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Taking advantage of Maine's outdoors this winter

Jennifer Hazard is the author of, "The Maine Play Book." She compiled a list of outdoor activities to try in Maine this winter.

PORTLAND, Maine — 1. Rent a snow globe & skate at Pineland Farms

Pineland Farms in New Gloucester is currently renting snow globes that seat up to 6 people for $20/hour (includes table, chairs, and small space heater). Order food ahead at the market, bring a board game or cards, and enjoy this unique opportunity!

In addition, Pineland has added a new 50’ x 100’ skating rink this year that accommodates up to 22 people. BYO skates to make an afternoon of fun!

Rental information or phone 207-688-4539. You can reserve up to a day in advance.

2. Access free & discounted opportunities via Teens to Trails

Teens to Trails is a non-profit organization in Brunswick that supports Maine High School outing clubs through grants, programming support and gear donations. Their website now includes an interactive map of free and discounted seasonal opportunities for students and families throughout the state.

For example, Black Mountain in Rumford is currently offering free snowshoeing and cross-country skiing on Fridays 9-4 p.m. through March 26.

Teens to Trails interactive map here.

3. Take advantage of your local land trust properties or explore outside of your town

For example, my family recently took a weekend road trip to Belfast and walked the Passy Rail Trail, which is part of the Coastal Mountains Land Trust.  The trail was once a corridor for the Belfast & Moosehead Lake Railroad that ran from 1871-2007.

The trail is a little over two miles out and back each way, and is wheelchair accessible. You can choose to start or end in town. We opted to begin at the City Point RR Museum where there are historic railroad cars, cabooses and a steam engine, and walked to the Armistice Footbridge in downtown Belfast.

To find a land trust property to explore near you, visit Maine Land Trust Network.

RELATED: Be a tourist in your own backyard

4. Experience a winter weekend yurt stay at Maine Forest Yurts.

Maine Forest Yurts in Durham is owned by Survivor winner Bob Crowley and his wife Peggy. BYO food and sleeping bags and plan a night or two in a cozy yurt. There’s a wood stove, full kitchen, bunk beds and futons. You can bring snowshoes to explore the property or skates to glide on Runaround Pond. Dogs are welcome, too.

To learn more, visit Maine Forest Yurts

5. Take a Moonlit Stroll on Scarborough Marsh

The Eastern Trail Alliance is hosting two upcoming full moon walks at the Scarborough Marsh (January 29 and February 27). Bundle up and plan on walking for about an hour. It’s incredible to see the moonrise over the marsh. The walks typically begin early evening (between 4:30-5:30) and last for an hour.

Registration is free. To register, visit Eastern Trail Alliance or call  207-284-9260.

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