WATERVILLE — Winter ski season kicked off at Quarry Road Trails on Friday, and Caroline Mathes is hopeful that an upcoming forecast of snow will get the whole 6 miles of trails ready to go.

Mathes, the Welcome Center coordinator for the trails, said on Sunday afternoon that snow production has gone well so far. Over the next day they plan to smooth and groom the snow, which would at least double the number of trails currently open, she said. A natural snowfall would help get everything else up and running.

The “state-of-the-art snowmaking system” helps keep the trails covered, “even in periods of low natural snowfall,” according to a news release from Friends of Quarry Road spokesperson Ellen Wells.

This weekend the trails opened for the season with a 500-meter loop, which got Sam Ross, 10, of Sidney, out for his second ski trip of the season. Ross is on the Central Maine Ski Club, and he said he likes having trails that are close by. He said the conditions were good on Sunday.

Mathes said there were skiers from all over the state at Quarry Road Trails on Sunday, coming from as far as Bangor and Cape Elizabeth.

“The temperatures this weekend were great,” she said, referring to the temperature needed to make snow, which is anywhere below 28 degrees Fahrenheit.

This year, more than a mile of trail will stay lit until 9 p.m. each day to provide people an opportunity for night skiing.

Thanks to a grant from the Harold Alfond Foundation, Quarry Road Trails was able to get 30 additional light posts for the Colby Sprint Loop, Mathes said.

The Welcome Center yurt is open daily from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. and provides tickets, rentals and snacks. Mathes said they are still looking for volunteers to help out in two-hour shifts at the center.

In December, the trails will host its Winter Carnival, which has been extended to last for three days this year. Dec. 18 is a “community ski free day,” and the trails, along with partners Friends of Waterville and the Central Maine Ski Club, will host a learn-to-ski clinic from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. The organization is renting a trailer from the Winter Sports Institute and will have free equipment for everyone to rent out, as well as a free day pass and lessons.

The trails will host monthly community ski free days throughout the winter, according to the news release.

The snow trails are supported through ski pass sales, donations and local sponsors.

Madeline St. Amour — 861-9239

[email protected]

Twitter: @madelinestamour

 

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