Since 1965, the family-run Ski Haus has kept customers coming back by adhering to the family motto: “Make sure we keep a fun environment and give everybody a fair deal. They get a ton of stuff for their money and we stay in business for a long time." Patrons can still expect the same low prices and see the same friendly staffers’ faces year after year while shopping for winter gear.
Racks stocked with apparel by brands such as The North Face and Marmot, skis and snowboards by brands such as Atomic and K2, and a team of skilled technicians have earned Ski Haus accolades from Ski magazine, SnowSports Industries America, and New England Winter Sports Representatives, Inc. During tune-ups, technicians polish skis, stone-grind ski edges, apply hot wax, and repair bases damaged by treacherous slopes and sharp snowman noses.
After a summer spent paddling a cumbersome aluminum kayak through northern Canada, two college students founded Lincoln Canoe & Kayak in an effort to design a lighter, more ergonomic vessel. Although ownership has switched hands since the brand's inception in 1959, the company continues to craft lightweight canoes and kayaks from fiberglass, Kevlar, or carbon fiber. From their retail paddle shop in Freeport, they also corral new and experienced kayakers into tour and expedition groups that explore Casco Bay, Deer Isle, and Muscongus Bay. Skilled guides impart their knowledge of Maine's coast and lead paddlers to discover Maine?s myriad waterways, where no river, inlet, pond, or kiddie pool is off-limits.
A network of 40 trails, including and six gladed trails, cut through the 249 acres at Shawnee Peak, which offers 98% snowmaking coverage. Slopes range from beginners to experts-only, with names such as Fat and Happy, Poacher's Paradise, and The Vain. The mountain also features three terrain parks—one of which is designed for children—brimming with air-bestowing features such as box jumps and the newly added BigAirBag. The five lifts that service these slopes run late into the evening for night skiing, which keeps 19 trails open and sometimes culminates in moon-lit ski races and whispered discussions about which famed 1924 skier is haunting the bathroom.
A more than 75-year-old ski school prepares visitors of all ages to tackle the mountain's slopes, while day-care providers watch over future skiers. In classes suited to adventurers as young as four years old, professionally trained instructors guide small groups of skiers and riders through basic to advanced techniques of skiing and snowboarding. Throughout each season, the resort hosts a variety of activities and events.
Lost Valley Ski Area founder Otto Wallingford was known for creating innovative solutions to everyday problems. Winter came around each year and left him with nothing to do on the family orchard, so he turned the surrounding area into a ski center in 1961. With that problem solved, Wallingford moved on to tackle a few other issues. He put together the state's first snowmaking system, introduced the locals to night skiing, and developed a powder maker by towing a cylindrical steel grate behind his tractor.
Skiers and snowboarders can reap the benefits of Wallingford’s efforts at Lost Valley Ski Area, which encompasses 15 trails and a terrain park. The ski area also hosts lessons and a shop offering gear tuneups and yeti decoys.
Quick, quick, slow. Quick, quick, slow. It seems that every dance lesson starts the same way. Students are told, "These are the steps," "Move to the beat," and "Never breakdance on wet cement." But unwilling to settle for the minimum, Seacoast Ballroom helps dancers see beyond getting their feet to move in the right direction. Its founder, Frederick Dunn, strives to inject dancers with grace and musical expression to help them feel dance for what it is?an art form. Its classes range in difficulty from beginner to competition level, and cover a variety of ballroom styles. Solo dancers or couples can strut through a tango, shimmy their hips in salsa, or effuse elegance through the Viennese waltz.
Nestled into an idyllic New England landscape, the Camden Snow Bowl's tubing hills, cross-country trails, and challenging mountain slopes entertain winter warriors of all ages and skill levels. Tracing its history back to lively community winter fests in the ‘30s, the Snow Bowl's rugged hillsides, glassy ponds, and primeval pine forests have entertained thousands of rosy-cheeked visitors over the years. If visitors make it 1,300 feet up Ragged Mountain, they’ll also be rewarded with a view of the Atlantic Ocean.
Today, the Ragged Mountain Recreation Foundation ensures that sustainable development practices help future generations enjoy the Snow Bowl's slopes, tracks, parklands, and resort areas for years to come. Adults and kids alike learn their way around the powder during skiing and snowboarding lessons, preparing them to explore the park's four chair lifts, 400-foot toboggan chute, and 850 feet of vertical ski slopes. After winter's chill dies away and the snow machines go on summer break, hikers, boaters, and other adventurers arrive at Ragged Mountain to mountain bike across rustic trails, fish in Hosmer Pond, and find cool unmatched ski gloves just lying around for free.