Five things to do in Maine: ski, canoe and kayak

When Brendan McDermott approached his friends at Greystone – one of America’s most prominent and prestigious ski resorts – with a proposal to go on a cross-country ski trip through the woods of Maine’s western coast, it was impossible to turn him down. Not only was Brendan having a fine season as skier of the season (but what a way to celebrate that), but Greystone – with its signature west coast style in action – proved an ideal setting for the trip.

That said, it wasn’t the best snow in the region on which to ski. Given that the resort’s trails are marked largely by markings on the ground, this was a challenge – but Brendan was up for it.

After a briefing, Brendan and his fellow skiers started their journey to see how the trail structures functioned and whether any locals were out there exploring. Some trickled by as we passed (we only saw one dog walker!), but it wasn’t a holiday from reality as we skied in strong and icy snow conditions.

Much of the route looped along a former rail bed, with glimpses of small streams and mature vegetation. Greystone caters for both intermediate and advanced skiers alike, and together we carved through smooth spots and gaping ruts carved into the ice.

Occasionally, the good conditions made for adventurous, dramatic descents – but we managed to stay on the ground for most of the time, no easy feat with a group of grumpy people. A brief detour to see the second waterfall on Clark’s Pond brought an unexpected aspect to the journey as we followed the stream of water that arced out of nowhere to meet the Atlantic Ocean.

When the weather turned, we were up to our old tricks, sometimes taking nines (10 minutes!) on the rainiest days, and proving that sometimes the best tracks are best abandoned. There’s something poetic about life under the (frozen) sea, and this itinerary proved no exception.

Leave a Comment