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Maine lodging and winter sports, from $253

Embrace winter with these packages focused on cross-country skiing and ice climbing amid Maine's snowcapped mountains.
Image: Glade skiing
Hankering for an adventurous winter vacation filled with snow? Try a three-night cross-country ski package in Maine.Andree Kehn / AP

2-night ice-climbing package
Two nights’ lodging, breakfast daily, a five-course gourmet candlelit dinner for two and a day of ice climbing with gear for one person, from $505 per room (about $253 per person) — plus an additional 7 percent in taxes.

When: Through April 30.

The fine print: Based on a minimum two nights’ stay. You can add a person to the ice-climbing outing or receive a one-hour massage at the inn for an additional $50. Taxes are an extra 7 percent. Prices are per room based on double occupancy; solo travelers deduct $45.

Contact: Hartstone Inn, 800/788-4823,

Why it’s a deal: The cost of the weekend package is $505 per room, or about $253 per person. It includes breakfast daily, a five-course dinner for two and six to seven hours of ice climbing for one person. Plus, your companion can go ice climbing with you for an additional $50. When you consider the value of the included ice climbing and meals, you'd be saving about 18 percent.

Included highlights: Guests will enjoy a light 30-minute hike. The package covers a day of ice climbing in Camden's coastal climbing area, which is perfect for beginner- and intermediate-level climbers. Instruction is provided by Acadia Mountain Guides, a climbing school accredited by the American Mountain Guide Association and the Professional Climbing Instructors Association. There's an introduction session on gear, harnesses, ropes and knots, as well as time to practice using the equipment and a variety of climbs progressing from a low angle to steeper ice.

Lodging: Two nights in the seaside village, Camden, in a basic room at the Hartstone Inn, which was built in 1835.

More: Upgrade to a suite with a Jacuzzi and fireplace for an additional $160 total for the two nights. If you'd like to extend your stay, you can do so at the regular room rate, which starts at $135 per night.

3-night cross-country skiing package
This self-guided cross-country skiing itinerary includes three nights’ lodging, all meals, a transfer to the starting point and shuttle service for your gear throughout the tour, from $420 per person — plus taxes of 7 percent (about $29).

When: Jan. 23 - March 15

The fine print: Price is based on a three-night stay. Taxes are an additional 7 percent. The starting rate is for Appalachian Mountain Club members only; add $36 for nonmembers. Annual membership rates start at $25 for those under the age of 30 or over 69, $50 for ages 30 to 69, and $75 for a family. The lowest package rate is valid for Sunday to Friday travel; add $40 (members) or $48 (nonmembers) for Saturday-night stays. Prices are per person and are not based on any set occupancy; no single supplement.

Contact: Appalachian Mountain Club, 603/466-2727,

Why it’s a deal: The cost of this package breaks down to about $150 a day (or $162 if you're not a member), and it includes lodging, all meals, a transfer, gear shuttling and taxes. The savings are valued at about 10 percent for the three-night package and 20 percent for five-night stays.

Itinerary: The self-guided itinerary is intended for intermediate to advanced cross-country skiers. The Northwoods Outfitters staff will meet you in Greenville and take you to the Little Lyford winter parking lot, where you'll leave your car before proceeding to Medawisla.

The staff will shuttle your gear from camp to camp as you ski along the snowmobile-broken trails that are clearly marked with green diamonds. But bring a field guide and a compass in case fresh snow covers the tracks.

The recommended route goes from Medawisla Wilderness Lodge, south to West Branch Pond Camps, and then on to Little Lyford Lodge and Cabins. You can expect to ski about six to nine miles each day; get detailed instructions and packing advice here.

Lodging: One night each at Medawisla Wilderness Lodge on the shores of Second Roach Pond, West Branch Pond Camps below White Cap Mountain, and Little Lyford Lodge and Cabins in the Moosehead Lake region. You'll be staying in private cabins, which can typically accommodate one to four occupants. Larger cabins, which sleep a maximum of five to nine people, may be available depending on the location.

More: If you'd like to stay longer, you can book a five-night package, which includes two nights at Medawisla Wilderness Lodge, one night at West Branch Pond Camps, and two nights at Little Lyford Lodge and Cabins, and starts at $560 for members; add $64 for nonmembers. The starting rate for any additional nights is $80 per night, and it reflects a 20 percent lodging discount.

Before you go: For more about the area, visit Maine's official tourism Web site. Read these guidelines before you book any Real Deal.

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