It's shaping up to be a great winter for outdoor activities. Plenty of snow for whatever you want to do, including the horse-drawn sled rides at Leonard's Mills in Bradley. It's a great way to tour the Maine Forest and Logging Museum's historic compound, and it's a fun and scenic way to pass a winter day!

The rides at Leonard's Mills are a little different than most because they use an authentic sled designed to haul wood. The long, flat sled has fences around the sides for safety and can carry as many as twenty people at a time, making it ideal for groups.

Another unique feature to the Leonard's Mills rides is that the horses pull the sled through the historic community, through the woods, and over a covered bridge. Obviously, that last portion provides a challenge, as the skis on the sled don't go as well over the wooden floor. So volunteers shovel snow onto the bridge to make for a smoother ride.

Once the ride is over, folks are encouraged to gather at the Blacksmith's Shop to warm themselves by the stove and sip some hot cocoa. Visitors are encouraged to bring along their own blanket for added warmth on the ride.

The Horse-Drawn sled rides will be held every Sunday, 10 am to 3 pm weather permitting, from January 12th to March 2nd at Leonard's Mills on the Bradley Road in Bradley. It's $10 for adults, $5 for children, and there are membership discounts and group rates available as well. Before heading out, it's a good idea to call the weather cancellation hotline at 944-2999 to make sure the conditions are right for a ride that day.

The folks at Leonard's Mills are also looking for volunteers to help with everything from selling tickets to stirring cocoa.And, they're going to offer Leonard's Mills molasses cookies next to the donation jar. They invite anyone who's interested to cook up a batch and bring them along! You'll find the recipe below. For more information about volunteering or delivering cookies, call Sherrie Davis at 974-6278 or log onto the Leonard's Mills website. Bundle up and have fun!

1830 Molasses Cookies

2/3 c. shortening
2/3 c. sugar
2 eggs
2/3 c. molasses
3 c. flour
¾ tsp. soda
¼ tsp. salt
¾ tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. ginger
¼ c. vinegar

Blend shortening, sugar, eggs, and molasses.
Sift flour and other dry ingredients; add alternately
with vinegar to batter. Mix well. Drop dough by
teaspoon (slightly smaller than walnut) 2” apart on
lightly greased baking sheet. Bake 8 – 10 minutes
in 375 degree oven, or until no imprint remains when
touched. Makes 6 dozen 2 ½” cookies. Place wax paper
between layers when storing.