Two reasons to visit The County this weekend

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A double-header for outdoor sports enthusiasts this weekend in Aroostook County, Maine. The  2010 Can-Am Crown International Sled Dog Race, a qualifier for both the Iditarod and Yukon Quest races, takes place Sat. Mar. 6, in Fort Kent, and the 2010 USSA XC Junior Olympics begins tomorrow in Presque Isle.

Aroostook is Maine’s northernmost, most sparsely populated, and largest county, which means if you’re seeking elbow room, or simply space to cross-country ski, snowshoe, snowmobile, or dogsled without crowds, you’ll find it here. Two world-class Nordic centers are free; access will be restricted in Presque Isle while the Junior Olympics are in progress, but if you need a break from howling with the huskies in Fort Kent, those trails await. Now add plenty of other local trail networks, some of Maine’s finest snowmobile trails, and even a couple of Alpine hills. Frankly, the biggest challenge you’ll have is finding a room, given the influx of visitors for these events.