Snowshoeing is great winter woods fun
Snowmobiling is Aroostook County's most common form of winter recreation, but for those who prefer their exercise the old fashioned way, snowshoeing is one healthy way to burn off those excess calories.
The Francis Malcolm Science Center in Easton offers periodic snowshoe walks for people who want to enjoy Mother Nature while traveling on foot.
"I try to have moonlight snowshoe walks in January, February and March, scheduled around the full moon," said Rita Rogers, outdoor educator at the Science Center. "Last year I also offered a few on Sunday afternoons, and I'll probably do that again this year."
Rogers is sometimes accompanied on the walks by Planetarium Coordinator Larry Berz, who offers the group a sky tour of the constellations.
The science center has snowshoe rentals available for those who want to try before they buy. According to Rogers, rentals are a wise choice before making the decision on purchasing a pair. New snowshoes can cost between $75 and $100 with the bindings attached. However, people are welcome to bring their own.
"If people want to try it's nice to come here, because they can rent a pair for a couple bucks," Rogers said "I don't do any real strenuous hikes because of the wide range of ages on my hikes. We go out for maybe about an hour and wind through some trails that we have here."
The University of Maine at Presque Isle also has snowshoe walks as part of the university's outdoor program. Outdoor Adventure Program International (OAPI), run by UMPI professor Chuck Hammersley, offers outdoor trips and instruction.
"In the winter time we do cross country, and snowshoe, and winter camping," Hammersley said. "We've filled every trip we have offered this semester in about fifteen minutes. It's an educational program that's open to both students and the community. It's well received, and a lot of people seem to be enjoying it."