The ski/ride with a ranger program debuts this winter on selected Fridays. Knowledgeable Forest Service rangers will lead groups of skiers and riders, offering their perspectives on conservation and wildlife as they travel through the beautiful environment surrounding Loon. According to Joe Gill of the White Mountain National Forest the goal of the program is to "increase Forest Service visibility and public awareness of the National Forest and its role in providing high-quality and diverse recreational opportunities on public lands." Ski/Ride with a Ranger is offered on January 19, February 10 and 23 and March 9. Meet in the Octagon Lodge at 10 and have your lift ticket or season pass with you. Meanwhile, this past weekend saw Loon's annual celebration of snowmaking – Independence Weekend. In this winter of warm weather and no snow in the East, Loon had great cause to celebrate the firepower of their snowmaking system and the skill of their snowmaking crew. Included in the festivities was the appearance of a 10 foot tall skiing Uncle Sam. A torchlight parade and fireworks on Saturday night also heralded Loon's 40th Anniversary.