Get Ready to Explore Maine’s Snowmobile Loop Trails this Winter
Maine’s snowmobile loop trails are popular with snowmobilers who love scenic rides without covering the same trail. You can plan day and overnight rides and see everything from scenic mountaintop views to frozen waterfalls along the trails. The three most popular loop trails are located in the Moosehead, Katahdin, and Rangeley areas. The first is the Moose Loop, located in the Moosehead Lake region. It is anywhere from around 138 to 166 miles long, depending on the route you take. The second is the Katahdin Loop Trail, located in the Katahdin region. It is the shortest major loop trail at around 105 miles. The third is the Black Fly Loop, located in the Rangeley Lakes region. It is the longest loop at 228 miles long.
Important Things to Know Before You Go
It is important to note that snowmobile trail routes can change daily. Things like weather conditions (not enough snow, flooding), logging operations and landowners can change the trails at any time. Always check with the local snowmobile clubs for the most updated trail information. As always stay to the right, don’t drink and ride, be prepared and respect landowners by carrying out all trash and staying on marked trails so they stay open!
The Moose Loop
The Moosehead Lake Region has over 100 inches of snowfall each year making it a prime destination for snowmobilers. The Moose Loop trail goes entirely around Moosehead Lake. There is a cutoff trail in Rockwood that cuts the loop in half for those who are looking for shorter trips. The trail passes through Greenville, Rockwood, Seboomook, Northeast Carry, and Kokadjo. Some of the trails are ITS trails, others are locally groomed snowmobile trails. There are many scenic views along the loop trail including Mount Kineo, which you can ride right past.
There are several other great trail rides in this region as well. The Route 66 half-loop is around 55 miles long and makes a circle from Kokadjo to Rockwood to Greenville and back. Riders can visit the historic Katahdin Ironworks by taking ITS 85/86 to ITS 110. This trail offers higher elevations and scenic views along the way. The B-52 Crash Site on Elephant Mountain is also located close to the loop. It can be visited by following ITS 85/86 towards the Wilson Ponds.
Katahdin Loop Trail (KLT)
Next door to the Moosehead Lake Region is the Katahdin Loop Trail located just below Baxter State Park. This region has some of the most scenic mountain views in the state, mainly of Mount Katahdin. The loop circles Millinocket going through Medway, by the base of Baxter State Park, and around several lakes in the region. The JoMary Snowmobile Club grooms many of these trails and can be found at the base of South Twin Lake on the KLT.
This region offers several scenic side-trips as well. The Pemadumcook Parkway Trail is a short, scenic alternate route off the Katahdin Loop Trail which passes by Pemadumcook Lake. Just off this trail is a 2.6 (one-way) side-trail that leads to Ragged Mountain, another scenic view at over 1,300 feet. Another popular trail is B Pond Trail which runs through the scenic 100 Mile Wilderness of the Appalachian Trail. Follow the signs from B Pond Trail to see the scenic Gauntlet Falls, a short ride worth the extra miles.
Black Fly Loop
The Rangeley Lake region is home to the Black Fly Loop, a snowmobiling hot spot offering the widest variety of uncrowded trails covering around 228 miles. Passing through forests and climbing mountains, riders get panoramic mountaintop views of the surrounding area. The loop goes around Rangeley Lake and passes through Stratton, Carrabassett, Kingfield, Strong, and Phillips. Plan your visit around January 26, 2019, for the annual Rangeley Snodeo Winter Carnival, offering a full day of snowmobile-related events.
A nice side trip from the Black Fly Loop is a visit to Grand Falls, the largest horseshoe falls in Maine. Follow ITS 86/89 just below Eustis along the north shore of Flagstaff Lake. From the trail, it is just over 18 miles (one way) to the falls. Take a quick detour off ITS 89 near Kennebago Lake to the 3,500-foot summit of East Kennebago Mountain, a trail just under 2 miles one-way. Make sure you bring your camera to capture the beauty of the Rangeley region!