We are doing a lot with boats right now. Our first raft trip is Saturday, April 27th and we start our student boating program, Maine Outdoor Education Program, on Tuesday the 29th. And with boats comes other outdoor chores and tasks to get ready for our busy summer season.
Here’s a little look into how things are shaping up at New England Outdoor Center as the snow and ice recede! There’s not hoards of blooms and buds but all the same it’s our spring with her deep earthy tones and brisk watery blues.
She’s cold. She’s hot. She’s sunny. She’s rainy. She keeps us guessing even with an occasional snow flurry. We have not put out the fires yet or even contemplated planting our fragile seedlings but we have sat outside in our t-shirts, and flip flops as well as our wool sweaters, and our muck boots, just to soak her all in regardless of her mood.
She is on her way. We know it. We feel it, and we see it in the subtly of the changing landscape which is no longer white…except of course on the Mountain.
It does not feel anything like spring. Snow still covers the lawns and the ice is still thick..everything is brown and white..not a trace of vibrant green to be found. Perhaps that is why we thought it was appropriate to highlight an exciting new venture for this summer! As we move forward with some original plans for New England Outdoor Center and the River Driver’s Restaurant, we have welcomed a resident farmer to develop a large system of gardens!
These gardens will supply 15-20% of the produce for the restaurant as well as supply a farm stand at Twin Pine Camps for community and visitors to enjoy! Raised beds will be in use at Twin Pine Camps while more extensive operations will be conducted at the old River Driver’s site the Rice Farm.
So we are planning, potting and plotting! There’s soil, and seeds, hopes and dreams. Visions of spectacular greenery, ripe reds, that smell of heat, rain and earth all rolled in to one…so we move towards a whole new season with lots of plans for plants.
We captured a few images of our first day of spring! But they do exemplify the magic of Twin Pine Camps blanketed in new snow. Cozy cabins, quiet, crisp and starry nights are only three reasons you can’t miss the Katahdin Region in the winter or in this case the spring!
Choose from lakeside lodging with stunning views of the mountain or tuck yourself away in the woods… away from everyone and everything.
Whenever you choose to come, we are open year round with a variety of activities, accommodations and dining for you to enjoy
The ski trails at Twin Pines/New England Outdoor Center are perfection.
We headed out yesterday to take a quick spin up and over Black Cat Mt, which, in comparison to our neighbor,Katahdin, is not much of a mountain. However, with signs like these..
it might be a bit more of a mountain than you think!
The intensity of the Black Cat loop is quite exhilarating. Two big climbs up and a lovely, steep switch back down, make this a great 40-55 minute workout with amazing views of the lakes and mountain.
Metal edges make quick work of the S turns and provide great stability for the ol’ snow plow…that is if you want to. However, classic skis work fine and provide a pretty swift, wild ride.
Regardless of ability level, there is a route for everyone on these trails. The open area called the Ag Village and connecting trails up towards Hammond Ridge are a nice run with gradual climbs and descents.
There is over 7 miles of trails to explore and network through as you build confidence for any of the more technical components. Come for the day or make it a get-a-way.
Cross Country Skiing in the Katahdin Region on Facebook
The State of Maine is making a 10%
reduction to all grooming budgets due to low sled registration during the winter of 2011/2012. The Twin Pines’ Snowmobile Club always overspends its grooming budget to meet the expectations of riders in the Katahdin Region. You can help keep the standards high bybecoming member or making a donation!
Join the Twin Pines Snowmobile Club – Help maintain the Katahdin Region’s spectacular trail system. All proceeds beyond the MSA membership fees go directly to the trail!
We’re committed to providing our visitors with a safe, fun and family-oriented snowmobiling environment on clear, well-marked, groomed trails. We believe the best snowmobile trail conditions in Maine are right here in the Katahdin region, and we put your money to work for you!
FRIENDS OF THE TRAIL
Want to make an impact?
Memberships & Donations are welcome at the following levels:
Already a member of MSA? Then membership to our club is just $20.00
Member Benefits: Memberships submitted using the current form will be valid for the 2012-2013 Season and will expire on September 30, 2013.
- One-year membership to both the MSA (Maine Snowmobile Association) and the Twin Pine Snowmobile Club.
- All members receive the MSA monthly newsletter “Maine Snowmobiler” newsletter.
- A membership card and MSA decal are covered by a $2500 accidental death and dismemberment insurance policy. Twin Pine Snowmobile Club members have the option of participating in trail work if interested. Watch for special Club Sponsored weekend events.
Bronze, Silver and Gold Levels:
- Receive personal recognition on the NEOC Webpage and Trail Reports.
- Businesses can receive related marketing opportunities with NEOC on the web & other media outlets. Contact Matt Polstein at 1-800-634-7238.
- Enjoy all the membership benefits of our Individual & Family memberships including the Early Bird Benefits.
Additional Early Bird Benefits: Join by 11/12 and receive the following:
- Deduct the full value of our Individual membership from a midweek lodging stay with us.
- You can also deduct the value of our individual membership from a whitewater rafting trip that we offer on the Penobscot River.
New England Outdoor Center – 30th Anniversary Celebration
Thursday August 16th 2012.
Come and join us for all or part of this Celebration – events are free unless otherwise noted & all are welcome to join in. www.neoc.com
6.00-10.00 am – Sunrise Pontoon Boat Ride. $2.00 Mimosas in the River Drivers Restaurant followed by Muffins on our pontoon boat while you tour Millinocket Lake enjoying stunning views of Katahdin. Trips leave hourly on a first come/first served basis.
