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Winter is off to a mild start across Maine

royal river.jpg
Esta Pratt-Kielley
Maine Public
Royal River in Yarmouth, Maine on Dec. 26, 2022.

Warm and rainy weather, combined with the lingering effects from the Christmas storm, have made for a disappointing start to winter for Mainers looking to hit the ski and snowmobile trails.

"The calendar says January, but it really looks much more like mud season out there," said Andy Cutko, director of the Maine Bureau of Parks and Lands. "The sustained winds and just heavy rain that we had a couple days before Christmas and then the long warm spell in the last week or two have really left trails in tough shape."

The ground is still too saturated in many places to access state trails, pick up fallen storm debris and restore them to a usable condition, Cutko said.

Ski and snowmobile trails at Bradbury Mountain, Sebago Lake and Mount Blue state parks haven't been groomed because there's no snow.

Conditions are especially poor in southern and central Maine, Cutko said.

"We need to make a number of adjustments, and hopefully real winter will come back to Maine soon," he said.

The Mount Blue ice rink is closed until temperatures drop. And the upcoming youth ice fishing derby at Lake St. George State Park is canceled because the conditions aren't safe.

A wintery mix and scattered snow showers are in the forecast for Maine later this week, but temperatures are supposed to stay relatively mild.