Maine Winter Guide: When Does It Snow in Maine?

Maine, the Pine Tree State, takes pride not just for its nearly 18 million acres of forest. Locals and tourists alike also indulge in the state’s best-kept secret – Maine’s snow-capped fields and woods during wintertime. So, if you haven’t experienced this magic, you must have wondered, ‘When does it snow in Maine?’

Maine snow is prominent in December. There’s no snow in Maine from April to October, although the state experiences seasonal variations every month.

While Maine’s summers are long, their winters offer more than enough to get your fill of snow adventures, wherever your winter spirit peaks the most. Read on to discover Maine in the winter and start pencil marking your calendars.

Maine Winter Snow

Winter in Maine Preparation

If you’re about to experience Maine in winter for the first time, it’s best to come prepared before indulging in the exciting snow activities ahead. Here’s a head start:

Plow Ahead

There’s no getting anywhere when snow is in your driveway. So, whether you’re in for a short or long-term Maine winter, there are several options at your disposal. Landlords or municipalities usually handle snow removal, but you could also get the job done with a snowblower (view on Amazon).

Prepare for the Cold

You’d never go wrong by being ready for winter in Maine, and that’s even if you’re used to snowy chills. Ensure that you have alternative heat sources like wood-burning stoves. Also, have enough winter clothes that are versatile whether you’re indoors or outdoors.

Gear Up

Never underestimate the ‘dangers’ of snow. Even if you’re just going out for a walk, it’s wise to wear ice cleats to avoid sliding or slipping on snowy paths.

How Often Does It Snow in Maine?

The frequency of snowfall during winter in Maine depends on what part of the state you’re in. You’d experience more in northern and central inland Maine than in coastal or southern Maine.

Likewise, Maine winter is never the same as the last. There are years when it snows half a dozen times, but snow could also fall every other day for months. It even snowed every few days from December to February in Portland, with many people seeking warmth from their insulated jackets (view in Amazon).

Does It Snow in Maine in October?

Yes, and it capped Mt. Katahdin in 2011. At Caribou, Maine, the average snowfall is 1.2 days. It’s rarer along the coast, but it’s common in northern Maine and the mountain areas. However, there haven’t been significant snowstorms in October for the past decades.

Does it snow in Maine in December? Definitely, and it’s the peak of enjoying the snow in Maine.

How Much Does It Snow in Maine?

The amount of snow varies from one Maine part to another. If you’re in the midcoast, the average winter snow is about 51 inches. Here, snow also often turns into rain during storms. There also is frozen rain along the coast. In southern coastal Maine like Portland, the average is about 60 inches. Central Maine, like Augusta, gets about 70 inches, but in northern Maine like Presque Isle, the snowfall’s yearly average could reach a high of 150 inches.

How Long Does Snow in Maine Lasts?

Some parts have it as early as October and last until May that some residents call Maine’s two seasons Winter and August. Portland residents experience Maine in winter daily from late October to early April. Still, some glimpse the first sight of snow in November until it putters out in March.

So, when does it start to snow in Maine? Generally, it would be in October.

Portland, Maine, Winter Snow Scene

What Part of Maine Gets the Most Snow?

Maine in winter is pretty much snowy anywhere. However, you’d find the snowiest areas on the top left corner of the Pine Tree State near the Canadian border. But if you’re looking for the best town in Maine where it snows the most, Presque Isle is one.

It’s the economic hub of Northern Maine and is home to the Nordic Heritage Center, a renowned Nordic and biathlon facility which hosts many international competitions. Moreover, it has a fantastic snowmobile trail network that is city accessible in case you’re off-town. For a smaller-town experience, head north to Fort Kent for some alpine skiing.

Which Part of Maine Has the Least Cold Winters?

That would be along the coast because, in winter, the prevailing winds move from the south up the coast, creating a warming effect. You also get less chilly Maine snow down east like Bar Harbor from the winds of the Atlantic. Generally, the coastal region near New Hampshire is where you’d experience the least cold winter.

How Cold Does It Get in Maine?

Since Maine is further north than other eastern states, it’s relatively colder. The state registered a record low of -50oC, sharing the temperature with other high-elevation states like Colorado, South Dakota, Utah, and Wyoming.

The northern part could hit below 10 degrees and is probably not the best temperature to try snow tubing in Maine. However, in the south, where most of the population lives, the temperature is only about 5 degrees colder than in New York City.

Residents might be pretty adept during Maine snow, but if you’re a tourist, you will find that many restaurants shut down in the dead winter.

Flurry-filled Activities During Maine Winter

If you’re planning to experience snow in Maine, here’s a list of white winter adventures that you can indulge in.

Snowmobile Ride

Maine’s 3,500-mile Interconnected Trail System is among the favorites of snowmobilers across the globe. If you’re a professional snowmobiler, make sure to check out Madawaska’s International Snowmobilers Festival. You can also rent equipment at the Millinocket’s New England Outdoor Center to explore about 10,000 miles of snowmobile trails peppering the Pine Tree State.


What’s a winter adventure without hitting the slopes? And Maine offers incomparable choices. Generally favored by expert skiers, Sugarloaf is Maine’s biggest winter sports resort. It also is the only one that offers lift-serviced ski terrain above the tree line. If you’re looking for a family-friendly experience, try the snow-covered slopes of Sunday River. Not only does it offer lessons if you’re just starting to learn the activity, but it’s also the best location to try downhill skiing.

Snow Skiing Downhill


Shawnee Peak is perfect if you’re new to snowboarding, and it’s also kid-friendly. If you’re enjoying Maine winter with family and friends, go check out Lost Valley. Watch snowboarders beyond the restaurant deck while you enjoy a meal or warm up with a few drinks.

Fat Biking

Indulge in fat biking at Pineland Farms’ 5,000 acres of biking trails. You get a selection of bikes to choose from at a low hourly rate at this farm in New Gloucester. If you’re looking for extended stays in Maine, Ski Rack Sports in Bangor rents out bikes for more riding fun.


Snowshoeing is one outdoor adventure that you can try while enjoying the snow in Maine, even if you’re at it for the first time. At New England Outdoor Center (NEOC), you’d get the thrill of the sport through guided snowshoe tours across 16 miles of groomed ski trails. NEOC, located on Millinocket Lake and directly views Mt. Katahdin, also offers other fun activities like mountain biking and hiking.


If winter hiking is your thing, Acadia, Baxter, and Camden are the places to go. Acadia National Park accommodates hikers of varied skills and preferences. Baxter State Park has a spectacular view of the mountains peppered by snow. Offering a classic view of Maine’s Camden Harbor is Camden Hills Park, where you can cap your hike with the comforting warmth of a cup of cocoa.

Ice Fishing

Looking to catch that elusive bass, trout, or pickerel? At Maine’s frozen lakes like Greenville or Portage, your bait and tackle would get busy. Ice fishing season during Maine winter starts from January 1 to March 31, when land-locked salmon, cusk, and whitefish are popular catches at top fishing spots like Moosehead Lake and Wilson Pond.

Conclusion: Maine Winter Guide: When Does It Snow in Maine?

From October to May, indulge in the mythical activities that snow in Maine offers. Whether you opt to enjoy Maine winter indoors or outdoors, you’d be checking off bucket-list moments that are worth reliving over and over.

Kris Peter

A positive individual enjoying the journey, and always searching for adventure. I created Sunlight Living to help my parents (and eventually myself) prepare for retirement. About Kris

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