11.00-1.00pm – Scavenger Hunt – Look for NEOC artifacts on the Twin Pines/River Drivers Ground – Maps will be provided.
1.00-3.00pm – Paddle Your Own Canoe! Join Warren Richardson on site as he demonstrates the art of his hand crafted wooden canoes.
1.00-2.00pm – Children’s activities on the Lawn in front of the River Drivers Restaurant including but not limited to water ballooning.
2.00-3.00pm – Make your own Blueberry Ice Cream and Eat It! This is a great activity for children and enthusiastic adults. Work with our Talented Chefs & Wait Staff making your own Maine Blueberry Ice-cream on the lawn.
4.00-5.00pm – Early Evening Paddle. Bring your Family and your Friends and join our Canoe Parade.
6.00pm – Dine River Style under our Tent. Our River food and BBQ will be a meal to remember. $10. Gritty’s will be in the house for the evening.
5.30-7.00pm – Live Music – Cold Water Cure.
7.00pm -10.00pm “NEOC” presents the 7th Annual Reel Paddling Film Festival. This will be an outdoor Screening of the international film tour featuring the best of 27 inspiring paddling films.
In the spirit of celebration, we thought we would pass along the reasons we have stayed committed to the Maine North Woods for 30 years! You can come celebrate too! On August 16th we will be hosting a full day of activities from Sunrise Pontoon Tours with Mimosas and muffins to a canoe regatta to a full screening of the Reel Paddling Film Festival. We are also running a special that week (August 12th-August 18th), book 5 nights at Twin Pine Camps the week of August 12th and only pay for 4 nights! Add a raft trip during your five night stay for members in your party for just $30.00pp plus access fees. When you’re not celebrating you can enjoy everything this area has to offer!
Just a few reasons we love the Katahdin Region:
Camp, cottage, cabin….we all have a name for the proverbial get-away. If you live in Maine then you go to the camp, Wisconsin the cabin and for my Midwestern husband it is the cottage. Regardless of what you call it, there is no better way to spend some time in the summer than “up ta camp”. I see these cars often, the ones heading “up ta camp”, jam packed to the gills with a little more on top. Children, lawn chairs, bikes and coolers are just a few items hanging off the back or precariously perched on top…sans the children of course, though if my parents could have,, I think my brother and I would have been relocated outside the car. But for better or worse the bickering, fighting and general silly business of siblings is the stuff of fond family memories. In retrospect, only do I find my parents teeheeing and hahaing about the antics of my younger brother and myself. But, regardless the shenanigans, mishaps and funny business, they still packed up the kids, all the accouterment of perceived need outside the “home” and headed to camp.
Camps come in all shapes and sizes, some have in-door plumbing some don’t, some embody words like rustic or primitive, some are a true home away from home…it doesn’t really matter… the building, it’s the going. At the New England Outdoor Center we offer a variety of camp choices. All include comfortable amenities but in them you can find the rustic charm of yesteryear or the progressive, eco-luxury of our green build Covesides.
Whatever your definition, head up ta camp…there is ice cream and boats, lakes and stars, fires, s’mores and the call of the loon carried on the breeze through your screens at night. There are hot, sunny, days…monopoly and UNO, lemonade, hot dogs and potato chips. It’s summer up ta camp, won’t you join us?
When I moved to T3 Indian Purchase most people commented on the prevalence of moose in the Maine North Woods…”watch out for moose” they’d say. Frankly, they should have been saying “watch out for bears”. Since moving to the region three years ago, I have seen more bears than moose and I am sure it has everything to do with my BIRDFEEDERS!
Most of the bears I see are on my porch or running through the backyard, one time with a pair of new cubs! In my greenhorn days, I once left a suet feeder on the inside windowsill, and awoke to the mad barking of my dogs at 2:30 in the morning. I think you know where this is going. We( my husband and I) ran downstairs and shut all the windows in our fright. In the morning…you can see the damage of our screen, yes the bear was clawing his/her way through the screen towards, I am sure in his/her mind the treat of all treats, SUET!
Who could blame him? I have also been out walking my dogs and encountered a poor bear who I must have startled and he/she ran across the road not 50 feet away! Close encounter for me have been common, or more common then when I lived in the southern part of the state, and while I am wary of such a powerful creature and prepared to hopefully offset any aggression, I do love seeing them. When you come to visit us, there is always the possibility to see black bear. And seeing as our last blog post gave justice to the moose, we figured it was time to honor the black bear.
Black Bears are the smallest of three species on the North American Continent (Brown/Grizzly & Polar Bears the largest), are the most wide spread and the only bear found in the Eastern United States.
Males average between 250-600lbs and measure between 5ft and 6ft tip to tail. Females average between 100 and 400lbs and measure 4-5 feet tip to tail.
They require forested areas for protections and are amazingly adaptable to areas of human development. They are considered omnivores (eat both meat and plants) and feed on a wide range of vegetation including early green grasses, clover, and the buds of hardwood trees. They also seek out fruits and berries in the spring as well as the beech nuts, acorns and hazelnuts in the fall. To supplement their vegetarian diet they eat insects such as ants and bee larvae as well as small mammals. Bears are not considered efficient hunters but have been known to take young deer and moose in the late spring.
Black bears can live up to 30 years in the wild .
Black bears breed between May and August and females have a two year reproductive cycle once they reach sexual maturity at age 3.
Bear cubs are typically born in Jan -Feb in the den and weigh ~12 oz at birth. Bears can have anywhere from 1-4 cubs.
Newborn cubs are born with blue eyes that eventually turn brown.
Bears can remain in their winter dens up to 5 months without eating, drinking or eliminating bodily waste.