Central Maine

Quarry Road Trails draw people to Greater Waterville area

By Ellen Wells

When you consider where you would like to raise a family, enjoy a successful career, or retire, what’s important to you? Perhaps it’s good schools? A vibrant downtown? Active arts community? Outdoor recreation opportunities? Well in that case, there’s no better place to call home than the Greater Waterville area - where we have it all!  If you’re an outdoor lover, Quarry Road Trails is a true gem offering an abundance of opportunity for fun and fitness in the heart of Waterville.

Something for everyone

Quarry Road Trails (QRT), managed by the City of Waterville, has helped draw visitors, occupational talent, and home buyers alike to the Waterville area for more than a decade. Located just minutes from the interstate and downtown, all are welcome to explore the trails year-round.

One of the world’s leading Nordic trail designers and two-time Olympian, John Morton, designed a trail network of exceptional natural beauty and variety at QRT. Today, the trails are expertly maintained through a unique collaboration between Waterville’s Parks & Recreation staff and well-trained volunteers.

From casual walkers, snowshoers, and first-time cross-country skiers, to mountain biking enthusiasts, seasoned runners, elite skiers, and all outdoor enthusiasts in-between, QRT has something to offer everyone on their 10+/- miles of trails. Your four-legged friends can even participate with dog walking a popular activity; for those with a more competitive nature, the annual Dryland Challenge dogsled races add to the offerings.

Year-round hub of activity

During the winter months, the area serves as a popular cross-country ski venue for all levels from beginners to national champions and home to the Colby Ski Team. Snowmaking, expertly groomed trails, lighting for night skiing, a warm welcome center, and team of dedicated volunteers all contribute to the area’s popularity for area residents and visitors far beyond Central Maine. A new generation of local cross-country skiers has arisen from QRT’s community ski-free days, after-school ski programs, and competitive events for all ages.

In the summertime, easy-to-moderate trails winding around the fields and along the stream along with the more challenging single-track are popular for walking, biking, and running. Mountain bikers and runners of all ages are encouraged to participate in annual race series offerings. A carry-in boat launch provides access to miles of easy paddling or a relaxing fishing opportunity along the Messalonskee Stream.

Quarry Road Trails is one of the many reasons people love living here in Central Maine – if you haven’t discovered this gem yet, be sure to check it out soon. Perhaps you’ll decide you’d like to live, work, and play here, too!

Learn more

Coldwell Banker Plourde Real Estate is a proud supporter of Quarry Road Trails. If you would like to learn more, visit quarryroadtrails.org or contact Ellen Wells, Coldwell Banker Plourde Real Estate Realtor and Friends of Quarry Road volunteer, at ewells@cbplourde.com.

10 Family Activities to do in Central Maine during the Holiday Season

Snow and Christmas Lights

Looking for some interesting family activities to do this holiday season? The greater Waterville area has many to choose from. Here are the top ten:

Kringleville

Waterville, ME - November 28 - December 22, most evenings and Saturdays

Shop downtown and visit with Santa.

Festival of Trees

Goodwill-Hinckley - December 6 - 13, 9:00 am - 4:00 pm, and evenings on the 10th and 12th

Daily tree viewings, giveaways, and lots of activities.

Holiday Stroll

Skowhegan, ME - December 5 & December 6

Parade Friday night at 7:00 pm. Shop downtown and join in many holiday activities.

Service of Carols and Bells

Colby College, Waterville, ME - December 5 & 6

Readings, caroling and music.

Chester Greenwood Day

Farmington, ME - December 6

Holiday Movies themed parade, Gingerbread House Contest, Chili Contest and more. Bring your earmuffs!

Belgrade Lakes Village Holiday Stroll (PDF)

Belgrade Lakes, ME - December 6

Parade, horse-drawn carriage rides, caroling and live music.

Cut and carry tree farms

A fun family experience, you-cut tree farms make an event out of choosing your Christmas tree.

Donating/Volunteering

Donate cash, gifts, or food. Or make it a family activity and donate your time to help the hungry or needy.

Greater Waterville Area Food Bank

Mondays thru Thursdays, 10 am - noon; 2nd and 4th Monday evening 5:30 - 7:00 pm

Listing of Local Church Soup Kitchens

Various times

Greater Waterville Area Food Pantries

Various times

Chasing Lights

Drive through or stroll along well decorated streets. Some neighborhoods earn reputations for holiday decorating.

Good areas include Washington St, near Colby College; China Rd in Winslow, and any of the downtown shopping areas in Waterville, Skowhegan, Augusta, Winslow, Fairfield and beyond.