Snowmobile Trail Report, Jan. 31, 2020

Gary Marquis, Special to The County
4 years ago

AROOSTOOK COUNTY, Maine — The County is the place to be this weekend. Not only do we have good snow and trail conditions, we are the best in the Northeast.

The week has been great for snowmobiling and the weekend is looking great as well.  Cold temps are certainly helping. All projects have been working around the clock making the trails awesome.

There are some reports of ice in areas from the past weekend’s rain and warm weather.  These areas would be in spots low in fields, where diversion ditches are in crop grounds.  They are now frozen so please use caution when seeing these areas.

This weekend is looking like it will be another very busy weekend as it is the free weekend for Maine.  So, we will see a lot of snowmobilers from different areas. Here is a bit of helpful advice for the weekend.  Try and exploring some of the green trails on the map, they are just as good if not better than some of the ITS trails.  They still will get you where you need to go, these trails are just a bit less traveled.

This is also Moosestompers weekend in Houlton so if you are down that way please stop by and enjoy some of the activities.

Use caution if you venture out onto lakes as this past weekend created a lot of slush and you want to stay where it is marked.  Portage lake has signs up where there is thin ice, again please stay on the marked trail.

Deer are all over the place, trail 83B, ITS 83 in the Caribou and Washburn area have deer travelling the trail.  ITS 85 in the Ashland area are reporting several sightings. So please use caution.


Soldier Pond is reporting great conditions on 96 and 73.  These are some of those green trails I mentioned above. They are a quick connection to Eagle Lake, Fort Kent, and St. Agatha.

Walker siding is reporting that they will be all groomed by Friday and are reporting trails to be in good shape.

Washburn is reporting that their trails are holding up well and the guys are liking the new drag.  Trail 61 is still closed.

Nordic Lakers reporting that 105 and 81 are in good shape.  Trail 81 is one of those nice quiet trails and does have gas right on it.

Portage Lakers are reporting that they are working around the clock and reporting trails in good conditions.

Caribou is reporting good conditions.  There is ice off the Lombard road, the groomers have been over it, but caution is advised.  Also, there is ice heading down to the Railbed near the underpass. The extension of ITS 88 on the East side of the Aroostook river has been groomed to Fort bridge and the connection has also been completely signed and groomed from Lower Washington Ave over to Broadway street and up through to the park and ride.  Remember that this is an alternate trail. The trail to Leo’s and Frederick’s restaurant will not be open this year. 

Fort Kent is reporting that trails are in excellent shape and could use a little more snow in the open fields but is still good.

Eagle Lake is reporting excellent conditions.  There is logging on 85 and caution should be used in these areas.  There are several sections of plowed roads so please use caution. They are marked very well.  Trail 120 is another one of the trails that doesn’t get a lot of traffic, but it is one of the most scenic trails in the County.  Make sure to top off in Eagle lake and head West towards Allagash. Make sure to stop by Two Rivers Restaurant and fuel yourselves.

Fort Fairfield is reporting good conditions.  They do have a few sections of water and it has now refrozen so please use caution.

St. Francis Sno-Angels reporting they have been over their whole trail system and reporting smooth conditions.  92 and 92A are all groomed. They are reporting a lot of moose activity near Chamberlain’s store so please use caution.  This is another club that does lunch on Saturday at the clubhouse, so stop in and support this great club.

Central Aroostook Snowmobile club reporting ITS 83 and 81 are in great shape.  #9 trail to Monticello and #9 Lake will be most likely closed all winter due to logging.  Signs are being knocked down by Moose in the T10R3 area on ITS 81 and trail 70A

Ashland is reporting they have been over all their trails and reporting good conditions.  71A is now open and signed, it is different than years past so please follow signs. They are reporting a few icy sections so please use caution.  If you want to see deer this is the town and trail system to do so. Use caution.   

Allagash is reporting that ITS 120 and 92 are in great shape.  They have added extra caution signs on the St. Francis road where they cross an active logging area.  The Estcourt trail is in great shape and is getting quite a bit of traffic. Please know before you go.  Check out the Moosetown Facebook page and they have all the information that you need.

Frenchville is reporting all trails groomed and in great shape.

Red Arrow is reporting excellent conditions and signs are all up.  A few corners are a little icy as ITS 85 is one of the busiest trails in the County.

Chapman Ridge Runners are reporting full speed ahead, all their trails held up well after the warm spell.  They had a few wet holes but are now frozen, so please use caution.

Aroostook River Snowmobile club is that the trails are holding up well.  They are reporting a washout on trail 81A it is located about 5 miles from ITS 88 intersection.  This is a substantial hazard and they are advising people to not use this section of trail. The plan is to install a culvert over the weekend.

Easton has been out and are reporting very good conditions.  All signs and markers are in place.  

Madawaska is reporting all trails are in good condition.  Check out the great snowmobile deal that Big Rick’s in Madawaska is doing.  Check out their Facebook page.

Grand Isle is reporting their trails are in tip top shop.  Get out and enjoy.

Presque Isle Snowmobile club is reporting good conditions.  

Van Buren is reporting good conditions with all trails open.  Logging operation on trail 94 in the Cyr Plantation area, it is signed, please use caution.

