If you love winter as much as we do, you want to spend as much time as possible outdoors in the refreshing cold air. We put our favorite ideas in this guide to winter fun in MidCoast Maine. We have included some activities close to Captain Nickels Inn and some a short drive away — take your pick.
Get your gear and pick a date for your winter getaway. There will be multiple activities, no matter the weather!
Cross-Country Skiing | Snowshoeing | Hiking
Depending on the dates of your stay, and the amount of snow, there are great places to get out with your cross-country skis or snowshoes. Explore the Belfast Harbor, and get an up-close look at a working shipyard; try a walk along the Belfast Harbor Walk. The length of this walk is a mile, one way.
Belfast has a fantastic rail/trail system that is perfect for hiking in good weather and cross-country skiing or snowshoeing on snowy days. The Belfast Rail Trail is 2.3 miles of scenic river views with three points of entry.
Moosepoint State Park has three trails that loop along the shore, then back through fields that total about a mile. The Hills to Sea Trail is a full 47 miles of trails, perfect for either hiking or snowshoeing.
The High Street Ice Rink in Belfast is an excellent option for some good old-fashioned outdoor ice skating. The collaboration of Waterfall Arts, a local school district, and Friends of Belfast Parks resulted in its creation. The rink is 104 feet by 72 feet, and there are benches, lights, and tables. You will need to bring your skates and cocoa.
Take a trip back to your childhood and bring your sled, tray, or toboggan to Heritage Park and Belfast Commons. After a good snowfall, you can join children and adults as they slide down what the locals call “Chicken Hill” (named for the previous chicken processing plant, not the hill’s steepness). The views of the Bay are magnificent!
North of Searsport
Take a drive north of Searsport to find some other winter fun:
Maine is a great place for snowmobiling! Check regulations; although you don’t need a license, the snowmobile should be registered. The Bangor and Aroostook Trail is 62 miles of trails with great views of moose. For much more detailed information, contact the Maine Snowmobile Association.
Acadia in the Winter
If you love Acadia National Park in the warmer months, you will enjoy it equally well in the winter. The Park Loop Road system and most fire roads are available for snowmobiling. Portions of the historic Carriage Roads are groomed for cross-country skiing or snowshoeing. Winter hiking (consider bringing crampons if it is icy) is available and recommended for Ship Harbor and Ocean Path trails.
South of Searsport
South of Searsport, you will find several areas to add to your winter fun:
With snowmaking for 80% of the mountain, there is a long season for not only alpine skiing but also snowboarding, tobogganing, and cross-country skiing. Of particular note is the toboggan run, the site of the National Championship! The Snow Bowl is located at 20 Barnestown Road, Camden, Maine.
Blue Hill Mountain has seven trails perfect for hiking or snowshoeing, depending on the weather conditions.
Dog Sledding Tours
If there is plenty of snow and you want a unique winter experience, book a dog sled tour! Choose between a one-hour, two-hour, mountain experience, or romance tour. What fun!
This guide to winter fun near Belfast, Maine, will help add to the adventure during your next stay at Captain Nickels Inn. After a day outside, you will be ready to settle in front of a warm fire with a glass of wine to trade stories about your experiences. If you have questions, please call us, but make sure you book your stay for enough time to indulge in all this winter fun!
Published November 2022; updated February 2024