Skiers hit the slopes for outdoor fun at Lonesome Pine Trails

FORT KENT, Maine — The sun was shining and temperatures hit the mid-20s as skiers hit the slopes at Lonesome Pine Trails in Fort Kent on Saturday.

Season ski pass sales were up this year as people seek outdoor opportunities to have fun while COVID-19 restrictions have reduced indoor gatherings, Lonesome Pines manager Mike Voisine said.

“A lot of people want to get out on the slopes for something to do,” Voisine said. 

The popular resort is following state guidelines including mask requirements and social distancing requirements for all skiers to reduce the risk of the virus.

A young skier raced to the bottom of the Founders’ Trail at Lonesome Pines on Saturday. (Jessica Potila | St. John Valley Times)

“We are following the guidelines all over the mountain and in the lodge and going above and beyond the guidelines to make sure everyone is safe,” Voisine said.

Skiers from all over Aroostook County visited Lonesome Pine Trails on Saturday, including Austin LaPlante and Devon Ouellette of Caribou. 

Ouellette is a senior member of the Caribou High School Alpine Ski Team and has skied at Lonesome Pines many times before. 

“It’s good skiing,” Ouellette said. “It feels great to be outside and to be able to do something.”

Former Caribou ski team member LaPlante, a sophomore at University of Maine in Orono, enjoyed a break between semesters to hit the slopes.

“I’ve been itching to ski,” LaPlante said. “I’ve been waiting for enough snow to be able to go.” 

Voisine said Lonesome Pines would not have been able to open so early in the season without the support of community volunteers. 

“All of our volunteer snowmakers put in a big effort this year; everyone came together to make it happen,” he said.

The T-bar carried skiers to the top of the mountain at Lonesome Pine Trails in Fort Kent on Saturday. (Jessica Potila | St. John Valley Times)

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