment going on. Right in the downtown, near lots of restaurants. Stroll downtown from the Best Maine B&B to a winter dinner and concert.
Tour a Winery – Cellardoor Winery is open all winter. Come and see the beautiful tasting room in Lincolnville Maine. In addition to Cellardoor, there breweries and distilleries in the area. Click here for a great spirits touring map.
Browse the Antiques and Consignment shops– The Camden Merchants Co-op is constantly changing with unique antiques and home furnishings.
Camden downtown has 2 women’s clothing consignment shops and one child’s clothing consignment shop. Look for those treasurers at great prices.
Yoga – Camden Maine is the epicenter for all things Yoga. There are more yoga studios in Camden Maine then there are dentists. Add a yoga class to everyday of your Maine winter vacation. The beautiful natural settings encourage most to stop and meditate for a minute. Breathing in the fresh air of Camden and focusing in on nature is truly invigorating. I love in the summer when Colleen Duggan hosts a series of yoga classes on the lawn of the Camden Yacht Club.