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Winter Fun | 17 Ways to Love Winter in New England

Winter Fun | 17 Ways to Love Winter in New England
1 vote, 2.00 avg. rating (59% score)

#8 Get Hooked
Togue (lake trout) ice fishing is big in Maine all winter. Sebago Lake’s DerbyFest, February 20-22 this year, kicks off with a free kids’ event, introducing youngsters up to age 12 to the joys of this winter pastime. The rest of the weekend is devoted to the adult competition, with prizes ranging from gift certificates to a $30,000 Chevy pickup truck. 888-423-3524; 877-655-2530, 207-655-2530;

#9 Dartmouth Winter Carnival
Join in a weekend of seasonal fun–February 12-16 this year–at the oldest collegiate winter festival, held annually on campus in Hanover, New Hampshire. Since the carnival’s birth in 1910, it has focused on celebrating winter, snow, and outdoor sports. Events include ski competitions, a human dogsled race, jazz and a cappella concerts, a polar bear swim, dances, and a screening of the 1939 movie Winter Carnival, a romance set at Dartmouth. Each year students build a large snow sculpture on the college green, too. What better way to get into the spirit of winter recreation? 603-646-3399;

#7 Chicken Pie

#7 Chicken Pie

#10 Make the Perfect Cup of Hot Chocolate
For rich flavor and a frothy top, always use full-fat milk (this is no time to worry about your diet). Use just shy of an ounce (about a third of a cup) of finely chopped chocolate per cup of milk. The cocao content is up to you: One in the 60 percent range will make a rich, silky hot chocolate, whereas a slightly lower percentage will make a sweeter drink. To flavor it, add cinnamon, vanilla, chili powder, raspberry sauce, or peppermint. For an extra kick, throw in a splash of Baileys or a flavored liqueur. Flake some chocolate on top to make it look professional, or add a raspberry, a sprinkle of cinnamon, and so on. Use soft marshmallows because they melt better; the small ones are best, but the big ones are still great for dipping. And don’t forget the whipped cream on top!

#11 Make Like Hans Brinker
Fairlee, Vermont’s Lake Morey is home to the longest natural ice-skating trail in the country. This breathtaking two-mile-long track is protected from harsh winds by the deeply forested hillsides around it. The four-mile loop trail, generally frozen solid from December to April, hosts several seasonal events, including the Lake Morey Skate-athon (January 10 this year), Lake Morey WinterFest (January 11), and a series of Nordic skating workshops (January 17-18). Or just come for a quiet day of skating with family or friends. Relax and enjoy the panoramic views of Vermont’s snow-covered mountainsides and cliffs. 802-649-3939; 802-333-3405;

#12 Catch Iditarod Fever Close to Home
Mahoosuc Guide Service, based in Newry, Maine, offers dogsled
day trips and weekend overnights, introducing beginners to winter travel by snowshoe, ski, and canine team (all specialized winter clothing and equipment provided), as well as four- to six-day North Woods journeys into pristine wilderness. Or, if you’re not quite up to mushing, check out the 80th Laconia (New Hampshire) World Championship Sled Dog Derby, February 13-15 this year. Watch canine champs race this 18-mile course over three days–a great way to get into the sled-dog spirit. Mahoosuc Guide Service, 207-824-2073; Laconia Derby, 603-524-4314;

#13 Hang 10 in 10°
Visit Narragansett, Rhode Island, on February 21 this year to catch the 41st Annual Mid-Winter Surfing Championships, the longest-running winter surfing contest in the world. Winter surfers can enjoy near-empty beaches and bigger waves, and spectators can stay warm on the beach while still basking in the thrill of watching the competition. And, if you want to try winter surfing but you’re not ready to compete yet, contact Peter Panagiotis–he runs the Peter Pan Surf School in Narragansett all year round (wet suit and surfboard provided). Eastern Surfing Association, 757-233-1790; Peter Pan Sales, 401-575-0003;

#14 Moosehead Lake Snowmobiling
With 160 miles of well-groomed, marked trails (thanks to five loyal snowmobile clubs)–plus stops for coffee, food, and gas along the way–you can’t beat Moosehead, Maine’s largest lake, for snowmobiling adventure. Its tracks join with the Maine Interconnected Trail System, letting riders explore more of the Pine Tree State plus New Hampshire and Canada as well. Greenville and many of the other towns along the way are snowmobile-friendly, with rental shops, guide services, and plenty of resorts, as well as easily accessible trail condition reports. Moosehead Lake Region Chamber of Commerce, 888-876-2778, 207-695-2702;

#15 Watch Olympic Flyers
The Harris Hill Ski Jump in Brattleboro, Vermont, is one of only six such Olympic-sized structures in the U.S. Open since 1922, Harris Hill stayed in operation after the sport’s popularity declined. The 85th annual tournament is scheduled for February 14-15 this year. It’s worth the trip to watch the ski jumpers do their thing from the spectator climb–and when they take off, you’ll hear the whoosh of air as they leap into space. 877-254-4565;

#16 Grab Your Camera

Please Note: This information was accurate at the time of publication. When planning a trip, please confirm details by directly contacting any company or establishment you intend to visit.

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2 Responses to Winter Fun | 17 Ways to Love Winter in New England

  1. Mrs S Russo January 6, 2009 at 3:48 pm #

    You missed a great family event in Stowe,VT on March 7th. Relay For Life NordicStyle being held at the Trapp Family Ski Touring Center. The “only” NordicStyle Relay in the country,this Relay has all the elements of a summer Relay, but is done on cross country skis, snowshoes or in winter boots on the oval or on the beautiful cross country trails of the lodge. For more information on particpating as a team, joining a team or being part of that very special group of cancer survivors, and being part of this historical Relay, go to Hope to see you there as we work towards a cancer free society….

  2. Allen Hawthorne April 27, 2009 at 8:59 am #

    There’s more to the traditional “sugar on snow” treat: alternate spoonfuls of the chewy, syrup-sweetened snow with small bites of a dill pickle spear and occasionally cleanse the palate with a bite of ordinary cake donut.

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