WATERVILLE — It was shredding and shedding Saturday at Quarry Road Trails in Waterville.

The shredding was on Nordic skis and the shedding was what happened to layers of clothing because of intense physical activity, in spite of the frigid temperature.

It was 14 degrees just after noon at the popular recreation site.

And it was Free Ski Day.

“I’m sweating,” April Lawrence, of Belfast, said in the Welcome Center after skiing. “The cold didn’t bother me at all. We always bring an empty backpack so we can put our layers in it as we go.”

“We had a great day out there. Fast, it was really fast,” Lawrence’s Nordic companion, said John Elliot, also of Belfast.

Cody Keithan, of Belfast, agreed with Lawrence — the cold was definitely not bothering him.

Sarah Minzy, of Pittston, helps her daughter Parker, 11, get ready to ski Saturday at Quarry Road Trails in Waterville.

“It was good,” he said. “I was stripping layers off about 10 minutes into it.”

The free community event, hosted by the city of Waterville, was the second of three Community Ski Free Days scheduled for the 2018-2019 winter season.

There were cross-country skis, skate skis and fat-tire bikes on the ice and snow Saturday.

“They are specifically for snow, but a lot of people ride them year around,” said Dave Leach, of Waterville, owner of Mathieu’s Cycle and Fitness, of Oakland and Farmingdale, who was offering demonstrations. “They cover more territory in the snow, better traction and some have studded tires for ice. As far as the hard-packed trails, those tires are fine.”

Located just 2 miles from downtown Waterville, Quarry Road’s trails and open spaces provide opportunities for cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, biking, walking, running and paddling, according to the Quarry Road website.

The area offers 8 miles of groomed Nordic ski trails, and additional miles of backcountry snowshoe and hiking trails. Trail passes, rentals, snacks and information are available at the Quarry Road Welcome Center, which is open daily from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. during ski season. More than a mile of trail is lit for night skiing until 9 p.m. daily.

Steve Hall of Winslow, an employee at Mathieu’s Cycle and Fitness, of Oakland and Farmingdale, takes a test ride Saturday on a fat-tire bike Saturday at Quarry Road Trails in Waterville.

Pete McAllister, a Quarry Road Welcome Center staff member, said Saturday’s chilly temperature did not seem to faze folks who wanted to get out on the trails and do some skiing.

“We’ve had a really good turnout,” he said. “It’s been pretty steady all day long.”

He said they had a lot of rental customers, meaning that people who don’t own skis were probably taking advantage of the free ski day.

“We’ve had several first-time skiers today,” McAllister said. “The cold doesn’t appear to be holding them back.”

McAllister said about 50 people came to the trails in the first two hours after they opened Saturday.

As for making snow on the trails, McAllister said that’s over. He said if it becomes necessary, the staff has enough money saved to rent a compressor to power their snow guns.

“We’re pretty much done with making our own snow this year,” he said. “For the rest of the year, we’re hoping to get by with Mother Nature providing the snow. Everything is open.”

He said they last ran the guns last week, before the area received 6 to 8 inches of new snow.

Doug Harlow — 612-2367

[email protected]


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.

filed under: