For the past few months, the head of the Maine Snowmobile Association has been having discussions with the operators of Maine’s wind farms to see if they could be added as destinations as part of the state’s already extensive trail system.
Bob Meyers, executive director of the Maine Snowmobile Association, says the idea is starting to gain momentum, and is based at least in part on the ‘Passport Program’ that has been a popular addition to Maine’s State Parks. That program encourages visitors to get stamps at each location they visit and gives them an opportunity to win prizes if they get stamped at each site.
"We’ve been talking to some of the wind companies for several months now, and they came up with this concept of having existing trails that connect the wind projects in the state," Meyers explained. "Snowmobilers definitely like to head to destinations, those are impressive things to see, and generally they also come with terrific views of the countryside."
"So once it gets going, which will probably be a year from now, it will be a new attraction for the state and something really unique we think."
Meyers says the program will be designed in a way that helps drive riders to support local businesses and get involved with their local snowmobile club.
"It is all about economic development, particularly in areas that don’t have a lot of opportunities in the wintertime," said Meyers.
He says there are plenty of details that need to be worked out between now and next winter, but that he is hopeful that they can find a way to add these wind farms to the list of destinations that can be accessed by the state’s more than 14,500 miles of snowmobile trails.