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Beginner’s Guide to Learning how to Snowmobile

My first experience on a snowmobile in Northern Maine.

Hey Hey it’s DD. I’m typing this using my left hand primarily, because I have what they call “Throttle Thumb” from gripping the throttle on a snowmobile for 107 miles. Yep, that’s right. My first snowmobiling experience was 107 miles! I had never been snowmobiling in my 5 years in Maine (besides a few trips around a friend’s house!) so I was obviously down for the challenge. I’ve got to hand it to my guide, (my bf’s uncle) he did not tell me what I was going to be doing that day, or else I probably would have found 1,000,000 reasons to bail! one being that it was about 10 degrees out that day. No joke. It was COLLLLD.

I woke up late, because it’s who I am as a person (no but really, my phone shut off in the middle of the night) and we headed out from Bangor at 10 am. Troy had the sleds all ready to go, and we took 95 up to Lincoln, where we parked at what the locals call “The Lincoln Salt Shed”. (GPS told me it was the Lincoln Transfer Station). We got lucky and found a place to park the trailer, and we ran into a Warden, and a few logging trucks. It was pretty intense!

We got started around 11:30. I had my own sled and I was absolutely terrified. I thought about all of the ways I could die. I said to myself “Why do you get yourself in these situations??” and then I realized, every amazing thing I’ve ever done started with this conversation with myself. If I was trying to figure out a way to back out – I was in the right place. Once Troy started  giving me the run down, I realized it was very similar to riding a jet ski (helllooo… Florida native here….) and then it just clicked!


For the first 30 – 45 minutes we didn’t cover a lot of miles, because I was terrified. I wouldn’t go above 20…and it was all good, because I thought I was going like, 30 minutes until lunch. Then we hit an epic tree canopy, with freshly fallen snow, and I was totally entranced. Have you ever snowmobiled through Narnia? I have!!!

Snowmobiling Trails on ME 82 to ME 83

We got rolling down ME 82 headed towards ME 83.  Here’s the map we used!

We hit a very cool (and very narrow!) bridge. It was a great photo op, over running water.

After the bridge, we encountered beautiful views of the 100 mile wilderness, and  probably traveled 15 more miles, going 30 – 45 miles per hour until we hit the sign for Wildwoods – 18 miles ahead. (not gonna lie, at first I thought it was a joke…..)


Snowmobiling near Schoodic Lake

We kept on going down the road next to Schoodic Lake. This is where I had my first tip over…. fortunately I knew the push and roll technique, so I wasn’t crushed. Troy saw my bright blue Columbia jacket go flying, so he came back and bailed me out. We pushed the sled back up easily, and he laughed at my  inexperience and the bravery I had by trying to go up on a snowbank. (ummm do I need to tell you… don’t do it your first trip!!) I was loving the bumps, so I got a little brave— I used to jump a lot of waves on the jet ski, so I totally thought I had it….  I did NOT have it. but I recovered nicely.

Eating at Wildwoods Cabins & Restaurant on a Snowmobile

We finally made it to Wildwoods Cabins & Restaurant, where I might have had the best burger of my life. (Our waitress told me it was a steak burger…and it had white cheddar cheese and sauteed onions…..noms) Legitimately. It was AMAZING. I also had  Geaghan’s Honey Blonde for $3.25. (yep!) Troy had the corn chowder, and a coffee. He clearly doesn’t live on the edge like I do.

At lunch I said to Troy, “So, how much longer do we have to go on these things?” thinking we were almost back to the Jeep. Troy says “Oh there’s only one way in and one way out! about 50 miles or so!” My jaw dropped, and I faked a smile. GREAT!!! I said enthusiastically to Troy – and to the waitress I said  – “Yes, I’d love another Honey Blonde”….hahaha… I was already in pain.

The ride back was fun, and smooth, albeit long. It  The first 4 miles after leaving Wildwoods through the woods were bumpy, (Hey! I wonder if that’s where they get their name!) but after that it was smooth sailing. No tip overs, and I even topped 50 MPH at some places. It felt great to be free and wild. It gets dark in Maine a little after 4 at this time of year, so I got the snowmobiling in the dark experience in addition to the snowmobiling in the light experience. (spoiler alert – snowmobiling in the dark is not much different than snowmobiling in the light, except its a little colder, and a bit icy). It took us about 2 1/2 hours to get back to where we started, and quite honestly, I didn’t have much left in me. But I was thankful for such a challenge/accomplishment on my first snowmobiling adventure!! I would NOT recommend this type of adventure for beginners in winter adventures – I only fared well because I had good gear from my winter hikes, as well as winter hiking/skiing experience.

Tell us your snowmobiling adventures! Are you a woman who learned how to snowmobile? What are your favorite trails? Your favorite gear?I’ve got the bug – so I’m really looking forward to hearing more stories. Life goals – snowmobile into barren mountains and then snowshoe up. (this will totally happen)

sending WARMTH and ADVENTURE from Maine –


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Snowmobiling in Maine


Florida born, Maine living. Outdoor life is for me. I love adventures - hiking -photography - running - camping - reading - creating - learning - traveling - deep eddy vodka - cats and living, basically. Follow me on social - @DanielleDorrie