The Star-Herald

Aroostook State Park welcomes community for annual Winter Family Fun Day

PRESQUE ISLE, Maine — Hundreds of families took advantage of the warmer weather on Saturday to take part in Aroostook State Park’s Winter Family Fun Day.


Throughout the morning and afternoon, park staff and volunteers put on an array of activities, including snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, snowmobile rides around Echo Lake and downhill snow tubing. 

Park manager Scott Thompson said that the Fun Day has become a great way for people to try winter activities at a low cost and recognize the benefits of outdoor physical activity during the season.

Aroostook State Park held snowmobile rides around Echo Lake during their annual Winter Family Fun Day on Feb. 22. (Melissa Lizotte | The Star-Herald)

“It gives them an opportunity to try cross-country skiing or snowshoeing and decide whether they want to purchase equipment for themselves,” Thompson said. “Those types of activities help get people into a healthy mindset.”

State parks across Maine celebrate Winter Family Fun Days annually as a way to encourage folks to see what their local nature trails and parks have to offer. To this day, Thompson noted, there are always families at the Presque Isle event who are visiting the park for the first time.

Whether people are coming from near or far, he hopes more people discover the many winter outdoor activities available in Aroostook County.

“Humans are creatures of habit, but every now and then you have to experience something you haven’t done before,” Thompson said. “Just the other day we saw a family from Madawaska who hadn’t realized the park was here.”

With temperatures in the mid-30s and bright skies, the day proved a good one for enjoying a quiet nature walk or speeding down the snow tubing hill. Not long after arriving at Aroostook State Park, Kathy Adler of Caribou and her grandchildren Zander, 9, and Izzy Adler, 6, were smiling and laughing as they raced down the hill.

Zander Adler, 9, of Caribou cheers as he comes to a stop at the bottom of Aroostook State Park’s snowtubing hill during Winter Family Fun Day. (Melissa Lizotte | The Star-Herald)

“We came here years ago but weren’t able to for awhile. So we thought we’d come back again,” Kathy Adler said.

Pamela and Carl Brauneis of Connor Township and their children Evan, 12, and Avery, 9, said that they were having a blast during their first Winter Family Fun Day.

“It’s fun because you can go really fast and race your sibling,” Avery Brauneis said, about snow tubing.

Her mother agreed that coming to Aroostook State Park was a day well spent.

“It’s a beautiful, sunny day and a great way to spend time together as a family,” Pamela Brauneis said.

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