GMOW Fans – the official “Great Maine Outdoor Weekend” may be over, but you don’t want to miss this fantastic event from our partners Schoodic Institute and Camp Beech Cliff!
The second annual Acadia Winter Festival presented by Schoodic Institute and Camp Beech Cliff, February 26 – March 6, 2016, celebrates Acadia National Park’s centennial and offers fun activities to get adults, kids, families and communities active and outdoors to connect and explore the natural world in winter. With two locations over two weeks, and a huge range of events and programs, the festival offers something for everyone!
Over 10 days at two primary locations, Schoodic Peninsula, Winter Harbor and Mount Desert Island, authors, craftsmen, and photographers present winter related workshops, art exhibits and lectures. Outdoor activities for the entire family include music, a winter-themed movie, bird tours, outdoor cooking with a dutch oven, ice skating, sled dog demonstrations, a snowshoe fun run, outdoor photography and more. A highlight of the event will be an opportunity to cross country ski or snowshoe with Schoodic Institute President and CEO Mark Berry, and Acadia’s new superintendent Kevin Schneider. Many visitors experience Acadia in the summer, but the national park offers many exciting activities during the winter months.
The festival will start on the Schoodic Peninsula on February 26 – March 1, and then shifts geographically to Mount Desert Island for March 2 – 6; ensuring opportunities in both areas and opportunity for participants to attend on two weekends in two different places. Many events and programs are free and open to the public. Other events with minimal fees require pre-registration. Lodging is also available at Schoodic Institute at Acadia National Park. More information and a full schedule of events with registration links can be found here: www.AcadiaWinterFestival.org.
The following is a small sampling of events available to shake that cabin fever!
Join your friends as the festival kicks off on February 26, at 2 p.m. with a favorite winter activity! Schoodic Institute President, Mark Berry and Acadia National Park Superintendent Kevin Schneider will host a snowshoe excursion. Come meet Kevin Schneider, while exploring some of the park’s newest trails. This event is free. Participants must bring their own gear. All participants should meet at the Schoodic Woods Information Station, Winter Harbor, and should pre-register.
On Sunday, February 28, Join Bird Ecology Program Director, Seth Benz, for ‘Winter Birds on Water and Land’ – Birding and Brunch. This program begins in the classroom with instruction from 9:00 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. followed by an hour and a half hour tour visiting hot spots along the Schoodic Peninsula searching for winter waterfowl and land birds. Bring binoculars and dress for the weather. Plan on walking short distances from walking areas. Spotting scopes will be provided or participants can bring their own. Please follow signs on the Schoodic Institute campus and park in North parking lot, then meet in Schooner Commons Lounge. Following the bird tour, join friends for a delicious brunch at 11 a.m. There is a fee and pre-registration is required.
Winter doesn’t mean the end of outdoor camp cooking! Also on Sunday, February 28th, visitors can learn how to use a dutch oven over an open fire with Ed Pontbriand. Cook a variety of courses and then, gather with friends and enjoy what you’ve created in this hands-on workshop. Dress warm, and plan to come hungry. Ed is retired from the National Park Service after serving as a ranger for 31 years. This event is offered for ages 12 and up unless accompanied by an adult. Follow signs on the Schoodic Institute campus and meet at the Pavilion at 9 a.m. Program concludes at 11 a.m. There is a fee and pre-registration is required.
On Saturday, March 5th, bring your friends and participate in an ice-fishing workshop at Echo Lake, Mount Desert Island with instructor extraordinaire and MDES science teacher, Brian Cote. Each two hour session will give you the basics of fishing in the winter, from using an augur to cut a hole to setting your traps. Limited to 10 people per hour. Location: Echo Lake. Sessions run 9 a.m. – 11 a.m. and Noon – 2 p.m. There is a fee for this event and pre-registration is required.
On Sunday, March 6, 2016 at 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. Camp Beech Cliff presents Snowshoe Fun Run and Family Relays. An adult 3k Snowshoe Fun Run and 1k Snowshoe Dash begins at 9 a.m. – 10 a.m. Family Relays begin at 10 a.m. – 11 a.m. Awards will be awarded for team creativity and style, as well as for speed! Snowshoes are available for rent at $7.50/pair. MSR Cascade Designs representative will be present with gear available to demo. If there’s no snow, we’ll still run! Lunch will be available for purchase in MDIHS cafeteria afterwards. Location: Mount Desert Island (MDI) High School. $5 Adults, Children under 10 free.
Please visit www.AcadiaWinterFestival.org for more information, lodging and registration. See you there!