Moosehead Lake Region Public-Private Recreational Initiative
July 2, 2014
For more information, contact: Rex Turner at (207) 287-4920
Work begins on two trails that will be part of a network of non-motorized trails
GREENVILLE, Maine – The Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry’s (DACF) Bureau of Parks and Lands (BPL) announced that construction work has begun on two hiking trails that eventually will be part of an expanded network of non-motorized trails in the Moosehead Lake Region. The decision to start construction with the Number Four Mountain and Eagle Rock Trails resulted from public input and will be led by the DACF’s Maine Conservation Corps.
The one-of-a-kind regional trail development collaboration is made possible through a 121-acre trail easement granted by landowner Plum Creek. Construction by the Maine Conservation Corps began in June, and will likely continue until 2018 in order to complete the entire trail network.
“Outdoor recreation is important to Maine residents and visitors. This public-private partnership will expand outdoor recreational opportunities in the Moosehead Lake Region,” said Governor Paul R. LePage. “This project benefits from public input and volunteer support, so I encourage others to become involved.”
Commissioner Walt Whitcomb also highlighted the importance of public input and volunteer support. “We were pleased with the public’s input that this unique project has received,” said Whitcomb. “Citizen input is helping create another gem in Maine’s outstanding system of trails and public recreational spaces. The partnership of a major landowner, townspeople and state recreation management experts is a formula for success in this beautiful region of Maine.”
Project leader Rex Turner said that the Department and project partners are looking forward to engaging new partners and volunteers for this effort to help support, maintain and promote the trails well into the future. “With these new trails, and others following in the next few years, the Moosehead Lake Region will offer a premiere trail network that will be a destination attracting hikers, bikers, skiers and others from far and wide,” said Rex Turner, BPL outdoor recreation planner.
An ad-hoc committee led by BPL is coordinating the trail planning effort, and will hold its next informational meeting this fall. Participants and supporters in that effort include citizens from the Moosehead Lake Region and representatives from the Appalachian Mountain Club, Forest Society of Maine, Maine Huts and Trails, the Moosehead Lake Region Chamber of Commerce, the Town of Greenville and Plum Creek. The first two trails to be constructed are:
Number Four Mountain Trail – This project taking place through the summer of 2014, rebuilds and redesigns the current Number Four Mountain Trail. It will reach the remains of the historic fire tower on the mountain and also feature a trailhead parking facility on Plum Creek land. Additionally, planning calls for the trail to be expanded southwards from the summit to Lily Bay Mt. and beyond. The current Number Four Mountain Trail remains open to hikers during construction.
Eagle Rock Trail – This new trail will be completed in August and will create 3.7 miles of hiking trail from the Moore Bog area on the BPL’s Little Moose Public Land property to Big Moose Mountain’s northwest ridge. The trail will culminate at Eagle Rock and feature a trailhead parking facility on Bureau lands.
Planning work under way aims to enable trail construction on portions of Lily Bay Mt. and Baker Mt. in Frenchtown starting as early as this fall. Future trail projects on the 121-acre easement could range from easy walking paths to strenuous backpacking circuits and could accommodate hiking, mountain biking, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, canoe/kayak portaging and wildlife observation activities.
In addition to the land easement from Plum Creek, the company is providing funding for the trail system as part of its regional land use agreement. Additional trail system support will be sought by BPL and planning partners to help maintain the trail network. That support is anticipated to include stewardship approaches such as adopt-a-trail opportunities and other similar volunteer initiatives.
Six-person trail crews from the Maine Conservation Corps will construct the trails. Volunteers are also encouraged to participate. For more information about volunteer opportunities, contact Mike Hein at 624-6092 or Michael.Hein@maine.gov.
Media Invitation: An active day of trail construction by the Maine Conservation Corps will take place on July 10, from 10 am to 2 pm at the site of the new Eagle Rock Trail. Representatives of BPL and other partners will also be present to thank volunteers and assist. Media are invited to join in the volunteer effort or attend to talk to volunteers and organizers.
For more information about the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry and its Bureau of Public Lands, go to: https://www.maine.gov/dacf/