The City of Waterville and Friends of Quarry Road recently announced the start of the winter ski season at Quarry Road Trails in Waterville. With seasonal temperatures dropping below the freezing mark, snowmaking in full swing, and more natural snow in the forecast, the area kicked off a busy winter season.

The Welcome Center yurt will be open 10 a.m.-4 p.m. daily providing tickets, ski rentals, snacks and information. Day tickets for cross-country skiing on the groomed trails start at $5 for Waterville resident students. Season passes are also available: a family of four can ski all season for $119. Use of the snowshoe trails and other ungroomed areas is always free, as is skiing for children 6 and younger.

Quarry Road Trails is able to open thanks to its state-of-the-art snowmaking system, which ensures that the trails will be covered even in periods of low natural snowfall. The area is open with a 500-meter loop of man-made snow groomed for both classic and skate skiing. Snowmaking will be ongoing twith additional terrain in the 10-kilometer trail network opening as conditions allow.

With ski races, community leadership workshops, a full calendar of events is planned in the coming months. Other activities like Central Maine Ski Club’s after-school youth ski program, regional ski competitions, and monthly Community Ski Free Days offer something for everyone at the popular recreation area this winter.

New this year, over a mile of trail will be lit daily until 9 p.m. for night skiing throughout the winter. Other opportunities for winter outdoor recreation include snowshoeing and when conditions permit, winter fat biking.

The area is supported through ski pass sales, donations and contributions from annual sponsors. This year’s gold level sponsors are Central Maine Motors, Inland Hospital, Kennebec Federal Savings, MaineGeneral, and Wallace Events, with bronze level support provided by Fortin’s Home Furnishings, Marden’s, and Sappi.

SSeason passes can be purchased online at quarryroad.org, at the Alfond Youth Center, or the Finance Dept. at Waterville’s City Hall.

Volunteers are needed to help this winter in the following areas: staffing the Welcome Center, youth ski program, events, and reporting on snow conditions. If interested in learning more about volunteer opportunities, call 446-7356 or email [email protected].

For more information, call Waterville Parks and Recreation at 680-4744 or visit quarryroad.org.

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