Toboggan and Turbo Tubing Trend Sweeps State
When people think of Maine in the winter, the first thoughts that come to mind are snowmobiling and skiing but Maine offers a wide variety of outdoor winter activities sure to quicken the pulse of thrill seekers of all ages.
Snow-covered sledding hills abound all over the state, but for those looking to spend more time speeding down the slopes instead of walking back up, there are many established tobogganing and tubing parks that offer quick rides up on chairlifts or rope tows, and even faster rides back down on your toboggan or tube.
Head down to the coast and dare yourself to take a run down Camden Snow Bowl’s toboggan chute. Each year, this small ski area is host to National Toboggan Championships, and trust us, the speedy trip down the icy chute is not for those who fear momentum. For more info, check out www.camdensnowbowl.com.
For those looking for a similar, albeit less terrifying thrill, grab a tube and hit the hills. Snow tubing has grown in popularity over the past five years and Maine offers many options for this exciting family activity. Several ski areas have developed tubing runs that include lift service to the top of the track.
Mt. Abram in Greenwood boasts the longest tubing park in the state, giving riders 1,325-feet of excitement. Just up the road, Rumford’s Black Mountain has a steep tube trail that requires an adventurous spirit. The community ski area offers up a 300-foot handle tow lift servicing three chutes with varying degrees of pitch, giving tubers the option to choose the path that provides the most fun for their comfort level.
The state’s two largest resorts, Sunday River in Bethel and Sugarloaf in Carrabassett Valley have topnotch tubing parks that thousands of visitors of all ages enjoy each year. At Sunday River, tubers can bounce on down two lighted runs. One meanders gently through the woods while the other includes exciting high banked turns. Meanwhile, Sugarloaf features four 1000-foot chutes and even offers slower tubes for younger children.
The town of Skowhegan’s most distinguishing feature is the 62-foot-tall wooden Indian sculpture that stands watch over this town of 8,800, but it is also home to Eaton Mountain, a small ski area that offers a number of diverse activities throughout the year including snow tubing.
While plenty of tubing can be found at ski resorts, don't overlook Maine’s other tubing options. The Seacoast Snow Park in Windham is just about 20 miles from Maine’s largest city giving people an opportunity for a winter getaway that lets them take advantage of Portland’s exceptional dining and shopping scene following an invigorating day at the tubing park.
Oxford Plains Snow Tubing on Route 26 in Oxford, bills itself as Maine’s first tubing park. It was build 12 years ago and has a variety of runs that were made to thrill kids and kids at heart. With 250 tubes, lots of people will be bouncing on down their groomed trails.
No matter where you go, be prepared to have a blast, and make sure to hold onto your hat, or helmet. The tubing season typically runs December through April.