Our Favorite Things to Do During the Winter in Moosehead Lake, Maine
1. Enjoy breakfast around Moosehead Lake
Cold-weather activities will kickstart your metabolism, so it’s important to fuel up before your adventure. We recommend Birch Bark Bakery & Breakfast, Moosehead Meat & Deli, or Northwoods Gourmet Girl – and a few mugs of coffee, wherever you go – before hitting the snow.
2. Go ice fishing on Moosehead Lake
Soak in the scenery AND stock your cooler by spending some time ice fishing. Moosehead Lake and the surrounding ponds and smaller lakes are teeming with trout, cusk, salmon and togue all winter long! Salmon love to lurk right under the ice, and cusk are often caught after dark (who wants to make it an “all-nighter”?). One of the best spots to set up on the ice is behind Mt. Kineo, as it offers some of the deepest water on Moosehead Lake as well as offering some protections from the sometimes harsh winter winds. Be sure to bring along smelt and cut bait — these are the best options for ice fishing!
3. Hike, snowshoe or ski the trails
The best way to explore the land around you is to hike it! Insert yourself into picturesque views and stunning snow-dusted settings, no special equipment required. Just be sure to bundle up and bring your best boots! The region offers trails fit for family outings (read: little legs) as well as challenging winter trails that will test your stamina and reward you with phenomenal views. The Moosehead Pinnacle Pursuit Challenge offers a prestigious badge and panoramic views from each corner of the Moosehead Lake Region for those who summit all six peaks. For an even bigger challenge, complete them in a certain time frame or time of year and earn more badges! Find the best fit for your group or mood with the All Trails or Maine Trail Finder apps!
Ready to pick up the speed just a little? Strap on some snowshoes or rent some cross-country skis and strike off on an adventure. If you’re new to exploring on foot this way, it’s a great idea to work with a Registered Maine Guide for tips and tricks to navigating with gear as well as the best places to start your expedition.
5. Snowmobile endless wooded trails
For fast-paced adventurers, the mechanically inclined, or those that just want to cover as much ground as possible, exploring Moosehead from a snowmobile is a great way to take in the winter sights. The Moosehead Trail offers 160 miles of spectacular and scenic riding, with stops for coffee, lunch, and gas along the way. The local trails join the Maine ITS for those avid riders who want to branch out to other parts of Maine and into New Hampshire. Be sure to check conditions first – including lake ice – via the Maine Snowmobile Association, even during the most reliable sledding season (mid-January through mid-March). Not sure where to stop? Stop into a local business (many offer sled rentals!) and ask for tips on trailheads, riding advice and the best places to branch off the beaten path.
6. Book a lakeside cabin with a view
If you’re more of an observer of winter wonderlands than a knee-deep adventurer, we highly recommend a cozy cottage stay during the snowy season. There are plenty of places to snuggle up, sit by the fire and sip a steaming mug of tea or hot chocolate while soaking up the winter peace and quiet. A quaint cabin with a lake view is a wonderful respite from the demands and bustle of everyday life — you’ll sleep better than you have in years! Be sure to check out our lodging options!
7. Stargaze at night
No matter where you wind down after your day by the lake, the appeal of the region doesn’t stop when the sun goes down. Maine’s night sky can’t be beat! With miles of wide-open sky, little interruption and zero light pollution, it’s the perfect place to pause, look up, and remember the feeling of absolute awe. The winter sky in particular offers rare treats such as meteor showers and the Aurora Borealis. Enjoy these stellar sights from a pile of blankets on the snow, on the frozen lake, beside a roaring campfire or through the lens of a telescope at your cozy remote cabin.