With frosty nights and snow squalls knocking at our doorstep, it’s here: winter. When you count up the many outdoor adventures to be had in the Downeast Lakes Community Forest (DLCF), the Grand Lake Stream area is truly a four-season destination. Once the snowflakes begin to fly, the real fun begins.
At the heart of Grand Lake Stream, the famous Pine Tree Store is open year-round, with winter hours of 7 am – 7 pm. They have everything you need for hot food, fuel, and supplies to get out into the woods. Canalside Cabins, Shoreline Camps, and the Bellmard Inn (Princeton) all offer winter lodging in the Downeast Lakes region. These lodges can all connect you with the skills and knowledge of Registered Maine Guides in the area, many of whom offer winter hunting and fishing opportunities.
Seeking a motorized adventure? The DLCF contains some of the nicest snowmobile trails in Maine, groomed and maintained by the Grand Lake Snowmobile Club. Those seeking a quieter exploration of the forest can strap on a pair of snowshoes or cross-country skis and break trail on freshly fallen snow – a winter experience not to be missed. DLLT has seven hiking trails throughout the DLCF that are perfect for winter exploration.
Once the ice has set in, the many lakes and ponds of the region provide ice fishing opportunities for anglers of all ages. West Grand Lake is one of the finest ice fishing lakes in the area, and the season opens February 1st. Most other lakes open as soon as the ice is safe. Always check ice conditions, and avoid open or moving water. Whether landing a trophy-sized togue or landlocked salmon, or a huge catch of white perch or lake whitefish, the fishing will keep you coming back for more.
Lastly, be sure to stay updated on DLLT’s public programs. We offer year-round, free education programs that highlight the natural and cultural history of the region. On December 15th, DLLT is sponsoring a count circle for the annual Christmas Bird Count, the longest-running citizen science project in the world. Bring your children for a “Kids Animal Tracking Trek” on January 11th, or on January 30th, the whole family will enjoy a “Full Moon Owl Prowl” to find the elusive top predators of the night. For more information about winter recreation opportunities, please contact Downeast Lakes Land Trust at (207) 796 – 2100, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.