Yet another day in the park

On Sat. Jan. 30, Maine’s state parks brings its Take It Outside Winter Family Fun Day to Mt. Blue State Park, in Weld.

Event runs 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. and includes: cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, ice skating, and sledding, with equipment provided for those in need (but sleds are few, so best to bring your own if you want to rip down Center Hill Picnic Area’s slope). And sleigh rides, and guided walks, and winter programs.

Never skied or snowshoed? Instruction, provided by folks from the Maine Winter Sports Center and Northern Lights, Hearth & Sports will be available. Regional Park Manager Mike Leighton will provide ice skating lessons several times a day. The rink, near the parking lot, is renowned for tis views.

Once you’ve mastered those snowshoes (as a friend says, it’s pretty easy: put your left foot forward, now your right foot; you got it, you’re snowshoeing), Park Manager Andy Hutchinson of Wolfe’s Neck Woods State Park, an expert naturalist, will offer two interpretative snowshoe walks on “Nature in Winter.”

Rex Turner, Maine Bureau of Parks and Lands outdoor recreation planner, will demonstrate winter camping skills. The Maine Warden Service also will present different aspects of winter rescues, focusing on how to stay out of trouble in the Maine woods in the winter time.

As with all winter state park events, lunch is included in the admission fee, making the event a great family value.  Hot food will be available from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m., with a menu comprising hamburgers, chili, corn chowder, hot dogs, cookies, brownies, hot chocolate, and coffee. A bonfire also will help keep all those active people warm.

Admission is a very reasonable $1.50 ages 12-64, everyone else is free, and remember, that fee includes everything, even lunch.

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