Winter sport opportunities abound at Hidden Valley Nature Center

Posted:  Wednesday, February 15, 2017 - 7:45am
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With the recent abundance of snow, there has never been a better time to head to Midcoast Conservancy’s Hidden Valley Nature Center (HVNC) in Jefferson for wonderful outdoor recreating. Whether on skis, snowshoes or fat tire bikes, anyone seeking a day of winter wonderland fun will find it at HVNC.

HVNC has nearly 30 miles of trails, ranging from wide boulevards to winding, challenging routes. Most trails are groomed on a regular basis but there is plenty of “back country” style access as well. New trails are being developed annually, so even veteran skiers or hikers will find new pathways on return visits. The trail network is family-friendly, offering broad trails that invite novice skiers to test their skills and a warm-up room at the Barn for breaks between runs.

For those looking for an extended winter adventure, the four huts and one yurt at HVNC provide an overnight winter camping experience that is uniquely accessible for the Midcoast area. The cabins and yurt are equipped with woodstoves and firewood, as well as a pot or pan, tea kettle, and table and chairs. Some have bunks or cots, others sleeping lofts, and each has an outhouse nearby. With trails at their doorsteps, the huts provide the ultimate ski-in, ski-out opportunity to spend time in the woods. To learn more about HVNC, or to reserve a hut, go to http://www.midcoastconservancy.org/preserve/hidden-valley-nature-center/.

In addition to skiing, snowshoeing and biking, HVNC has a full calendar of winter programming, from kids’ ski clinics to snowshoe owl prowls to fat tire bike demos. Upcoming on March 26 is the sixth annual Liberal Cup Biathlon, a festive day of Nordic skiing and target shooting open to individuals and teams, with an emphasis on fun; skiers of all skill levels are encouraged to participate and everyone receives instruction on using the air rifles from trained instructors. Beer from Liberal Cup brewery in Hallowell, and local food vendors, will round out a celebration of winter in the woods. For more information or to register, go to http://www.midcoastconservancy.org/events/6th-annual-liberal-cup-biathlon/ or call (207) 389-5150.