10 Ways to Enjoy Winter, From the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife

Spending time outside is good for your mental and physical health, and in Maine, there are a lot of ways to make winter fun. Here are a few ideas:


1. Snowshoe through Maine's forests

Grab a pair of snowshoes and head to the woods for an adventure! Pack a lunch and hot chocolate and turn it into a winter picnic.

Find a trail near you on Maine Trail Finder


2. Catch a fish through the ice

Ice fishing is an exciting hobby that can be enjoyed close to home with just a few pieces of equipment. Never been ice fishing? Check out our new Beginner’s Guide to Ice Fishing in Maine.

Wondering where to go? View the monthly fishing report and buy your license online.

3. Participate in a Citizen Science project

You don't need to be a biologist to help with important wildlife projects! Share your bird sightings with the Maine Bird Atlas (every bird counts, even the ones in your backyard).

A rabbit citizen science project is about to start in southern Maine - stay tuned!

4. Trying hunting a different species

There are hunting opportunities across the state in the winter, including snowshoe hare and predator hunting. One of the best ways to target a new species is to hire a Registered Maine Guide who can provide the gear and years of experience. Learn more about hunting in Maine.

5. Watch wildlife

Winter can be an exciting time to spot wildlife! Fresh snow also gives you the opportunity to look at tracks to see what wildlife lives nearby.

Download our pocket guide to Maine animal tracks.

6. Explore Maine on snowmobile

Snowmobiling is an exciting way to enjoy scenic winter views. If you don't own a snowmobile, consider renting one and going on a guided tour. Learn more about snowmobiling in Maine.

Reminder: Most snowmobile trails are NOT open for the season yet. Before you go, check with a local club or visit mesnow.com.

7. Visit a Wildlife Management Area

Wildlife Management Areas, located throughout the state, offer an opportunity for recreation and protected wildlife habitat.

Find a Wildlife Management Area near you.


8. Hang out in your backyard or nearby park

You don't need to travel far to reap the benefits of fresh air! Build a snowman, go for a walk, or build a fort.



9. Go to a shooting range

Winter is a great time to head to the range to target practice or learn how to shoot a gun or bow for the first time. Find a shooting range near you.


10. Take hunter safety online

If you want to try hunting this winter or get ready for turkey hunting this spring, take hunter safety online!




Before you head outside:

Be Prepared

  • Dress for success: Be aware of current conditions and bring appropriate gear to match those conditions, including, snowshoes, ice grips, and plenty of layers to stay warm. Local outdoor stores are available to give advice on appropriate clothing and equipment. Consider buying a Maine-made brand!

  • Check before you go: While many conservation lands remain open during the winter, access roads and parking areas may not be accessible. At the same time, conditions may not be safe or appropriate for desired activities such as ice fishing. Visit websites to see the latest information on closures and to learn about current conditions.

  • Know what's available: Consider visiting a nearby Wildlife Management Area, or a less-trafficked state park, public land, or land trust preserve (Maine Trail Finder is a great resource).

  • Don't take risks: Stick to familiar terrain to avoid injuries, which adds stress on first responders and medical resources. If you're headed out alone, let someone know where you're going, and be especially careful.

Heed All COVID-19 Health Warnings

  • Practice physical distancing: Stay at least six feet away from other people who do not live in your household. Step aside when passing other people on the trail and be considerate it's different than how you've experienced the outdoors in the past but necessary as we try to stay safe.

  • Wear a mask: When you're in the vicinity of others, even with six feet of separation, a mask will help keep everyone safer.

  • Have a plan B: If the parking lot is full, the destination is too crowded. If your first destination has a busy parking lot, go to the next spot on your list. Do not park on public or private roads where snowbanks prohibit parking completely off of the road.

  • If you're sick, stay home: It puts others at risk when you leave home while exhibiting symptoms related to COVID-19, or if you have recently been exposed to the virus.

  • If you or friends or family are traveling from out of state, please adhere to Maines travel and quarantine guidelines.


We hope you have an exciting winter making memories and getting outside!