Weather or not, it will be a Great Maine Outdoor Weekend

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PORTLAND — All of the rain this winter has not put a damper on plans for the first Great Maine Outdoor Weekend.

The Maine Outdoor Coalition, a group of 26 organizations including the Maine Chapter of the Appalachian Mountain Club, Winter Kids, L.L. Bean and Maine Audubon, has planned a weekend filled with 90 events to get Mainers outside March 2-4.

“Our point is that winter in Maine is a lot of things and now that we are on the edge of mud season, we want people to realize that they can get outside and play no matter what the weather,” said Lindsay Bourgoine of the Appalachian Mountain Club.

More than 70 different organizations are participating in 90 events.

In southern Maine, residents can meet at the Tryon Mountain trail head in Pownal to hike, snowshoe or ski from Bradbury Mountain to Pineland Farms on Friday at 2 p.m.; join the L.L. Bean Discovery School for a “Starlight Snowshoe” tour at 6 p.m.; or gather to ski, snowshoe or walk the Eastern Trail in Scarborough on Saturday at 1 p.m.

While the nature of the weekend’s events depend on snow, Bourgoine says that they will all go on as planned, barring any crazy weather events.

“Some of our events might be more fun with snow, but we are not too disappointed,” she said. “For a lot of local land trust events it will depend on snow conditions, whether we snowshoe or hike.”

But with plowable snow predicted this week, residents should be prepared to strap on skis and snowshoes instead of hiking boots.

This year marks the first Great Maine Outdoor Weekend, but there are plans in the works to make it a twice-yearly event, working with different groups to ensure the best outdoor experience.

“Our hope is to do it two times a year, every year, in March and September” said Bourgoine. “We already set the dates for our fall weekend which will be held Sept. 28 to 30. In the fall we hope that we can engage some different partners, like the Bicycle Coalition of Maine and the Maine Island Trail Association.”

Amber Cronin can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 115 or acronin@theforecaster.net. Follow Amber on Twitter: @croninamber.

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