Limestone Snow Hawks have been out and are reporting that their trails are in good shape.  They have also been out signing. Trail 89 is another trail that is less traveled and has a great County restaurant located on it, which is the Rendezvous.  They also have a Hotel that is located on the trail. Check out the Bunker Inn. Caution is advised as there is a logging operation on trail 100A. The trail is signed

Caswell is reporting that all trails are going to be all groomed by the weekend and all signing has been installed.  Trail 100 and 102 are trails that if you haven’t tried you have to.


Benedicta Snow gang reports that there are some low snow conditions, but trails are still very rideable. The club continues to groom and says that the further north you go, the better the snow but starting in Benedicta is a great idea. All trails are fast and flat

Molunkus Valley Snow Drifters covering the Sherman area, 83A, 83, Bible Point, and 3A to meet the Eastern Maine Snow Riders is groomed and ready. The Trail master cautions that there are a lot of moose on 83 North and 3 so ride with caution.

Rockabema Snow Rangers groomed their regular routes yesterday 81 North to Shin Pond 112E to Island Falls and Katahdin Lodge 62 to 81 South. 

The Eastern Maine Snow Riders say that their trails have held up well despite the warm weather last weekend. The trails Macwahoc South are going to be icy with some water in low spots. On trail 1 North it is possible to go around the plowed road by going out Trail 3 and taking a right on 3A and then to trail 1. It’s 10 miles out of the way but some prefer to avoid that plowed road. Reverse going south, take 3A then stay left to trail 3 then back to 1.

Smoki-Haulers report that someone has been using their groomed trails for a side-by-side. It’s illegal unless there are tracks installed and the machine is registered as a snowmobile! Overall the trails are good and the club has been grooming. 

Linneus Snow Sports says all 83 and 105 are ready. Trail 8 over Drew Mountain is groomed and the trees that came down in the ice storm last weekend are being removed today. 

Activities this weekend:

Moosetompers! Starts Friday and goes through Sunday in Community Park. Trail 86 Border Trail goes right in by Nana’s on Military St. Follow the signs for directions! 

Linneus Sno-Sports is serving breakfast 7 to 10 on Sunday and lunch on Saturday and Sunday until 3.

Meduxnekeag Ramblers is hosting a Moosestompers Breakfast on Saturday from 6 to 10 at the clubhouse on the Wiley Rd.

Bowlin/Mattagamon/Shin Pond Riding on our trails continues to be very good. We have been able to keep a regular grooming schedule all week and the trails are flat and hard with adequate lubrication.

ITS85 from Whetstone Bridge (PT13) North through Bowlin and Matagamon and on to meet Oxbow north of Shin Pond Is in good shape.

ITS 114 from ITS85 (PT16) through Shin Pond and back north to reconnect with ITS85 (PT17) is in good shape.

71D from ITS85 to connect with Libby Camps groomer is in good condition.

This morning Johnny is our grooming the Sugarloaf Loop and Club trail 64 to where it meets ITS81 just outside of Patten.

There are some notable logging operations affecting the trails.
-The Huber Road is closed
-71D to the North over Grand Lake Seboeis is closed.

The trail conditions are very good so get out and enjoy and ride safe!

For any specific questions or concerns feel free to call Shin Pond Village at 207-528-2900

From the Benedicta Snow Gang, ITS 83 from Sherman to Whetstone is ready for the weekend. They were out on 81 this morning when the groomer blew a rear tire, so all work stopped until later this afternoon. 

East Grand Snowmobile Club is reporting trails have a thin base, hard surface and icy in places.  Watch for waterholes which are frozen. Please do a snow dance as they could use a lot more snow. They purchased a second groomer and are very excited to have 2 machines.

Big Valley says they are ready and looking forward to another great weekend! Trails are hard and fast!

The Meduxnekeag Ramblers All of our trails have finally been groomed, did club trail 81 last night and as I’ve said it needs more snow. It was a rough ride, but it’s done. Funny —- 8 ft Tucker and 9 ft drag just can’t fit through a 4 ft hole like a snowmobile, many blow downs it was a rough 9 hours. So sledders please let the clubs be the judge as to when to groom them it works better that way.  Also, the club is hosting Moosetompers Breakfast on Saturday starting at 6am. 

Oxbow is reporting Traffic on the trails this week has been very steady. With the shortage of snow south of the County many riders have been hitting the northern trails. The little bit of freezing rain we got last weekend did very little it the way damage to our trail base and the trails have groomed up well all week. With all the extra traffic we are having to groom both at night and during day light so watch for the groomer on the trail.

ITS 85/81 and ITS 86 have been groomed and will be groomed again before the weekend.

Remember how you drive your sled on the trails reflex’s on how rough the trail will be. Spinning tracks and high-speed operation in the corners makes for rough trail for the next guy

Lots of Moose and Deer on the trails, so expect the unexpected.

Please Stay on the Marked Trails or Unplowed Roads.


Presque Isle Snowmobile Club will be hosting Stew Night from 5 to 7 p.m.

Washburn Trailrunners clubhouse will be open Friday and Saturday, 7 a.m. to 2 p.m., and Sunday, 7 a.m. to 12.

St. Francis Sno-Angels clubhouse will be open on Saturdays for lunch starting at 11.  Pool tournament every Saturday starting at 7 p.m.

Cold Mountain Snowmobile Club will be hosting a breakfast on February 16 at the Grand Isle Community Center from 7 to 11.

Meduxnekeag Ramblers snowsled club will be having Breakfast every Saturday during the season from 6 to 9.

Molunkus Valley Snowmobile Club is hosting a poker run on Feb. 15.  Check out their Facebook page for more information.