7 outdoor things to do this weekend, Jan 31-Feb. 1

This weekend is packed with outdoor events happening throughout the state. And after that big storm on Tuesday, it’s clear there will be enough snow for all of these winter activities. So if you’re looking for something to do, here are seven suggestions:

WC-flyer-20151. Quarry Road Winter Carnival, 10 a.m.-2 p.m., Saturday, Jan. 31, at Quarry Road Recreation Area off North Street in Waterville.

This carnival has rapidly become one of the biggest annual events in the Waterville area. This year’s event will include $5 sled dog rides, cross-country skiing and snowshoeing activities, winter biking demos, the Amazing Tree Maze, sledding, a bonfire and more. If you don’t have winter ski and snowshoe equipment, don’t worry. They’ll have some gear for you to try. Also at the event will be the L.L.Bean Bootmobile. And if you get hungry or cold, there will be hot soups, stews and chili for just a $1 a cup. For information, call 680-4744 or visit quarryroadrecarea.org.

2. Brownville Dog Days of Winter and Brownville-KI and Beyond Sled Dog Race, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 31, at Brownville Junction High School Alumni Building on Railroad Avenue, hosted by Post 91 American Legion.

If you’ve ever wanted to check out the art of sled dog racing or if you’d simply like to have some winter outdoor fun, this event is for you. The Maine highlands Sled Dog Club and the Town of Brownville is holding the 6th annual Brownville-KI and Beyond Sled Dog Race and Dog Days of Winter, a combination of a mid-distance race and planned family-friendly outdoor activities. The race consists of a 30-mile course and a 20-mile course along the West Branch of Pleasant River to Katahdin Iron Works. A fun run, which allows beginning ushers a chance to practice with their dogs, will follow the two races. The event will also include arts and crafts activities, sledding, a scavenger hunt, turkey bowling, snow art and a one-dog sled event. The day will end with a public supper and musher awards at Brownville Junction United Methodist Church. For information, call 965-2561 or visit www.piscataquischamber.com/news.asp?article=5737.

Courtesy of Fields Pond Audubon.

Courtesy of Fields Pond Audubon.

3. Scat and Tracks outing, 1-3 p.m. at Fields Pond Audubon Center at 216 Fields Pond Road in Holden.

If you’re looking for a low-key, nature-focused event, check out Scat and Tracks, a presentation and outing by Gudrun Keszoecze, Naturalist at Hirundo Wildlife Refuge. The event will take place at Fields Pond Audubon Center, a place with a nice network of trails and plenty of wildlife. Learn more about identifying and reading animal tracks during this 2-hour event. A limited supply of snowshoes are available. Bring your own if you have them. Cost is $5 for Audubon members; $10 for nonmembers. Register online at maineaudubon.org. For information, call 989-2591.

4. Full moon hike, 6-7:30 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 31, starting at Craig Brook National Fish Hatchery at 306 Hatchery Road in East Orland.

Join Great Pond Mountain Conservation Trust for a snowy moonlit hike along an easy-moderate route in the Great Pond Mountain Wildlands. Depending on the snow and ice conditions, the hike will either be on the Dead River Trail, Great Pond Mountain or Alamoosook Lake. Bring your own gear, such as snowshoes, ice cleats or skis. For information, call 469-6929 or email info@greatpondtrust.org.

5. “Finding Penobscot Phyllis” Groundhog Day at Hirundo, 1-4 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 1, at Hirundo Wildlife Refuge via Gate 1 on Hudson Road in Alton.

BDN photo by Aislinn Sarnacki

BDN photo by Aislinn Sarnacki

If looking for a fun, family-friendly winter activity for Sunday afternoon, travel to Hirundo Wildlife Refuge Alton (just 10 minutes from the University of Maine campus in Orono) and join the search for the refuge’s female groundhog, Phyllis. The refuge naturalist will share information about the secret life of the groundhog and lead a snowshoeing excursion to find her burrow. There will also be a scavenger hunt and fireside award ceremony with “groundhog juice” and “groundhog droppings.” Meet at the Parker Reed Shelter, down the road a short distance from Gate 1 on Hudson Road/Route 43. Call to register by Jan. 31 at 394-2171. Suggested donation is $5. For information, visit hirundomaine.org.

6. Banff Mountain Film Festival, 7-9 p.m. Friday, Jan. 30; 7-9 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 31; and 2-4 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 1, at The Grand at 165 Main Street in Ellsworth.

© KENNAN HARVEY Chosen for the signature image of the 2014 Banff Mountain Film and Book Festival, this image is of Will Gadd ice climbing a newly formed pillar on the right side of Lake Louise Falls, Banff National Park, Lake Louise, Alberta, Canada.

Chosen for the signature image of the 2014 Banff Mountain Film and Book Festival, this image is of Will Gadd ice climbing a newly formed pillar on the right side of Lake Louise Falls, Banff National Park, Lake Louise, Alberta, Canada.

Be amazed, entertained and inspired at the Banff Mountain Film Festival World Tour, a show visiting four locations throughout Maine. The show will be a selection of the best films judged this year at the Banff Mountain Film Festival in Alberta, Canada. The films are about outdoor sports and adventure, mountain culture and the environment. The tour travels to 40 countries each year, reaching more than 390,000 people. For the three Ellsworth showings, different films will play each night. Friday will focus on culture films; Saturday, extreme sports; and Sunday “Best of Banff.” It’s $14 for general admission. For information, call 667-9500 or visit grandonline.org.

7. Maine State Parks “Take it Outside” Ski and Snowshoe Trailer, Jan. 29-Feb. 1, at Wolfe’s Neck Woods State Park at 426 Wolfe Neck Road in Freeport.

Try out cross-country skiing and snowshoeing with equipment on loan from the Maine State Parks Ski and Snowshoe Trailer on the trails of Wolfe’s Neck State Park. There will be guided snowshoe nature walks from 2-3 p.m. on Jan. 21 and Feb. 1. Arrive 15 minutes early to be fitted with equipment. The rental equipment and instruction is free with park admission, which ranges from free to $4.50, depending on your age and residency. For information, call 865-4465.


Aislinn Sarnacki

About Aislinn Sarnacki

Aislinn is a Bangor Daily News reporter for the Outdoors pages, focusing on outdoor recreation and Maine wildlife. Visit her main blog at actoutwithaislinn.bangordailynews.com.