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Ski, Swim & Sauna: A wonderful winter trifecta at Bethel Inn Resort

Ski, Swim & Sauna: A wonderful winter trifecta at Bethel Inn Resort

Cross-country skiing, an outdoor heated pool and the splendid sweat of an end-of-day sauna.

It’s a winter trifecta that combines a bit of outdoor activity with plenty of well-deserved relaxation. And then more relaxation. Toss in a pit stop at the tavern for a beer and a burger and you’ve got yourself a day worth writing home about.

The ski-swim-sauna package is offered by the clever folks at Bethel Village Trails at the Bethel Inn Resort – they understand how the addition of an outdoor heated pool makes every adventure even better. Especially in the winter.

The Bethel Nordic Ski Center at The Bethel Inn Resort. Shannon Bryan photo
Bethel Village Trails at The Bethel Inn Resort. Shannon Bryan photo

The ski-swim-sauna package costs $27, which includes a trail pass for the day (the trail pass alone is $18) and access to the inn’s fitness center, which has a heated outdoor pool and sauna (as well as a small gym with machines and weights, if you’re so inclined). If you don’t own cross-country skis, you can rent them for $18.

Cara poses for a pre-ski photo outside the Nordic Ski Center at The Bethel Inn. Shannon Bryan photo
Cara poses for a pre-ski photo outside the Nordic Ski Center at The Bethel Inn. Shannon Bryan photo

The ski center also happens to be right next to the Millbrook Tavern, so if you want to add wine/beer/pulled pork sandwich/chips and guac to your ski-swim-sauna day, you very easily can. (And you should.)

And very easily, you could have a Ski-Swim-Sauna day that looks something like this:

Ski

Start your morning on the scenic cross-country trails behind the inn. (There’s a golf course under all that snow, and those fairways look great blanketed in white.) If you’re brand-new to cross-country skiing, you can rent skis from the ski center and even take a lesson.

There are 40 km of groomed trails – lots of flats and some fun little hills. Much of the time, the swish-swish sound of your skis on the snow is just about the only sound, aside from the friendly hellos you’ll occasionally exchange with fellow skiers, who are few and far between out there, even though it’s a sunny Saturday and the conditions are just right.

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Get your trail pass and ski rentals, if needed, from the ski center, where you can also grab a snack or warm up for a bit (but with all that skiing, you probably plenty warm). Shannon Bryan photos
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A group of cross-country skiers sets out from the ski center at The Bethel Inn Resort. Shannon Bryan photo
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Check the trail map for beginner, intermediate and difficult terrain. We encountered some hills on the intermediate trails, which were a lot of fun. Cara Slifka photo
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The mountains are often in view while out on the trails. Shannon Bryan photo
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Nice tracks. Cara Slifka photo

 

Skiers on the trails at the Nordic Ski Center in Bethel. Shannon Bryan photo
Skiers on the trails at Bethel Village Trails in Bethel. Shannon Bryan photo
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Skiing on a woodsy trail at Bethel Village Trails. Cara Slifka photo

Swim

After skiing, it’s over to the fitness center, which is just a short walk across a parking lot, where you’ll ditch the ski apparel for a swimsuit. The heated outdoor pool has an indoor entrance (hurrah!) and boy, is it cozy. You’ll slip right in and make your way through the plastic curtain and out into the open air. And it’ll feel niiiiiiiice.

Soon enough you’ll discover the seating area with strategically placed jets. The forced water will massage your back forever, if you’d like. Or you can float about, marveling at the piles of snow on the edges of the pool and the steam rising up from the water.

Enter the pool from inside. Towels provided. Shannon Bryan photos
Enter the pool from inside. Towels provided. Shannon Bryan photos
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Those jets! They hit the back just right. Shannon Bryan photo
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When you’re in a pool, a handstand must be done. Cara Slifka photo
Winter sunset from a heated outdoor pool! Cara Slifka photo.
Winter sunset from a heated outdoor pool! Cara Slifka photo.

Sauna

Once your fingers and toes have sufficiently pruned, it’s time to head inside to warm yourself to a glorious crisp in one of the saunas (pick your poison: Sauna A or Sauna B. I think they’re exactly the same).

It’ll be hard to fathom that it’s actually winter outside – and that you were bundled in a coat, hat and mittens just a couple of hours ago, because you’re not even wearing pants right now and you’re toastier than you’ve been in months.

That’s the glory of of a ski-swim-sauna day.

Cara Slifka photo
The only sauna photo you’re going to see here. Cara Slifka photo

Wine/beer/burger

The ski center and fitness center also happen to be oh-so-conveniently located next to the Bethel Inn Resort’s Millbrook Tavern, where you can stop in for a beer and a burger or a glass of wine and some chips and guac (or whatever food and drink moves you) any time during your ski-swim-sauna day.

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Ski-Swim-Sauna

Bethel Village Trails at The Bethel Inn Resort
21 Broad St., Bethel
207-824-2175 x 0 or info@bethelinn.com
$27 includes trail pass and access to the fitness center. Ski rentals, if needed, are $20 a day.
FMI: bethelinn.com/site/ski-winter/

This post was originally published on Feb. 5, 2016


IF YOU LOVE TO SAUNA, CHECK OUT THIS STORY, TOO: Hike and Sauna Saturday: Pleasant Mountain + Nurture Through Nature, Denmark



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Shannon Bryan

Shannon Bryan

I don't like "exercise" any more than you do. But you know what I do like? Paddleboarding with a friend all afternoon (and then sitting in the grass to drink chardonnay). Bike rides and nachos, hikes, yoga classes held in breweries, group paddles to Fort Gorges, you get the idea. Because Maine is my gym.

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