Bath events set for 'Great Maine Outdoor Weekend'

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BATH — Bath Trails and other local organizations aim to make the most of this snowy winter during two Great Maine Outdoor Weekend events.

Bath Trails – a collaboration between city government, area schools, nonprofit organizations, businesses, bicycle riders and hikers – invites people to join them on Nordic skis and snowshoes at the McMann athletic complex on Congress Avenue Saturday, Feb. 14.

The all-ages, 1 p.m. event includes hot cocoa and instruction.

Chuck Mainville of Maine Youth Sports Opportunities, a Nordic skiing program, will lead cross-country skiers. The easier slopes on the complex’s fields and paths offer an opportunity for learning and improving skills, according to a Jan. 28 Kennebec Estuary Land Trust press release.

Snowshoers, led by Maine master naturalist volunteers, will learn about spotting and tracking animal prints in snow, and how those creatures survive winter conditions.

Novice and experienced snowshoers and skiers are welcome, and there will be a limited supply of Nordic equipment and snowshoes for children and adults to borrow.

Registration is required, and can be done by contacting Becky Kolak at the land trust at 442-8400, or bkolak@kennebecestuary.org, by Wednesday, Feb. 11.

Log onto cityofbath.com/Bath-Trails for more information.

An annual hike of the Peterson Canal on Sunday, Feb. 15, wraps up Great Maine Outdoor Weekend. Built circa 1790 to connect the Kennebec and New Meadows rivers, the canal was transported logs downstream, but now “is little more than a wet scar on the earth,” Ed Benedikt of the New Meadows Lake Association wrote in a Jan. 29 land trust press release.

Participants in the 11 a.m. hike can meet across from the New Meadows Lake boat launch on Old Brunswick Road. They are asked to bring snow shoes, and rides are available for returning to the starting point, for those not wishing to walk back on the road or canal.

The 2.5-mile guided hike will take about two hours and can also take place when the water is frozen.

Check kennebecestuary.org to confirm conditions are appropriate.

Alex Lear can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 113 or alear@theforecaster.net. Follow him on Twitter: @learics.

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A Maine native and Colby College graduate, Alex has been covering coastal communities since 2001, and currently handles Bath, Topsham, Cumberland, and North Yarmouth. He and his wife, Lauren, live in the Portland area, and Alex recently released his third album of original music.