Here is an update on some of the projects we are working on at the Fort Kent Outdoor Center:
Single-track Mountain Bike Trails
One of our goals for this season is to create more mountain bike trails for both our membership and the public. With only one mile of existing trail, it’s difficult to attract riders to our area. In June, we began work on the converting the Ridge Runner snowshoe trail into a summer mountain bike trail. A very dedicated group of riders has been grubbing out and shaping the trail with hand tools. We recently purchased a used Kubota mini-excavator to do the bulk of the work. We debated renting a machine vs. purchasing one, and without a full-time operator, buying our own machine seemed to be the way to go. Once the Ridge Runner is complete, we have another 4-5 miles of trails planned for construction. We have an “organized” trail work session scheduled every Tuesday evening at 6:00 PM until dark. We have hand tools available and we typically meet at the FKOC maintenance building on the driveway at the top of the hill. Our current Trail Crew consists of Curt Harvey, Mitchell Harvey, Joey Ouellette, Dan Reardon, Alden Reardon, Miguel Sanclemente, Rafa Sanclemente, Matt Michaud, Quinn Michaud, Tom Levesque, Steve Guimond and Laura Audibert. If you are interested in joining our Mountain Bike Committee or trail crew, please contact one of the crew members or just come to one of the work sessions. Many hands make lots of trail!
Sledding Hill and Red Barn Trail Upgrades
Keith Pelletier has offered his excavator to help us fix some ski trails and sculpt the sledding hill. Sections of the Volunteer Way and Violette Settlement trails near the Red Barn Trailhead are being widened and properly ditched and drained as we speak. These upgrades will allow us to get on the trails earlier in the winter and also use them in the summer, without needing rubber boots!
On the sledding hill, we plan to raise the top of the hill slightly and also build a berm or turn-out near the bottom to direct the sleds away from the ski trails (and avoid possible sledder/skier collisions). Sledding has become a very popular activity for us and we want to keep everyone safe.
We do have some other projects going on and we’ll give you an update shortly. In the meantime, get out and enjoy the trails with the sights, sounds and smells of summer!