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Nor'easter extends winter recreation season for some, ends season for others

Pineland Farms hopes to keep trails open for cross-country skiing and snowshoeing for several more weeks, but at Riverside Golf Course, the season is nearly over.

PORTLAND, Maine — Tuesday was a tale of two storms across Maine.

Parts of the state saw several inches of snow, but other parts only received an inch of heavy, wet snow. A drastic mix of snow totals meant an extension of the winter recreation season for some in the state. For others, though, it signaled a beginning of the season's end.

"You never know what we're going to get. What just don't know what the weather is going to ever do," Matt Sebasteanski, director of outdoor recreation at Pineland Farms, said.

At Pineland in New Gloucester, nor'easter brought about 4 to 5 inches of snow, which was enough to continue grooming Nordic ski trails and keep snowshoe trails open as well.

"It's fantastic, and the snow is wet, so it packs down really well," Sebasteanski said. "It gives us a good base, and we'll be able to ski on this for quite a while." 

Sebasteanski said the lack of snow at the start of winter prevented Pineland from opening their trials later than ever before, but this late snow is welcomed, giving them and their guests some extra time outside.

"Every year seems to be a little different, but we're just making do with what we've got and making the best skiing we can possibly make," Sebasteanski said.

Elsewhere in Maine, however, not enough snow fell Tuesday to allow crews to groom trails for cross-country skiing. 

"Not having the snow this time around kind of is a little bit defeating, as we certainly are moving into spring," Nick Cliche, Portland's recreation director, said. 

"There still is availability on some of the trails. They're just not as impactful as normal, but the ability is still there to get out there," Cliche added. 

It's a similar situation at Smiling Hill Farm, where not enough snow fell to groom trails, according to farm president Hillary Knight.

With signs of spring beginning to show in parts of the state, it means folks at Riverside will soon switch gears to prepare for golf season. 

"They will be knocking down the door here as early as possible to get out here in April," Cliche laughed. 

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