WELD — Mount Blue State Park will hold its third annual “Take It Outside!” Winter Family Fun Day on Saturday, Jan. 30, offering families a variety of outdoor activities from Nordic skiing to sledding.

Building on the success of previous years, the event is expected to draw a large crowd of fun seekers who are looking for affordable family activities, park manager Bruce Farnham said Thursday.

About 600 people participated in last year’s Family Fun Day, Farnham said.

“It’s a great day for a family outing, and Mount Blue has opportunities for many different winter activities,” Farnham said.

“We’re expecting a bigger crowd than last year, weather permitting. We’ve got our fingers crossed, and we’re doing a snow dance.”

The fun runs from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the park on Center Hill Road. Cost for adults ages 12 to 64 is $1.50; children and seniors get in free. The cost includes lunch.

Activities include cross country skiing, snowshoeing, ice skating and sledding. Equipment will be available for those who don’t have their own, Farnham said.

Staff from the Maine Winter Sports Center and Northern Lights Hearth and Sports will help instruct people who want to try cross country skiing or snowshoeing for the first time, Farnham said.

“The availability of equipment gives people a chance to try out a winter sport that they may not otherwise experience,” he said.

People intent on going sledding at the Center Hill Picnic Area are advised to bring their own sleds, though some will be available. Park rangers and volunteers will help transport people to the top of the hill.

Ice skating is on the outdoor rink near the parking lot, with instruction by Regional Park Manager Mike Leighton several times a day.

The Mount Blue ice skating rink is known to have “one of the best views in the state” and is a spectacular skating site, Farnham said.

Park Manager Andy Hutchinson of Wolfe’s Neck Woods State Park, an expert naturalist, will offer two interpretative walks on “Nature in Winter.” Participants will put on their snowshoes and head out on trails for an informative experience.

For those who prefer to ride rather than walk, sleigh rides will be provided by David Fish and his horse team throughout the day.

There are two new special activities:

• Rex Turner, an outdoor recreation planner with the Maine Bureau of Parks and Lands, will demonstrate winter camping skills.

• The Maine Warden Service will also present different aspects of winter rescues, focusing on how to stay out of trouble in the Maine woods during winter.

“I expect people will be very intrigued by these demonstrations,” Farnham said. “Not many people try winter camping but are interested in knowing how to go about it.”

Hot food will be available from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m., with a menu consisting of hamburgers, chili, corn chowder, hot dogs, cookies, brownies, hot chocolate and coffee. There will also be a bonfire.

Participants are reminded to dress warmly and appropriately for a fun day outside, Farnham said.

For more information, go to www.parksandlands.com  and follow the link to the Event Calendar.

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