Portland and a nonprofit partner are promising greatly improved Nordic ski conditions – when there’s snow – at Riverside Golf Course, the city’s most popular winter recreation venue.

City spokeswoman Jessica Grondin announced in a news release Monday that Portland Nordic has used $15,000 it raised in a capital campaign to acquire a snowmobile capable of pulling a trail groomer.

The nonprofit purchased a new Ski-Doo Skandic snowmobile that is designed to operate at low speeds and handle heavy loads. It will pull a new trail groomer that was purchased by the city.

Grondin said the new snowmobile will replace a machine that had been in use for 15 years and could operate only at high speeds, resulting in less than optimal grooming.

The new equipment will be unveiled Tuesday during a ribbon cutting ceremony at 3:15 p.m. at the golf course, which is located on Riverside Street. Members of Portland’s high school and middle school Nordic ski teams are expected to attend the ribbon cutting.

“Thanks to our partnership with the city of Portland, this new equipment will ensure better ski conditions for skiers in our programs and everyone who comes to Riverside to enjoy the trails,” Mark Jordan, president of Portland Nordic, said in a statement.

In addition to well-groomed trails, visitors to Riverside will notice new kiosks and signs at the North and South course. Portland Nordic received a $5,000 grant from the Maine Trails Advisory Committee to build the kiosks and add signage.

The kiosks will have trail maps, trail rules and other information concerning public use of the course. There is no user fee at Riverside during the winter months.

“Portland Nordic has been instrumental in promoting cross-country skiing in our community, and we are so grateful for their hard work and investment to provide great skiing opportunities to our city,” City Manager Jon Jennings said in a statement.

The city-owned Riverside Golf Course, which opened in 1932, features an 18-hole course, a nine-hole course and a three-hole practice course situated on 200 acres of rolling hills and tree-lined fairways bordered by the Presumpscot River.

Dennis Hoey can be contacted at 791-6365 or at:

[email protected]

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