Looking to get a little more from your Maine snowmobile trip than just some trail riding? Here are just a few of our favorite Maine Snowmobile Events and Attractions.
How about a sled-in cookout or a potluck with other sledding enthusiasts? Or maybe a visit to Maine’s Ghost Trains?
Maine is full of snowmobile enthusiasts, many of which volunteer their time to maintain much of the state’s vast trail system. These enthusiasts host many events all over the state from fun rides to potlucks to weekend long family events.
Many events can be found on the Maine Snowmobile Association’s online calendar. Find ones close by and check them out. Other events and points of interest require a bit more searching or local knowledge.
Here are a few snowmobile events and locations that may be of interest to riders in the Katahdin area.
Camp Katahdin Adventures is a snowmobile lodge in Northern Maine
The Log Drivers Cookout
Just a short trip from Camp Katahdin is Island Falls, home of the Big Valley Sno Club. Each year the club hosts their “Log Drivers Cookout” where everything is cooked outside. Here you’ll find homemade doughnuts and biscuits as well as bean hole baked beans which are cooked in the ground.
Yes, you read that right. They’re cooked in the ground. If that seems odd, you might just want to go check it out for yourself.
Visit the Ghost Trains of the Allagash
Between Eagle Lake and Chamberlain Lake in Piscataquis County are some long forgotten abandoned steam locomotives. They can be visited on a long day trip from Camp Katahdin. Getting there will take you through some of Maine’s most beautiful landscapes through the Katahdin area and up into the Allagash Wilderness Waterway. It’ll also take you well beyond anywhere your cell phone will work. So don’t go alone and be prepared in case something were to go awry along the way.
The locomotives are remnants of what once was a thriving lumber industry in the area. They were brought in for the railroad that was built specifically to transport logs from the Eagle Lake area to Umbazooksus Lake which connects to the West Branch Penobscot River. The 13 mile route included a 1,500 foot long trestle, the skeletal remains of which still exist.
The engines went into operation in 1927 and ran for six seasons. When the railroad line ceased operation, the trains were parked in a shed and abandoned on account of the high cost it would have taken to transport them out. In 1969, the Maine Forest Service mistakenly burned the sheds, damaging much of the engines’ wooden components.
Since then, the trains have suffered vandals, many harsh winters, and more decay than restoration. Their rusted hulls stand in contrast to the natural scenery surrounding them making the site feel a bit like an above-water shipwreck.
Photo credit: Facebok Page Tame the Track SnoX Races in Houlton
Maine Snowmobile Races and Radar Runs
Every year there are a number of snowmobile races throughout the state. Near Katahdin is the Tame the Track SnoX Races in Houlton. These side by side races wind through a “steep and challenging course” designed to “test your maneuvering skills.” The races are part of the three day “Moosestompers” festival which include a number of family friendly events including sleigh rides, skating, and a light parade.
Many local clubs will host radar run events, often in conjunction with races. These events give snowmobilers a chance to find out just how fast their sleds can go. Legally. A lot of radar runs are held on frozen lakes where there’s plenty of room to run and no obstacles to worry about. These are not races. They’re solo drags on an established strip with speeds determined by a real radar gun. Speeds are generally posted by sled class for those with a competitive spirit.
Photo Credit: Facebook Page for Rockabema Snow Rangers “The best trails around”
Hang out with Maine’s Local Club Members
The trails around Katahdin are maintained by the Rockabema Snow Rangers Snowmobile Club. The club generally gets together in Patten the second Saturday of every month between September and May for their monthly meetings which generally include a potluck or pizza starting around 5:30 PM. Stop in sometime to say thanks for all the volunteer hours they put in to the local trail system.
Just don’t be surprised if you find yourself talking shop and sticking around for a bit.
Denney Lodge at Camp Katahdin is a new, luxury Hunting Lodge in Northern Maine that sits right on Maine’s ITS Connector 112. It sleeps 15 and comes with wi-fi, satalite tv, and a brand new Chef’s kitchen. Read more about our lodge here: