Being situated in the uppermost corner of the Continental United States, Maine is a perfect winter wonderland. International students studying in Maine will find an abundance of snow, more than 200 inches annually, and more than enough snow sports to accompany it. Some of the snow sports are common, like sledding but others are a bit more unique, like ice fishing. With temperatures averaging 70 degrees Fahrenheit during the summer and averaging 20 degree Fahrenheit in the winter, Maine is no place for those with a thin skin.
Ice skating is popular winter sport international students in Maine will like to take part in. Whether it’s in an indoor man-made skating rink or an outdoor pond in a quaint town, ice skating is always a fun activity. The University of Southern Maine has an Olympic sized ice rink in Maine. Although used mostly for college athletics, it is open to the public during certain times. At Sugarloaf, a newly renovated NHL size ice rink is open for hockey and free skating.
Another winter sport Mainers participate in is snowmobiling. There are14,500 miles of interconnected, marked and groomed snowmobile trails which are maintained by local clubs and organizations. Snowmobiling is not only a fast paced activity, it lets the rider see the scenic view of Maine’s impressive 17 million acres of forests. There are even entire festivals dedicated to Maine’s most popular winter sport. The International Snowmobilers Festival allows snowmobilers to travel on both sides of the Canadian-United States border. Snodeo in Rangeley Lakes is another snowmobiler’s paradise. Along with snowmobiling activities, there is live entertainment, chili cook-offs, fireworks and poker runs.
Skiing and Snowshoeing take on a whole new adventure for international students studying in Maine. There are 17 Alpine Ski areas. Many areas offer classes and night skiing. From Sunday River with a vertical drop of 2,340 feet to Seacoast Snow Park with a 100 foot vertical drop, there is a wide range to choose from. There are also 24 Nordic Ski areas. Some of these areas offer cross country skiing and snowshoeing and some are exclusively for snowshoeing.