Part V: If you’re into snowmobiling, then you owe it to yourself to visit the trails in northern Maine this winter.
Brought to you by the Inn of Acadia
Whether you’re into casual riding or more hardcore, extreme adventure, northern Maine’s more than 2,300 miles of trails can lead you where you want to go. Some of the state’s most active snowmobile clubs take their missions very seriously to ensure local riders and visitors alike have a top notch experience while riding on impeccably groomed trails – often far more like glorious snow highways than narrow, windy pathways one might find in other regions.
Snowmobiling is an industry in the St. John Valley, and local businesses cater to snowmobilers throughout the winter. In fact, pull up to just about any restaurant in the region – they all have well-marked trails leading to them – and, whether you’re a single rider or a larger group, you’ll find an accommodating designated parking area for your sleds, warm places to store your helmets and other riding gear near the entrance, and a scrumptious selection of food and spirits.
Each town in the St. John Valley has great snowmobile-friendly eating establishments so you can plan your route and rest assured that great food is available served at all times by friendly individuals. Finish off your day’s riding by staying with us at the Inn and sampling something off our menu while enjoying a tasty beverage in our Voyageur Lounge.
Trail markers and trailside maps make it easy to explore the region. There are plenty of gas stations, many that offer parts such as spark plugs or belts – just in case. If you want to get away from it all, then you may decide to take the Heritage Trail (ITS 92) west towards the great and vast North Maine Woods, but part of the beauty of the trails in the St. John Valley is because there are so many miles of snowmobile highways, you never really have to go far to appreciate seclusion. Sure, you’re very likely to meet up with other riders on the trails from time to time, but you can also ride for miles without seeing another soul. Even when you do happen upon others, the trails are more than wide enough for passing comfortably – even with direction-divided sections in some areas.
Of course, we want you to stay with us here at the Inn of Acadia, but there are plenty of housing options, ranging from trailside cottages and lodge-style accommodations to more traditional hotel settings, to meet the needs of the most discerning travelers to the St. John Valley.
Maybe it’s the serenity of the scenic river valley that just puts people at ease, but snowmobilers in the St. John Valley are a courteous bunch, almost religiously practicing adhering to speed limits, riding on the right and using hand signals for safety. If, for some unknown reason, you do happen to wander off trail, then rest assured, the next person along will stop and help. The local fire and rescue departments are equipped with special gear and trained to respond to trail incidents, adding another layer of comfort and reassurance to your trip.
While you’re on the trails, you may find yourself in a tall stand of pines, or opening up the throttle on the wide-open lakes or potato fields throughout the region. You will likely spend some time riding along the power lines, and you will certainly happen upon some scenic overlooks where the view is bound to take your breath away. If you’re lucky, you may even have an opportunity to view some of the local wildlife. Moose, deer, coyotes, lynx and a variety of smaller critters are common sights in the St. John Valley – so you may want to bring your camera along. Oh, and while you’re out there, be sure to be on the lookout for flamingos in Grand Isle.
You can find trail maps at nearly every business establishment in the Valley. If you’re interested in more information about trail conditions, club sponsored event, or maybe you’d like to join a local club for a club ride or to help out with trail maintenance, then here are links (where available) to snowmobile clubs in the St. John Valley. Happy riding!