Are you looking to plan a Maine snowmobile adventure? If you’re interested in a fun, winter vacation, look no further than The Maine Highlands! Snowmobiling is a thrilling winter sport. People from all over New England and Canada make their way to this rural, wild area of Maine to ride the impeccably groomed trails. Snowmobiling is a fun family activity or something exciting to do with your friends.
Our northern location means plenty of snow pack for your winter vacation getaway. And with thousands of miles of trails, you can ride for an hour or two…or take a weekend-long trip! It’s a great way to beat cabin fever and do something fun!
Before You Go
Before you head out, make sure you have registered your snowmobile in the State of Maine. Residents and non-residents alike must register, and this can be done online through the Maine Department of Fisheries & Wildlife.
A great time for non-Maine residents to try Maine’s trails is during Free Snowmobile Weekend, which will be held February 1-3, 2019. During this event, riders from outside of Maine (and Canada) can operate their snowmobile in Maine as long as they have a valid registration from another state or province.
You should also look over Maine’s snowmobile laws before hitting the ITS trails. You can find them, as well as other useful local information, on the Maine Snowmobile Association website!
Now that you have your gear and you’re ready to head to The Maine Highlands for a snowmobile adventure…where should you go? We have some suggestions! We’ve put together three different itineraries for trips that will envelop you in the rugged beauty of northern Maine.
Dover-Foxcroft to Greenville Loop
About 105 miles
- Start at the AE Robinson on Route 16 in Dover-Foxcroft. Park and unload!
- Hop on ITS 85N through Monson to Greenville (about 42 miles).
- Stop for lunch at the Stress Free Moose Pub. 65 Pritham Avenue in Greenville. They’re open every day at 11 am.
- After lunch, fuel up! There is not a gas station until you reach Milo.
- The historic B52 Lookout is off of ITS 85 just north of your lunch stop. This is a fun, picturesque side loop. Follow the signs to visit the site of a giant United States Air Force Boeing B-52C Stratofortress on the southern slope of Elephant Mountain.
- Continue on ITS 85N for about 13 miles and hop on the 110 connector trail to Milo/Brownville. Stop into C & J Variety on Park Street for a hot coffee and a snack.
- Turn on to ITS 82W near Milo to take you back to the AE Robinson in Dover-Foxcroft.
Millinocket to Shin Pond Loop OR Shin Pond to Millinocket Loop
About 130 miles
Need to rent a sled? If you’re starting in Millinocket, head to the New England Outdoor Center and they’ll hook you up. Starting from Mt. Chase, head to Shin Pond Village and they’ll take care of you.
- If you have a sled, start in the parking lot at Pamola Lodge in Millinocket.
- Take ITS 85N all the way to Mt. Chase. Have lunch and fuel up at Shin Pond Village.
- Head back south on ITS 81, stopping in Patten to fill your gas tank. Hop on 83W in Stacyville to head back Millinocket.
- Once you’re back, head to Highlands Tavern at Pamola Lodge for a drink to celebrate your day!
About 175 miles
This trail will take you completely around Moosehead Lake. Plan for an all-day trip or rent a cabin for the night along the way. Both Pittston Farm and the Kokadjo Cabins & Trading Post have overnight accommodations.
- Start off in Greenville and op on ITS 86W to Rockwood.
Once in Rockwood you can glide over Moosehead Lake to Mt. Kineo, provided the lake is frozen. Take precaution and check ahead of time. As always, stay on the marked trail.
- Once you’re in Rockwood, get on 88W for a stint, all the while watching for Moosehead Trail (MT) markers.
- Ride north to Pittston Farm, about 31 miles from Rockwood. Here you can fill up your tank and your belly!
- Your next stop is Kokadjo, 60 miles from Pittston Farm. Stop here and fuel up at the Kokadjo Trading Post. Grab a snack at the restaurant before hopping on ITS 85S back to Greenville.
Snowmobiling can be enjoyed by people of all ages. Don’t have a sled? Don’t worry! There are a handful of businesses in our region who will not only rent you a sled, but will take you out on a guided ride. This is the perfect way to try snowmobiling without investing in purchasing your own sled and gear.
Written by Melanie Brooks
Photography by Further North Photography, T.Dow Photography, Bob Hamer, and Melanie Brooks