The Nordic ski trails at Quarry Road Recreation Area offer all levels of cross country skiing at its best, close to downtown Waterville and the nearby capital, Augusta.
One of the world’s leading Nordic trail designers and two-time Olympian, John Morton, created a trail network of exceptional natural beauty and variety including a world class cross country competition loop.
Designated trails are established in the winter to provide skiers, walkers and snowshoers opportunities to be active:
The green, blue, and black trails are for skiing only in the winter season. This includes the River Loop, North and South Koons, and the Charlie's Meadow Outer Loop. The groomed ski trails offer a variety of wooded and open terrain for beginner, intermediate and advanced Nordic skiers.
Trails designated for WINTER WALKING are ORANGE which includes the Devil's Chair Trail, snowshoe path along the river and a groomed trail (inner loop) in the far meadow.
To date, 10.4 km (6.5 miles) of trails have been designed and constructed. Snowmaking capability is available on 3 km of the Nordic ski trails to provide consistent, high quality skiing conditions throughout the winter season.
The wide, rolling 2.3 km River Loop designed for beginning and intermediate skiers and cyclists starts at the first parking area and has several short up and down transitions. Walkers will enjoy the views along the beautiful Messalonskee Stream. The beautiful River Loop has several short up and down transitions as the cross country skier enjoys views of Messalonskee Stream.
Approximately 1.5 km of trails are groomed in the meadow for both skate and classic skiing during the winter months and appropriate for beginner, intermediate and expert Nordic skiers. Most of the terrain is open with wide, flat trails so groups of people can enjoy cross country skiing side by side or see their friends off in the distance. The rolling hills on the far side of the meadow offer a little variety and challenge. Plans to add a gravel path for biking and walking in the warmer months are in the making.
The outer loop of the meadow is groomed for both skate and classic skiing and appropriate for beginner, intermediate and expert Nordic skiers. Most of the terrain is open with wide, flat trails so groups of people can enjoy cross country skiing side by side or see their friends off in the distance. The rolling hills on the far side give a little variety and you can often hear the happy sounds of "wheeeeeeee" as one accelerates down the gentle slopes.
The John D. Koons Trails, both North and South, are for intermediate and advanced Nordic skiing levels. The 1.8 km North Koons Trail and 1.6 km Wally's Way offer a back-country wilderness adventure while the 1.3 km South Koons and 0.6 km Upper Colby Sprint Loop take advantage of the area’s elevation and beautiful view of the Waterville landscape. There is a picnic table at the peak near “Cal's Climb” to rest, reflect on your accomplishments, and admire the beauty around you.