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XC Ski through apple orchards at Five Fields Farm in Bridgton

XC Ski through apple orchards at Five Fields Farm in Bridgton

Cross-country skiing at Five Fields Farm in Bridgton

In the warmer months, visitors to Five Fields Farm in Bridgton wander between the rows of apple trees, reaching into the leaves to pick the perfect Paula Red or Ginger Gold.

But when there’s snow on the ground, the orchard is a playground for cross-country skiers and snowshoers.

Five Fields Farm, Bridgton Maine
The winterized retail stand at Five Fields Farm in Bridgton.

Over the last 10 years, Five Fields Farm has downsized their apple operation to focus more and more on winter activity. Inside the winterized retail stand, there are snowshoes hanging from the walls and cubbies flush with cross-country ski boots. (Rental rates: cross-country skis are $18 a day, $14 half-day for adults and $14 a day and $12 half-day for “juniors.” Snowshoes are $12 a day, $10 half-day.)

Five Fields Farm, Bridgton, Maine
The retail stand at Five Fields Farm in Bridgton has plenty of gear for rent, like snowshoes and cross-country kids. Shannon Bryan photo

The groomed trails start right there, taking skiers and snowshoers past the orchard and its rows of leaf-less apple trees with their craggly branches. There are 27 kilometers of trails here, which loop around the orchards and connect with logging roads and property owned the Loon Echo Land Trust on Bald Pate Mountain.

Heading out on the trails at Five Fields Farm. Shannon Bryan photo
Five Fields Farm maine
A group of cross-country skiers with Maine Farmland Trust glide by the apple trees. Shannon Bryan photo

There are some dips and hills along the way to spice things up, and times when the wide trail is surrounded by tall birch trees and evergreens.

A tree-lined trail. Shannon Bryan photo
Wide trails, plenty of snow. Shannon Bryan photo
An old cemetery at Five Fields Farm in Bridgton. Shannon Bryan photo
Five Fields Farm. Shannon Bryan photo

There’s plenty of groomed trail here – for classic and skate skiing – and some backcountry, too. There are also outstanding views of mountains in the distance.

Racers go LEFT! Shannon Bryan photo
Apple trees up close, mountains in the distance. Shannon Bryan photo

You can ski the afternoon away, gawking at the apple trees and the mountains and the wide snow-covered trails. And then you might want sustenance:

Standard Gastropub Bridgton Maine
So many beverages. Shannon Bryan photos

Food & beer at Standard Gastropub in Bridgton
After your scenic ski at Five Fields Farm, take the 10 minute drive into downtown Bridgton and stop at Standard Gastropub. It looks like a gas station, because it is. But inside that unassuming brown building is some delicious brisket, outstanding Brussels sprouts, and more beers than you can shake a ski at.
www.facebook.com/STANDARDGASTROPUB/

Five Fields Farm

720 South Bridgton Road, Bridgton
Trail pass rates: Adult: Full day $12, after 2 p.m. $10. Junior: Full day $10, After 2 p.m. $8.
Download a trail map [PDF] | Rental info
fivefieldsski.com/xc_skiing.htm

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.